Saturday, September 17, 2011

This IS Job One . . .

I watched a video by George Barna today and want to share a few of the main points he makes . . . consider the following -
  • Children are THE most important mission field you as an adult will ever encounter!
  • Children are THE mission field God sent parents to win over for Him!
  • Nobody else can have the impact on kids a parent can have!
We all agree, children are the most important mission field in the world - and we agree parents have the most influence on their children and who they become, but as Barna said, "The problem is, parents surrender this impact to the world." We surrender children to -
  • the media for eight hours a day
  • the schools for six hours a day
  • the church for two hours a week

Barna says we're telling all these other places, "Here, you take care of them", but according to the Bible, it is the parent's job. It is so easy for us in children's ministry to "push" the parents "out of the way" and take over the job of discipling their children, but Barna says, "We have to rely on the church, not to take over the spiritual development of our children, but to support parents as they do their God-given mandate to raise their children to be spiritual champions - which is not the job of the church - it is the job of the parent." 

So, what do we do? Barna gives some specific points to focus on . . . 

  • We have to be devoted to the task - this IS job one!
  • We have to have a plan for how we are going to do it - it doesn't work if we do it haphazardly because random parenting is a losing proposition 
  • We have to know where we are going, what we are trying to do, how we are going to facilitate it and we have to measure it as we are going along to figure out if it is working . . . if it's not, let's change the plan!
  • Let's make it work!
"It is the job of the church to come alongside the parent to encourage them, support them and provide the resources they need and help them do whatever they can to make it happen, but don't ever take their children or allow parents to ever think it is the church's job to make their children Spiritual champions."

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