We have all heard the statements “Christianity is just one generation away from extinction” and “God doesn’t have any grandchildren”. It’s true isn’t it! It’s quite possible for what we have deposited in us to end with our generation.
Let me insure that this doesn’t happen by offering a practical, much-needed thought to you as a parent and to those involved in the various children’s/student ministries. To be honest, this thought isn’t original with me. It was formulated by God and passed on to us through Joshua. Here’s the thought … tell and retell and reretell your personal story of what God has done in and for you to the next generation. In Joshua 4, God told Joshua that He didn’t want to lose a generation. He commanded Joshua to insure that the next generation and the following generations would know of His miracle working power and be reminded of what He has done. How? Pile some rocks. When the ever-questioning kids come and see the rocks, they will ask, “What is that?”, be sure to tell their testimony.
Why is this important? We often fail in our families and ministries because we tell of what God has done in Bible days and what can do gut don’t show that what we are teaching is both applicable and personal. In other words, we fail to show validity due to the lack of a “you are looking at living proof because I have personally experienced God’s power and/or I saw it with my own eyes” testimony. Our testimonies becomes our kids inheritance by depositing into our children and youth an “if God did it for me, He can do it for you”.
Next week, why don’t you bring a big rock to church. (Using newspaper and a few craft tools, you can create a work of art!) Bring the rock and tell a testimony of something that God has done for you personally and/or your family. Be real. Allow your emotions and gratefulness to show. It might be a testimony of how Jesus saved you. It could be of a time where you were deathly sick and Jesus healed you or perhaps when you were in need financially that you cried out to God and He came to your rescue. The following week, bring another rock and place it beside the original rock and make an eternal deposit as you tell another testimony. Then, ask if anyone can remember the story behind the first rock. I guarantee that each and every child/student will be able to tell your story. Then, the next week, add another rock to the pile and repeat what you had done the previous. As you continue this, and even allow the children/students to add their rocks, the God that once only lived on the pages of a book that few read will walk off of those pages and become a God who can and is doing His miracles all over again.
Let’s not lose the next generation. Tell your story. Pile your rocks. Reproduce yourself. In doing so, the God who was once just a theological figure will become a today “action” figure, THEIR “action” figure.
“You have heard me teach many things that have been confirmed
by many reliable witnesses. Teach these great truths to trustworthy
people who are able to pass them on to others.”
2 Timothy 2:2 (New Living Translation)