What a great summer of Vacation Bible Schools it was across North Carolina! But now what? Is Vacation Bible School the beginning and end of our responsibility to our children? Of course it’s not.
The number of America’s children going to Sunday School is dropping. And as that number increases, more and more children will not have the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Living in a world where so much competes for our children’s time and attention, will we become unsympathetic to God’s Great Commission as it pertains to reaching them? Will we determine to be faithful? Will we find ways to reach our children for Christ?
Most Christians who come to Christ do so as children from ages four to 14. According to Barna Group research, that means between 60-70 percent of those who sit in pews on Sunday have been believers since childhood. While we work to grow churches, we must accept the correlation between attendance and the priority of leading more children to Christ. When we see the value of reaching children, then we can ask the question: What is our responsibility to these little ones?
First, in the Gospel of Mark (10:13-16), Jesus encounters adults who are bringing (leading) the children to Him. When we accept the challenge of leading children, it means we will pray for the children and interact with them, model Jesus for them through our actions, and provide ways for them to be ushered to the throne of God.
Second, in verse 16, Jesus showed great love by stopping what he was doing and loving the children. We must commit ourselves to children. Loving them means not focusing on their ethnicity, hygiene or behavior. It is an unconditional love –– a life-changing love. It is the love that Jesus demonstrated in this verse and has given to each of us.
Finally, Jesus taught us in verse 15 to learn from children. Children’s hearts are receptive to the Gospel, and while other age group numbers waiver, the number of children making decisions for Christ is actually on the rise. Jesus said, “Unless you come to me as a child, you can’t enter Heaven.” Children are willing to trust, their hearts are humble, and their joy bubbles. We can reach children by rediscovering the child within us and determine to love deeply without reservation and honor our Heavenly Father.
Last year through the ministries of Baptist Children’s Homes, 203 decisions were made for Jesus. Let us join together for the children to lead all we can, to love all we can, and to learn all we can.
We are admonished in scripture to lift up our eyes and look to “the fields.” Embrace the “little ones” who are ready to embrace Jesus. Accept God’s challenge and commission to lead our children to Him. Commit to be a part of growing our churches by reaching children for Jesus. It is a holy calling. It is God honoring.
Now, may it become our priority.
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