Old Testament prophecies are about more than the promised Redeemer’s lineage and birth. God provided numerous facts about His life and purpose to encourage those in every age who would know Him.
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” Hosea 11:1
Hosea, directed by the Holy Spirit, recorded one facet of the life of the coming Messiah. Those who studied the Scriptures as they looked forward to His arrival would be looking for some connection with Egypt. Consider how odd this detail must have seemed to the Jews at various points in their history.
These stats tell a tale. Are all youth activities bad? No.
Is age segregation the key to Christian discipleship? Probably not.
61% of churched high school students graduate and never go back! (Time Mag, 2009) Even worse: 78% to 88% of those in youth programs today will leave church, most to never return. (Lifeway, 2010) Please read those last two statistics again.
Ask yourself why attending a church with nothing seems to be more effective at retaining youth than our youth programs.
May God use every circumstance in our lives to show us our desperate need for Him to intervene in our families. May we never rely on our methods or on saying the right words to our kids. May we fall to our knees in utter abandon to His free grace and mercy and plead for Him to save our children.
We have completely isolated young people from adults and created a peer culture. We stick them in school and keep them from working in a meaningful way. In most non-industrialized societies young people are integrated into adult society as soon as they are capable, and there is no sign of turmoil. Many cultures do not even have a term for adolescence. But we not only created this stage of life: we declare it inevitable.
It is easier to send my children to a program during worship instead of having them with me. Isn’t having children in worship putting too much emphasis on them?
We agree having children in worship is a lot of work and can be distracting to other worshipers. We also agree wholeheartedly that it is sinful and wrong (idolatry) to put too much emphasis on children. Having acknowledged these realities, the reason we invite children into worship is because they were present in the worship services of the early church (Ephesians 6:1). Just as we desire people from all tongues, tribes, and nations to come to faith in Jesus Christ and worship Him, so too we desire the church’s children to come to faith in Jesus Christ and worship Him. So, in the hope that God would graciously regenerate the children by means of their hearing and believing the gospel, we invite them into the worship service.
Remember, the reason to worship together is largely so that our children can properly learn how to worship. Sure, they might learn from others, but there are special things that children learn from their parents that they cannot easily learn elsewhere. Besides, how can you be sure that your child is not somewhere else playing a game or passing notes to a friend? What is it that we want our children to learn from us?
We desire that they learn how God is the greatest One in the universe and He only is to be worshiped and adored. If we are bored at worship services, certainly our hearts have grown cold. We are in essence training our children that God is not really great or glorious at all. We are communicating to them that salvation is nothing special.
If we are glad the service is over so that we can now get on with our ‘life,’ what does this teach our child? Early in children’s lives, they should learn through the parents’ passionate devotion the awesome wonder and glory of God
Our traffic here at CIC.com (and at our FB page) has increased. We hope that we will get a lot of “buzz” in the last few weeks before actual publication. To that end I would like to remind (or alert) you to the fact that the RSS feed on the website is working. To subscribe to any updates made here just click on the letters “RSS” on the right side of the home page. This will give you the opportunity to become a subscriber.
We’re gearing up for the release of “Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship.” (Sorry we cannot give you an exact date yet, bug the publishers for that info). We recently received this short but heart-warming note about the book from Israel Wayne, author, speaker, and entrepreneur:
“Well, I think you handled a very controversial issue with grace , tact and a lot of Scripture. Can’t fail with that combo.”
We’re grateful that God has allowed us to take part in the discussion.