I attended a seminar put on by JAM Ministries yesterday. The seminar was entitled “The Battle for Children” and basically Rob Lukings shared how in our nation today (and all over the world) there is a battle being raged for the hearts minds, and lives of kids. His premise is that the church is doing a terrible job at influencing the younger generations for Christ.
I agree. A quick glance at a number of statistics and any childcare worker will tell you that today’s world is not a great one for kids. In the seminar Rob covered five sections:
Section A. “Why Attack Children?”
He asked the question, “Why would Satan want to wage war on children? Why do churches and parents need to have truly effective minsitry into the lives of pre-teen children.”
The basic answer to the question is that research has shown that people develop their positions on values, morality and a worldview at a very young age. What kids are exposed to and have modeled early in life will definitely influence to a great deal what their adulthood will be like.
Section B: “Strategy of Destruction”
Here, Rob talked about how there is a intense spiritual warfare being fought over and for our kids. He covers how they are being attacked physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It was an eye opener to understand that yes, this is taking place.
Section C: “The Church’s Response”
Rob shared an assessment of what the church is doing to respond to this attack by the enemy and how well she is doing. In this frank but true assessment he sought to motivate us to take a close look at the priorities in our congregations.
Section D: “A Battle Report”
Rob painted a picture of the spiritual condition of children, both inside and outside the church. The result is alarming!
Section E: “What God Has to Say.
Rob spent some time here sharing about what God’s Word has to say about our responsibility in ministry to children.
All in all, the seeminar reinforced the kinds of things I’ve been hearing a lot of lately. Case in point – check out the theme of the May/June issue of “Outreach Magazine” The main story of this issue is headlined by the title, “Church in Crisis”. As a part of this report there’s an interview of Josh McDowell entitled, “We’re losing a generation”.
For myself, as a pastor of a church, and as a parent of young children – I see the incredible importance for valuing and prioritizing ministry to children. I’m sure for the unchurched or non-Christian the assumption sometimes made is that we’re out to brainwash kids. However, the truth is, our kids are already being brainwashed in our world today. The mass influence of media and abdication by parental involvment (instead relying on schools to “raise” our kids) has resulted in upcoming generations with a degraded moral and value system and a worldview that places more emphasis on the individual then on the common good.
As a church I think we can and must do a better job of ministering to kids and their parents. I hope that this year as we evaluate our ministries and direction of HPC that our children’s ministry is something high on our priority list. That’s not to say that other ministries aren’t important and will be neglected – but children need help! I’m also excited about the possibility of expanding our involvement in helping parents be equipped for raising their children. Ultimately its the parents who can make the biggest difference in their children’s future. (Anybody see the show, “Honey we’re killing the kids” on TLC?).