Posted by: pastortomvabeach | June 8, 2008

Thought For The Week June 8, 2008

I spoke a couple of weeks ago about how important every Christian is to the overall health of the church and that God has called each one of us to a special and unique place of serving in ministry. Everyone who is fully devoted to serving Jesus also serves His body. In that context, I suggested that if you have not yet found a place of service, our staff could point you to the place of greatest need in our church, and that by serving in that place of greatest need, you could begin to grow and be directed by God, if necessary, to whatever place is most suitable for your gifts and interests. Several in our church responded and asked us to help them find a place to serve. I can’t tell you what an important step they have taken in Christian maturity.

  • I bring this up because I also mentioned that day that one of the greatest needs we have right now is in the area of ministering to children. We have three major ministries that serve our children: the Nursery, Sunday School (which is Royal Rangers and Missionettes), and children’s church (which we call Potter’s Clay Club and Little Lambs Club). I would like to take some time to develop some very serious reasons why I believe that we need to increase our focus on children and continually seek to improve how we serve them.

  • The first and foremost reason to do our best with our children is because they are a precious gift from God. Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph all noted that their children had been given to them by God. The Psalmist states, Children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. (Psalm 127:3) By this we recognize that they really belong to the Lord and He has only lent them to us for a brief time expecting that we will care for them so that they can be presented back to Him as mature, God-fearing adults some day.

  • He admonishes us to instill the Word of God into the hearts of children as a normal part of everyday life (Deuteronomy 6:7), to train them in the right way (Proverbs 22:6), and to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). I recognize that these commands are aimed at parents and are mainly the family’s responsibility, but the church is described as a family. The New Testament identifies Christians as “brethren” which means we all belong to one family, the family of God. What do we do with commands like, Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2) and as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)? Should we not have some shared responsibility for assisting one another in helping the children in our midst to become true disciples of Christ?

  • The second reason that I sense such a need to invest in our children is that scientific studies show that people shape the values they will likely live by all their lives before they are 10 years old. Surveys also tell us that nearly 85 percent of all committed believers in Christ came into relationship with Him before they were 10. Jesus, Himself, said, Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Mark 10:15) Children exercise faith much more readily than adults do. If we are going to influence the coming generations to trust in and walk with Jesus all of their lives, we must do it while they are children. Yes, again, the parents are primarily responsible, but the influence and example of adults in church carries a lot of weight with kids. If they see a lot of caring, loving, dedicated adults willing to serve them and to live out a holy Christian lifestyle before them, they will be less likely to think that Christianity is hypocritical or irrelevant to their lives.

  • As we serve children, who are the least around us, we are sharing an example that they will want to emulate. We are actually producing the next generation of ministry servants in the church. Who knows but that some of them will grow up to be pastors, worship leaders, missionaries, etc.? What a privilege to get to add something of value to the kids God has given us.

  • One last reason I think children are so important. They are the only thing we can take with us to heaven! Beloved, every hobby, every extra-curricular activity, every outing, every extra dollar you make; all of the experiences and material goodies you reap from these are going to say right here when you go to see Jesus. Face it! But every life you influence closer to the kingdom, every child you pray with in Sunday School, every baby you nurture and love on who later gives his or her heart to Christ; as followers of Jesus Christ, will join you there before the throne! There is treasure in every young life. Treasure that moths can’t eat and no rust can corrode! These children are ours and we can keep them if we dedicate ourselves to helping them follow Jesus.

  • And there are others we can bring with us. Children of people who don’t yet attend church. Children who might attend VBS or might accept an invitation to come on Sunday to Royal Rangers or Missionettes. Children who will readily trust in Jesus. Have you thought about reaching out to kids who live near you? What if they are the ones who become the catalyst that brings their parents to Christ?

  • Let me close this by saying that, at our church, we have a truly dedicated group of people serving our children. Our nursery workers, Royal Ranger commanders, Missionette sponsors, and Potter’s Clay and Little Lambs leaders and helpers work very hard, truly love the children, and purpose to instill God’s Word and love into the kids. The ministry is doing well, but no matter how good it is, it can always grow and increase. That is why I think this is our most pressing need at this time. The more adults and older teens we have serving the little children, the better we will be able to impart true values and godly principles into their lives. If you are reading this but you are part of another church, I would bet that there is a place there for you in children’s ministry.

  • I think we somehow get the idea that those who serve children are glorified baby-sitters. There could be nothing farther from the truth. This is the front line of ministry and the future of the church! If you have not yet found a place to serve here or in the church you attend, would you let your leaders place you where you are needed? Then would you consider investing in the future of Christianity; future leaders, counselors, pastors, and missionaries? There is gold in ministering to children. Where are the miners? Just a thought.

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