Apparently, most doctors aren’t trained to give First Aid. I was surprised. Don’t panic! It’s just that doctors are usually specialists. So dermatologists can help with all your skin-related problems, but they rarely need to give you mouth to mouth resuscitation. They’re no more likely to be present for a heart attack than an accountant or a plumber is. It makes perfect sense. Those most likely to be around sudden, unexpected health problems are those who need to be trained in First Aid. So, no surprises, paramedics are great with blood everywhere, bones sticking out and strange objects stuck in important body parts.
So who needs to be trained to tell children about Jesus?
Well, it’s the person most likely to be there when the child is asking questions. When the child is crying because life hurts. When the child is slamming doors in frustration. It’s the parent.
This visual aid helped us to think about this. The yellow boxy thing is the child’s church. Each yellow ball represents an hour in the year that the church has with the child. The red boxy thing is the child’s home. Each red ball represents an hour that a parent has with the child each year.
See the problem?
Too many of us think that the church needs to be the place to find the well trained hero showing Jesus to every child. That won’t work. The child isn’t there often enough or for long enough. And there’s more. The child is almost never in church at the moment of crisis. And their leaders are rarely there for the three days following as the extreme emotions come down and the longer conversations begin. Each child needs their parent to be the hero who can show them Jesus.
You, parent, are the gospel paramedic. You are the gospel with skin on. You are the one they live with. You are the one they see. You are Sunday’s lesson walking in the park with them. But you are not alone.
You have church leaders, Sunday School teachers, your godly Christian friends. All here to help you, here willing you on, here trying to equip and encourage you.
You are the hero. You are not alone. You are not the Messiah.
Jesus Christ is the one who spends every hour of every year being the ultimate hero, for every child. He has it nailed. Trust him with your children. Follow him with your children. Point your children to him.
Let’s start showing our children Jesus in our homes, with the way we treat one another, with how we handle the melt down, with how we cook the tea, make the lunch bags, find the swimming kit. Let’s allow our children to see us pray for help and look to God’s word for the First Aid training we need.
We are indebted to the Orange organisation for these two visual aids.