The Lausanne Children and Evangelism Network, now called the Lausanne Children and Family Network, spent several months listening to parents and children’s ministry leaders across the globe. Almost everyone agreed the holistic development of a child happens when families are involved in discipling their children.

The work of evangelism starts at home. The family is the first place where a child learns about God’s family and about faith, and where the child is nurtured to have an intimate relationship with God. Children learn mission when they see parents, grandparents, and extended family members reaching out to the families in their neighbourhood and to those around them. The church should ideally be a gathering of several families, and this includes all ages of family members walking together with Jesus.

To facilitate this vision, the Lausanne Children and Evangelism Network recently changed its name to the Lausanne Children and Family Network. The goal of our network is to intentionally engage in supporting families to position themselves well toward child evangelism and mission from home.

We believe that we must engage with and facilitate children to walk with Jesus and become disciple-makers. And we must also help them flourish within their families and community. To do this, we must empower their families and the adults in their communities, the influencers and the young people around them.

Jesus’ great call to his followers is found in Matthew 28:19-20, ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’

God’s plan has always been the same from the beginning. He wants the world filled with his people, who commune with him and walk with him, who care for the things he cares for. He wants generations to love him and to fill the earth so his glory would be revealed, his presence felt, and so that everyone would walk with Him again.

Adam and Eve were a family and they were to follow that plan together and with their children. But when they failed to do so, generation after generation, God never stopped reaching out to them, reminding them of their mission—even to the extent that God the father sent his son to this world to fulfil that mission.

We are called to go, not just to every part of the world, but to every sphere of influence, every environment of the world, every age group of people, every strata of economy, every family—every grandparent, every parent, every child.

Article

Nurturing a Missional Heart in Our Children

While we’re busy mobilizing and leading others, how can we help our own children grow a heart for the world?

Ten years from now, the year 2033 will be a significant year for us Christians. We will be celebrating two thousand years of Jesus’ resurrection, and of the church. It will also be a reminder of Jesus’ call to go. It will be a critical time to think about what we have accomplished in these two thousand years. How many more people, especially children, need to be brought into God’s fold? There is a sense of urgency, and we need to respond now.

Could you set a goal for 2033? Some helpful questions you could ask yourself are:

  • How old will my child, or the children around me, be in 2033? How can I create a community to help them walk with Jesus now?
  • Who do I want to walk with in the next 10 years? How can I encourage them today, every day, and every year in the next 10 years, to walk with Jesus and to help others walk with Him?

Imagine families in your area, all of them in relationship with our God! It is what God purposed in the beginning of the world. Parents and children are created by God and placed in a time and season to impact their family, friends, and community, and through them, a generation.

Would you consider journeying with us and together facilitating children and families walking together and with Jesus and raising others to create a community of followers of Christ?

You are invited to connect with our catalysts and core leadership team to impact children, their families, and all influencers of children in your community and your country. We encourage you to email us to be part of our network and to fellowship with our global leaders and worldwide parent community.

Let us together build a community of followers of Christ.

Seblewongel Asrat is the Lausanne catalyst for the Children and Family Network and the faculty and department head for the Holistic Child Development Department at Evangelical Theological College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is also involved with the Global Children’s Forum. Seblewongel has 12 years of experience working on children’s development programs in partnership with local churches and organizations like Compassion International Ethiopia. She is also an individual consultant, coach, and mentor. She has a PhD in educational studies from Trinity International University, an MA in child development from Daystar University in Kenya, and a BTh from Evangelical Theological College.

Anne-Christine Bataillard is the former international president of Grain of Wheat (2000-2015). During that time she was at the head of 32 countries as the ministry shared the gospel with two million children a year. She was the Lausanne Catalyst for Children and Evangelism from 2010 to 2018. She is now retired but still involved in the Lausanne Movement as a personal coach. Anne-Christine is from Lausanne, Switzerland, and was present at the the 1974 First Congress on World Evangelism as a volunteer at the information desk.