Pastor Paul recently delivered this message.
A question has lingered in my mind for some time: If reaching children and teens is so important, why doesn’t the Bible say more about it?
The Bible clearly documents the value of children and teens:
– Jesus: “Let the children come to me”
– David: a shepherd boy chosen by God to be anointed as king
– Josiah: eight years old when he began to rule
– Moses: God provides divine protection to a newborn
– Jeremiah: Before you were born I sanctified you… Do not say “I am a youth, I cannot…”
– Daniel & his three companions: young men with no blemish, good looking, gifted in all wisdom
– Timothy: Paul admonished him “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you’re young but be an example to the believers
And yet there is very little said about specific ministry to their age levels. We embrace the value of Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry. We invest in them. We designate specific people to lead the ministry in these areas. We have programs and activities that are specified for their age.
In the book of Acts, which documents the expansion and phenomenal growth of the church, nothing is recorded with regard to children or teens. Nothing is offered by way of guidance or precept. I have asked myself for years, “Where are the children? Where are the teens?”. Were they at home while the parents went to church? I don’t think so.
And then I think, we do all kinds of things in church today that are not mentioned and did not exist in the Early Church. Sunday School is not mentioned. Sunday School was started in England in the 1780’s by Robert Raikes. He taught Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Bible. There’s no such thing as contemporary or traditional worship in Acts. No musical instruments whatsoever, no Sunday night service, no Wednesday prayer meeting, no senior adult ministry. In fact, there were no church buildings in which to hold services. And (this one’s gonna sting a little), no ordained clergy. No one would have considered wearing a cross or putting one on a wall. It is true that people fell asleep in church (see the example of Eutychus). But the service lasted until midnight.
Yet, here we are 2000 years later with some or all of these things installed into the life of a church. How so? Because churches are supposed to organize themselves in the most effective ways to reach all people with the gospel. So if having a high octane Vacation Bible School experience will help us reach children, let’s have it! And if all night lock-ins, retreats, youth services, and contemporary music helps us reach young people, let’s do that too. If a traditional worship setting is more to your liking, then we should go there.
In scriptural teaching, the method serves the mission. If we embrace the mission (Matthew 28:19) of making Christ-like disciples in the nations, then we will bend, shape and yes, change our method to fulfill the mission. And the mission is centered in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are in the world on behalf of the Gospel. We are not to hide in our safe fortress but to march as an army.
When was the last time our church wept over our lost families until we had no more power to weep? When did we last cry out to the Lord on behalf of our little ones who have strayed, teens who are broken, bruised and beaten down by the world?
1 Samuel 30:1-39 David Recovered All
Into Captivity: The Amalekites invaded Ziklag and carried away David’s wives, sons and daughters and the families of his men. (verse 2-3)
Weeping – They lifted up their voice until they had no power to weep. (verse 4)
David inquired of the Lord – Shall I pursue? (verse 8)
He received a Promise – You shall overtake and without fail recover all. (verse 8)
The Battle – Began at twilight and continued until evening of the next day. (verse 17)
As he had been promised, David recovered all. (verses 18-19)