Dec 11, 2007

Our Mission, KIDS!

I recently Preached a sermon in my churches on the topic of training our kids with a Christian World View. Here's the handout:

Click here to listen to this Sermon

A family learns a new culture and language to share Jesus with other lands, we call them missionaries. A group of young people travels abroad to build churches and lead out in VBSs, we call them missionaries. A doctor leaves her successful American practice to extend the healing touch of Jesus through free medical help to those in need of it, we call her a missionary. A translator gives of his time and abilities to make sure people around him have God's Word in their own tongue, we call him a missionary. A teacher gets up in front of an American classroom and teaches the Three R's and so much more through a Christian Worldview, we call him/her a missionary—or at least we should! Our kids are the most fertile mission field on the planet!

Mark 10:13-16—Although kids are often overlooked when it comes to Spiritual things, this is not the attitude that Jesus showed. Over and over He said that the kingdom of heaven is for kids and people who have faith like them. Childhood is when kids are learning to understand life and making lifelong decisions.

Proverbs 1:1-7—We're not just after raising kids who will show up in church once a week. God's concern is for the whole character, which is shaped by worldview. Worldview is the lens through which we view everything that happens in the world. I believe that one of the greatest reasons why we loose our youth is because we allow the public school system, media and society to decide our kid's worldview. The good news is that there are many tools at our disposal for helping our kids gain a healthier, Christian worldview that encompasses every aspect of their life.

Church Schools
Psalm 111:10—Many people see education and their faith as two different things. In their view each has its place, but neither should interfere with the other. But these things cannot really be separated. To be truly wise you must understand the spiritual framework in which our world is made. Public schools teach a secular worldview (framework) that doesn't include God. But church and home schools can give kids true wisdom by giving them a Christian worldview.

Proverbs 9:10—
Education is more than the transference of knowledge, it is learning how to learn. The secular education system teaches that all things must be explained without using any force outside of our understandable dimensions, ie, without God. But the Bible teaches that knowledge of the Holy one is understanding. Christian education takes all the best of earthly science, math, social studies, etc. and uses an understanding of the Creating, loving, redeeming and sustaining God as a catalyst to make it all make sense and create upright, Godly citizens.
Just as we support mission outreaches such as frontier missions, Bible translation, medical missions and youth mission trips that don't directly benefit us, we should also support Adventist education even when we don't have a child going to the school—because it's mission work.

Church Programs
1 John 2:12, 13—In this list we see a place for kids in the church. They are the ones who keep the focus on the simplicity of the Gospel. The church can become a very powerful tool for reaching kids when it uses Sabbath Schools and other church kids ministries to support parent's efforts, help mold worldview, provide for Christian relationships and make a safe place for kids to grow and learn about serving God and others.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7—Some people think that they can leave it up to the "professionals" at church to reach their kids for Christ. This is neither Biblical nor realistic—this job belongs to parents. Barna Research Group1 did a study and found out that even with all the other powerful influences that are out today, parents still rank number 1 in having the most influence on their kids. A church's best function is assisting parents in discipling their kids as needed. This is a day in and day out thing. When you're at home or in town, when you get up and when you go to bed, your influence is shaping the worldview of your kids!

At the beginning stages of our church movement God showed us the necessity of reaching out to our kids. This led to Sabbath Schools in nearly every church that has even one kid. It has led us to have the largest educational system of any evangelical church. And it led us to promote family values that are sometimes countercultural. Let's not drop the ball now. Let's see this mission work thrive in our time.

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