“…we face a generation of young people who no longer hold to what most evangelicals consider to be the true foundations of the Christian faith: belief in the deity of Christ, the reliability of Scripture, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus.” Josh McDowell and David H. Bellis, The Last Christian Generation (Holiday, FL: Green Key Books), 27.
The preceding observation by Josh McDowell and David Bellis is sobering to say the least. The reality is that we are progressively living in a world where the basic tenants of the Christian faith are no longer believed, taught, or consistently championed. Relativism has taken root and has such a stronghold in our world, particularly in western society, that we are losing the uniqueness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and thus, losing our next generation of born again Bible believing Christians. What are we to do? What is the answer?
First let me say, this is simply a blog expressing my concerns and prayerfully sounding an alarm. I am not attempting to provide a comprehensive answer in a few paragraphs to what is a massive challenge; McDowell and Bellis did some of that in the book referenced above. However, we must begin to have a serious conversation about the enemies we face, such as complacency and defeatism. I find nowhere in Scripture where we are told to give up and acquiesce to what many say is “inevitable.” Rather, Paul reminds us in his second letter to Timothy to “be self-controlled, endure hardship, do an evangelist's work, fulfill your ministry.” This comes on the heels of his warning that “there will be a time when people (Christians) will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things (have their ears tickled). And they will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand they will turn aside to myths .” (2 Tim. 4:3-5).
“What does this have to do with Children’s Ministry?” you ask. Everything! Children’s Ministry workers are on the front lines of this battle to teach comprehensive biblical truth to the next generation and you must continue to stay true to your calling…stay true to the teaching of all Scripture in age appropriate ways…and you must not compromise truth to appease those who want just enough of God to feel good, but not so much as to cause any transformation. This blog is my desire to encourage you to “finish (your) task and the ministry which (you) received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God's grace…” (Acts 20:24) to all the children in your care.
As a Children’s Ministry leader, teacher, or volunteer you are important! You are the one that comes along side parents and helps them as they train up their children in the way they should go, so that when they are old they will not turn from it. (cf. Prov. 22:6) You are the one that can help turn the tide of relativism and bring back a remnant of Christian children that believe in what the Bible teaches in its entirety, without compromise. You can stand in the gap…you must stand in the gap.
I realize Children’s Ministry workers are often overworked and underappreciated, or so it seems; but remember, your work is to be “as unto the Lord,” not men…and your reward is eternal, not temporal. I want to encourage you, so hear me say “THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO!” We can all make a difference in the next generation…we can ensure that this is not “the last Christian generation.” We must help our children understand the importance of standing firm in sound doctrine and taking God seriously. We must help them to grasp the importance of the teaching of every Scripture…that it is “inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness; so that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
So…stay the course, keep studying, keep preparing those lessons, keep praying for those kids, and keep the faith…knowing that in the future there is laid up for you a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to you on that day of His appearing. (cf. 2 Tim. 4:8) May our Lord continue to bless you as you work with children…our next Christian generation!