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June 8, 2022

Let the Little Children: The Body of Christ and Childhood Health and Well-being

The Health Fund believes that investing in early childhood development leads to the best health outcomes and the greatest return on investment. Research has shown that well-designed early childhood interventions can provide the support necessary to foster healthy brain growth and buffer children from the effects of adverse childhood experiences. We have learned that with adequate safe, stable, nurturing relationships during the first five years of life, children are more likely to succeed in school, become productive workers, and contribute to society.

The well-being of children in our churches and communities is an issue of great significance for the health and flourishing of children, families, and neighborhoods across the country and around the world. In an effort to connect the science of early childhood development and proven public health interventions with the life and mission of the church, this guide offers a three-week worship series that highlights three of Jesus’ interactions with children during his ministry.

Week 1 establishes the foundation for how and why Jesus welcomes and embraces children as part of God’s kingdom and invites the church to live into Jesus’ example by recognizing our Christian responsibility to nurture the well-being of children in our community.

Week 2 uses Jesus’ healing of the spirit-possessed boy in Luke’s Gospel as a model for how the church can tend to the physical health of children in our communities, paying particular attention to insurance coverage, wellness vaccines, and food security.

Week 3 then turns to Jesus’ Community Discourse in the Gospel of Matthew to explore Christ’s call to childlikeness as an invitation to promote children’s mental health by removing stumbling blocks and providing the relationships and skill-building necessary for children to build resilience in the face of adversity.

We’d love to hear from you! Did you use the sermon guide and/or toolkit? Would you be willing to share your feedback and experiences? Questions or suggestions? Please email us at hcnews@healthfund.org.

Resources

Nationwide Resources

Kansas Resources

Resources in this sermon guide

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

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