We take educating children seriously in this country. Articles and books abound on how to nurture the youngest of children. Books, music, and a room full of colorful things, even for infants to look at, are usually recommended to prepare a child to thrive.
In the realm of religious instruction, my impression is that followers of world religions like Jews or Muslims provide rigorous training for their children. I’ve heard the same for those of the Mormon faith. The dominant “religion” in this country though is secularism (by my definition an attempt to eliminate any public influence of religion) and unless we take specific means to combat this, we may find our children thoroughly schooled in it just by allowing them to watch unsupervised TV. Considering that some spend appalling amounts of time before a screen, not to mention other influences, we face the frightening prospect of a generation fully discipled in this view.
What response shall we make to this challenge? Biblically, parents have the primary responsibility of educating their children. But how are we as a church to support them? I’m so grateful for our children’s workers who serve faithfully in Sunday School, C4M on Sunday evenings, and KOPSS on Wednesday’s. In the last two weeks I’ve received great feedback from new families attending on how pleased they are with our children’s leaders. However, it would not be wise for us to grow complacent or for those of us not directly engaged to conclude that all needs are met and that we have no role. Every believer is responsible to support children’s ministry because we follow one who said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew 19:14.)
We hope to strengthen our mid week children’s ministry by resuming AWANA. Those who’ve been at Bethany Place for more than a year or so know we ran AWANA for years. AWANA stands for Approved Workmen are not Ashamed from 2 Timothy 2:15. AWANA combines scripture memory, high energy games, and compassionate care from lots of leaders to enable children to place God’s word deep in their hearts. In this way, we would further assist parents in leading their children to Christ and in preparing them with a strong foundation to face those who will make a furious attempt to separate them from faith in Jesus.
AWANA takes a lot of workers, somewhere around 25, so we are praying for God to raise up these leaders. Some tasks are as simple as listening to children recite memory verses and encouraging them. Please pray that God will raise up the workers to serve in this ministry (Mat. 9:38)
Sunday I’m continuing the message series Guarding Freedom with a message titled, Is Real Change Possible? I can’t wait to share with you what I’ve discovered this week. You can see the scripture and outline here.
Here are the other messages I’ve written regarding Vision 2014: