Our son is now nine months old. He’s been coming to the boys’ bible study that runs on a Monday night at our flat for eight and a half months of those. When we go on camp next month he’ll be there as well as his two year-old and five year-old friends. And a bunch of 11-15 year olds who are actually going on the camp.
When Paul said “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs – how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world – how he can please his wife – and his interests are divided.” (1 Corinthians 7:32-33) he was —unsurprisingly for a guy divinely inspired— right. I have to be with my wife and son first, so I just don’t have as much time for repeated long days, excessive residential weekends, and drop everything young person crises. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be involved in my ministry. Rather it means that my ministry is in certain aspects our ministry.
I think that’s great for everyone involved. Our son enjoys playing with other people and the attention he gets. He also gets to grow up seeing how church and ministry operates. He sees it as normal that people read the bible with other people. It’s great for the young people as they get someone little to entertain which is amusing, but also they get to see how Christian parents try and relate to their child. That’s not a “look at how we parent, aren’t we great Christians”, but rather “look at how we screw up and hopefully forgive each other and rely on grace and move on”. And it’s great for my wife and I be cause we get other people involved in helping raise our child, and we get free entertain for him, and we get to show him what Christian community looks like.