If you haven’t noticed yet, we have placed quite an emphasis on our children’s ministry. There has been a lot of excitement regarding the Upward program, the AWANA program, and several other events taking place for our children.
About a year ago, I stood in front of the church on a Sunday morning as I was closing the service and entering the invitation, and I said, “We have got to get the children, if we do not, the world will.” Now we are seeing the result of those that have taken that charge and done a great job in trying to “get the children.” To those who have been involved in any children’s program, from Sunday School, JAM and Children’s Camp or Council to the programs mentioned above, I want to say thank you! Thank you for the excellent job you are doing!
So why are we focused on the children’s ministry? The Jesuits always said, “Give me a child until he is five, and he is mine for life.” I think Hitler shared the same philosophy. The truth is, if we as the body of Christ, or Christian families do not disciple our children into a biblical relationship with Christ, the world will disciple them into a tragic relationship with the flesh, which will most likely result in spiritual death. Jesus as the Son of God well understood the implications for ministering to the children, perhaps that is why He challenged his followers not to interfere with the little ones coming to Him (Matthew 19:14; Mark 9:37). We need to give these children a chance to love Jesus, and that is exactly what we are doing in the WEBC Children’s Ministry!
Christ also made some other claims regarding children, and we should take those claims just as seriously. For instance, He tells the adults to come to Him as children otherwise they will not inherit the kingdom of God (Mark 10:15). It is interesting to me how children come into this world so innocent and trusting and by the time they are adolescents, have learned self-preservation from both family and friends. That is unfortunate, and it is not possible to follow Christ if self-preservation is first. Yet, that is exactly what we see many times. People who have great intentions and want to do what they want to do often end up hindering the work of the church or the momentum of the ministry due to this inward focus. Christ challenges us here. Jesus says in Matthew 20:16 and Matthew 22:14, “the first shall be last and the last first.” Self-preservation does not teach us to place others first, but then Jesus does not call us to self-preservation, He calls us to divine preservation! In other words, He will preserve us by looking out for us, leading us, protecting us, providing for us, and using all things for His glory. As believers, our call is to decrease in us and increase in Him, just like little children. That is difficult for many, it is difficult for me, but had I come to him as child, He would have had me through the years that I was discipled by the world rather than Him. Many of us fight that same battle, and be assured we can overcome…let’s decrease so that we may increase, in Him alone.