Reaching the Next Gen
Posted on September 20, 2018 10:00 PM by David Frasure
In a conference I attended in the early 80’s, a leader stated, “The world will never hear our concerns about abortion unless they see that we love children the way Jesus loved children.” God really challenged me with that thought. I went home and began to pray, “Lord let me learn to love children the way Jesus loved children.” In the years that followed, God led my wife and me to have four more children in addition to our two. I guess we need to be careful how we pray!
In all seriousness, I wonder how praying such a prayer would impact pastors and teachers and churches today. Clearly, the Bible is filled with an emphasis on passing our faith along to the next generation. In Deuteronomy 6:6, we are told to teach the truth diligently to our children. Paul’s great prayer for the church in Ephesians 3:20-21 emphasizes God’s desire to see His glory in the church impact generation after generation.
Back when Sunday School was first used in churches, the emphasis was on reaching children. How to teach adults was an afterthought. I fear that many churches reverse that thinking today. Some even see
children’s ministry as unnecessary or optional. The absence of young families in many churches attests to the fact that children’s ministry has become an afterthought rather than a priority.
The true test of our success in discipleship is the ability to carry it on to a new generation. Consider Paul’s challenge to Timothy to pass Bible teaching to “faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
If the faith is not passed on to a new generation, the church becomes an endangered species! May God burden us and guide us in reaching and discipling a new generation for Christ. The good news is that they are more teachable now than they will ever be!
--David Frasure serves as CABA's Disciple-making Catalyst and pastors First Baptist, South Lebanon, Oh.