Monday, May 11, 2015

Have We "Cheapened" Our Faith?

You likely noticed the news recently where 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians were beheaded by ISIS in Libya and at least 30 Ethiopian Christians beheaded and shot a couple months later. My heart breaks for their families and my prayers are focused on other Christians in this area of the world where they face a very real danger. 

As I think about these brothers I think of believers in North Korea where they face imprisonment or death for their faith. I think of believers in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bhutan, Iran and more than 40 additional countries where it is illegal to become a Christian, to tell your children about Jesus, to own a Bible, to share your faith and if you do these things you can be put in prison, tortured or even killed for your faith.

And here in the USA where we have freedom to meet, to worship, to believe, to share our faith, to read our Bibles, I wonder; have we made our faith "fun", "easy" and "cheap"? Would the children in our ministries love their Bibles and more importantly, love Jesus enough to face imprisonment, torture or even death? Would we?

I've been asking if we have lost "focus" in our Children's Ministries and this is a question we need to continue to ask because the cost for losing our focus is great. Losing focus can result in a "cheapening" of our faith. It can result in children not being completely committed to Jesus. It can result in a faith which is "easy" and only something we participate in if it is "fun". The "price tag" is very high for losing our focus.

This is part of the reason behind why Deeper in 4 Children is designed as it is. I believe children need to be learning how to open their Bibles, find information in their Bibles, be able to understand what it is saying and how it changes their lives. While Deeper in 4 Children does include an optional second service with each week's lesson which you can use for Children's Church, mid-week, or longer Sunday schools, the focus is on children opening God's Word and discovering what each Bible event has to say; what God wants them to know. If children do not know how to find the answers to life they have in God's Word, how will they be able to withstand the challenges life brings? Hopefully, prayerfully they never find themselves on a beach about to be shot or beheaded, but they will be faced with people who question their faith and they will face difficult times in their own lives. If they only know how to have "fun" at church and never learn how their Bibles are actually for them and they can really use them, how will they be able to stand in those difficult times?

As you think about your Children's Ministry, be intentional about not only being focused, but staying focused on the "state" of your Children's Ministry. Be intentional about being focused and staying focused on the "state" of your own walk with Jesus. It matters.

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