Monthly reflection: Welcoming the child

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This month, Vanessa Elston reflects on creating a true welcome

father sits with daughter and son at table

Vanessa runs the Host café, a mission enterprise of the Moot Community. Her reflection this month looks at the lessons it’s taught her in extending a true welcome.

Jesus challenged his disciples to welcome children and those without status in society. In Matthew 18:4-5 he tells us that whoever welcomes a child in his name welcomes him. He also tells us that ‘whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven’.

To offer a true welcome, we need to humble ourselves. It is too easy to think that the knowledge and experience we have as adults mean that we have all the answers. But in order to make space for children, we need to genuinely listen to them. We need to set aside our assumptions and prejudices to see the value of the child and what really matters to them.

It’s at the centre of the work we do at The Children’s Society. We need humility and patience in order to see a young runaway as more than just a trouble maker.  We need them to hear the wants of a disabled child who can’t speak, or to recognise the burden a young carer is carrying. We need them to listen to what makes a difference for the thousands of children and young people we work with.

This month’s resources

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