Adventure Pals Blogs
Restarting Your Children’s Ministry – part 9
Why should we even try? Why not just let them figure it out when they’re older? Why? Because it is far easier and more productive to teach a child than to fix an adult. If you want to change the world for the better, help a child become a follower of Jesus Christ–sharing the Gospel with a child is not simply about where they will spend Eternity, it is about the here and now and how they will live their life. And do it before they get involved with self-destructive and high-risk behaviors–if a person does not receive Jesus as their Savior by the time they are 14-years-old, the likelihood of them ever doing so is slim.
Numerous studies show that children and adolescents who attend church regularly and say that “religion” is important to them, are far less likely than other youth to engage in high-risk behaviors and more likely to engage in behaviors that promote long-term physical well-being. Read that sentence again. “…far less likely…to engage in high-risk behaviors.” Let me put it another way; children who have a strong faith in God are far less likely to:
- Smoke Cigarettes (long-term use has many negative health implications)
- Drink Excessive amounts of alcohol
- Use Illegal Drugs
- Carry Weapons and engage in fighting
- Participate in promiscuous sexual relationships
While their relationship with God should be our primary concern, helping children avoid such behaviors should also motivate us to reach out to them.
From a biblical perspective, I would suggest that it makes Jesus angry when we fail to bring the little children to him. Note Jesus response to the disciples who were trying to keep children from coming to him in Mark 10:13-16.
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
He was indignant. This can also be translated as “moved with indignation,” “be very displeased,” “angry,” or “vexed.” I would encourage you to examine the priorities and practices of your church to ensure you are not hindering the children from coming to Jesus because he truly does love them.