A New Generation of Christ Followers

Children are the future generation of Christianity and we are commanded to pass on to them the teachings of the word of God. Deut. 6:4-7 NET BIBLE “Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You must love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength. These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up.”

A poll that was done by Child Evangelism Fellowship shows about what age people are most readily able to accept and believe the Gospel message:

1%are saved before 4 years of age;

85 %are saved between 4 and 14 years of age;

10%are saved between 15 and 30 years of age;

4 %are saved after 30 years of age.

No wonder it has been said, “Children are the largest most forsaken mission field on earth” Think about the implications of reaching people when they are most reachable! An adult who believes is a soul saved but a child who believes has their whole life ahead of them. If they are discipled and become disciple makers, theirs is truly a life saved!  

Is it not then mandatory and of utmost importance, that as teacher and parents, we do all that we can to teach the next generation what it really means to be a Christ Follower? It is not enough to just teach them the rules, the Bible stories, the Christianese which is the norm in most Christian homes and churches. We need to help our children come to know, love, and obey the God of the Word.

As a final word to His followers, Jesus introduced in a new way the importance of obedience that is born out of love. John 14:15-21 NET BIBLE “If you love Me, you will obey My commandments. Then I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever—  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see Him or know Him. But you know Him, because He resides with you and will be in you. I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you.  In a little while the world will not see Me any longer, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live too. You will know at that time that I am in My Father and you are in Me and I am in you.  The person who has My commandments and obeys them is the one who loves Me. The one who lovesMe will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him.”

We need to example for them how to live out love through obedience to the Word of God. We need to be consistent in obedience and repentance when we fail to obey, at home, in the church and in our daily choices through the everydayness of this life. Living it, not because it makes us good, or because we want to please our parents and teachers or the other believers we know, but rather because we are commanded both in the OT and again by Jesus Himself in the NT, ““‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."