This is the second and final message entitled “Small Matters.” Sunday is our Compassion Sunday, so it seems very appropriate to continue to talk about God’s priority on the young! Jesus said that whatever good we do to a young person we’ve done to Him. The message today talks about 3 fundamental shifts in our thinking that will align us with God’s will in this area
Small Matters, Part 2
For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?
And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Whatever you do for a little one, the young, a child, you do to Jesus.
CS Lewis said, “Children are not a distraction from the more important work. They are the most important work.
Because God places a priority on children, we, individuals, families and the church as a whole, need to further prioritize our efforts toward the young.
If you want to affect the future, find a way to prioritize and minister to a child.
Who are the major influences in a child’s life?
There are many! From parents to church to friends to social media to all media. So who’s job is it to share the good things of God with them?
It’s the church, right?
Here’s a shopping cart with, we’ll call it, 40 balls in it. They represent the number of Sundays a regular attending child comes to church in a year. 40 hours, or 40 services.
Here’s some shopping carts filled with balls that represent the hours that parents have with children. Let’s say that these represent the 3,000 hours that parents, a parent or caregiver has with a child per year. Who do you think is meant to be more influential?
This points to three fundamental shift we have to continue to make.
One. We need to go from the idea that “we can disciple your kids on Sunday and you can help” to “You can disciple your kids and we can help.” And I mean the kids in your sphere, not just your family.
The second shift we have to make as a whole is from looking at children’s ministry as a support, taking care of kids while the real ministry goes on with adults. That’s an attitude shift that drives how we prioritize the young and our ministry to them.
The third shift we need to make is from age segregated toward age integrated, which results in the young not just receiving but giving. In a couple of weeks, we’re going to have a place in the cafe’ for kids to appropriately join some ministries here at church. Parents and caregivers, you need to help them find meaningful service.
If we prioritize the young, we make those shifts.
So for children in our church, we shift our priorities. For children in our community, and our world, we shift our priorities and methods.
For. With. One of. In.
God has called us to be for the young and to convince them that we are for them.
God has called us to be with the young and do life with them.
God has called us to be one of the young. We get involved in what they’re interested in, what they’re doing.
God has called us to lead the young to Jesus. So that He will live in them.
That’s what God did for us. For. With. One of. In.
For our own children. For the young of our community. For the young of our world.
Spend some time looking at and praying over the children represented on our Compassion Table. Commit to sponsoring one or more as you feel God is leading you.
What do children need?
Crying children in Romania stopped crying because no one came. They have needs. They have questions. They have feelings and need to express them.
They need unconditional love and commitment.
They need encouragement.
They need to be taught truth. Spiritual and physical.
They need fences and training, with explanations as to why. Have you noticed that the most common question children ask is why, at a certain stage outwardly and then more deeply but less often.
They need a church. A group of people who are committed to living out the Gospel in every way possible.
They need to be included and allowed to serve. To not be told “you’re not old enough” unless it’s very true.
They need to have growing independence with accountability.
“Children are not a distraction from the more important work. They are the most important work.” Small Matters.