Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pay Attention; Don't Get Distracted & Do the Hard Work

I've been writing for several days about being sure we are focused and evaluating our children's ministries so they are places children not only want to be and places where they are learning about the Bible, but more importantly are places where children are coming to know, love and follow God for themselves. I've said it has to be the children's own faith, not their parent's faith, not their teacher's faith, not their pastor's faith, but their own faith. 

I said, if children have fun at our churches, but do not come to know, love and follow God for themselves, they may very well be like the Israelites in Judges; there came generations who did not experience knowing and walking with God themselves and they did evil, didn't obey God and forgot Him.

If we are raising generations of children who end up forgetting God, then everything we did to be sure our ministries were places where children wanted to be and where they learned God's Word, in the end, didn't really matter. 

Children need to do more than just want to be at our children's ministries because they are fun places to be; although they should be fun places for children to be. Children need to do more than just learn Bible lessons; although they should be learning God's Word. Children need to do more than participate in service projects; although they should be participating in opportunities to serve others. Children need to meet God themselves, choose to know and love Him themselves and choose to walk with Him every day of their lives. So, what will happen if children meet God themselves and choose to know, love and follow Him every day of their lives? Consider the following . . . 

  • They will be at church, not just because it is a fun place to be, but because they want to be there to learn more about God and build relationships with other believers!
  • They will want to learn and know God's Word for themselves! 
  • They will want to grow closer to God every day of their lives because they love Him!
  • They will want to serve God because their heart overflows with love for Him!
We need to be focused on the hearts of children; not just their heads. Yes, children need to know God's Word, but if their heart isn't full of love for God because they really know Him themselves, the day will come when they will walk away from the church.

I know I've been saying these things for several days now, but this begins with us. We have to get serious about what we are really called to do. While we should have ministries which engage kids are are great places for them to be, the most important thing is helping children know, love and follow God for themselves. Pay attention and don't get distracted by the easy part - making your ministry engaging. Do the hard work of helping children know, love and follow God for themselves!

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