Enjoying the Journey
Twenty five years ago I shared a college dormitory with a friend who would become my brother-in-law. Jason Caldwell and his family have committed themselves to reaching and teaching children for Christ. Their work is being blessed of God and I am happy to share with you the following brief article that he has written on children’s ministry. As we approach the holidays when much is done for children we must never forget that our primary work is to bring boys and girls to Christ. May God raise up an army of children’s workers to reach this generation!
Eighty-five percent of all people saved today were saved between the ages of four and fourteen. Therefore, this should be our target age for evangelism! Although we often pride ourselves on reaching children, they are too frequently looked at as a liability that drain the funds of church bank accounts. Churches begin to operate more like a bank than a hospital. We should take a lesson from Satan because children are exactly whom he targets.
Jesus had a special place in his heart for children during his earthly ministry. Almost every time we find the meek and lowly Savior in a state of righteous anger it was concerning children. A good example of this is found in Matthew chapter eighteen. In short, the disciples asked the Master who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? They were certain that Jesus would reply, them. To their dismay, Jesus simply places a child in the midst of them and then states the fact that not only are they not the greatest in the kingdom but, unless they become like one of these little ones, they don’t even get in.
Children need to be reached with the gospel today more than ever. They are not the church of tomorrow. They are the church of today. If we wait until tomorrow, it is too late! So, how do we reach children with the gospel today? Three things are essential for victory in this area of children’s ministry…
The Bible states plainly, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Spiritual vision is seeing with the eyes of Christ. It is the ability to spiritually plan for the future with imagination and wisdom. We need workers today that are visionaries. A missionary is first a visionary. All the programs in the world cannot do what one teacher full of vision can do. Vision is not hoping that God will make a difference in the lives of our young people; it’s knowing that He will! Vision is essential.
A visual is a device or means for aiding the learning process through the sense of sight. It is said that people remember fifteen percent of what they hear, but seventy-five percent of what they see and hear. Again, Jesus was the ultimate example of how to use visuals. Whether using fish on the sea shore or holding a grain of mustard seed, the truths He conveyed were clearly understood by attaching the abstract to the concrete. Every part of a teacher’s class program should be permeated with visuals.
Using the same visuals week in and week out leads to boredom. Content and application delivered to young people should be new every week. This is accomplished with a variety of visuals. Variety is accomplished through plain, old-fashioned hard work.
The heart of the Lord Jesus is children. The context of the famous verse Matthew 18:11, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost,” is related to children. Verse fourteen says, “Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish”. It is up to us, the church, to make sure they don’t. We must reach them while we can!
Two recommended resources for reaching and teaching young people are Teaching and Sharing Christ with Children by Abb Thomas. You may find these and other helps at seeingtruthministries.com.