Why is it that we would rather invest significant tithe dollars and go after the broken adult and yet underinvest, play down and even ignore the children in our midst even when they stand up and make a decision?
Daron has a soap box moment.... Having grown up in the church there is a paradox that has niggled at me over the years... Why is it that we would rather invest significant tithe dollars and go after the broken adult and yet underinvest, play down and even ignore the children in our midst even when they stand up and make a decision? I have see children stand up at baptisms under the conviction of the Holy Spirit only to be ignored by the pastor and elders as a less genuine decision.
I just don't get it! Yes I understand the prodigal son and all that but we seem to want to celebrate the dramatic more than the success stories in our churches! It is almost like we expect our children to have their "wild oats" experience so that we can celebrate when they return with what we then see as a "real conversion" experience. The problem is that in an increasing number of cases our children don't return! Wouldn't it be better to love them so much that they never want to leave? Yes I understand the gospel message is for everyone but if we are busy spending all of our evangelistic dollars on the adults and have none left for our own children then I have a problem with that! The stats tell us that nearly 80% of people in our churches today decided to follow Jesus before age 18 and 50% of them decided to follow Jesus before age 12. It becomes exponentially more rare and difficult for a person to decide to follow Christ after age 18 yet I ask the question Where do most churches spend the vast majority of their evangelistic dollars???? Why do we celebrate the super evangelist and their dead men's tales when under our noses the more significant evangelism of our children is under budgeted, under resourced or even ignored, confined to a dark and dingy back room! Children do not usually come to Christ through brokenness and dead men's tales. They come to Christ through relationships with spiritual adult mentors who are invested in their lives. Henrietta Mears used to say "First I learned to love my teacher, then I learned to love my teacher's God. So then... Yes we need to continue to reach everyone... but... If we are serious about responsible stewardship then we need to intentionally invest where the harvest is greatest... Children! We also need to support and lift up our greatest evangelists... Parents, Sabbath School Teachers, Adventurer leaders, Pathfinder leaders, mentors and significant adults. They are the ones who deserve the greatest evangelistic dollars as this is where the harvest is greatest! I wonder if we will ever get it! Daron gets off his soapbox and mumbling mightily wanders on into the crowded street!