IS THERE A RIGHT AGE FOR MAKING A DECISION FOR JESUS
15 May, 2015
Research shows that children are more likely to make a decision for Jesus before they reach their teenage years. What could be the result if we discourage them because we think they are too young?
(Daron has a soap box moment)
I still remember the day that my four year old son asked to be baptised. We were on our way home from church. It had been a communion day and the children's ministries leader in her wisdom had taken the children through the emblems explaining the meaning of each and why we do what we do. That morning in church Andrew participated right alongside us. Despite a few questioning looks, my wife stared the deacon down and helped him to partake of the emblems as I led out as the pastor from the front. On the way home he told us that he had given his life to Jesus today and wanted to be baptised. Lisa and I looked at each other, smiled and acknowledged his decision telling him that we would work with him to reach that goal. He was baptised on his 10th birthday. My daughter came to Christ in a similar way as a child and was also baptised on her 10th birthday.
I often wonder what would have happened to my son and daughter if we had told them they were too young to make such an important decision? Where would they be today if we had not worked with their decisions, taken them seriously and followed it through as parents. What would have happened if we had stopped them from taking communion or told them to wait until they were older?
HERE IS THE THING!…. God speaks to children just the same as he speaks to adults… (God Spoke to Samuel, Josiah, Daniel, the Little Maid, Esther, Joseph and others when they were still children… Each of these became great spiritual warriors for God and our children can too!) Children are more likely to make a decision to follow Jesus than their adult counterparts and what a life they will lead if we encourage them and mentor them along that path to spiritual greatness!
...CHILDREN ARE FIRST IN GOD'S UPSIDE DOWN KINGDOM, SO WHAT IS STOPPING US FROM PLACING CHILDREN RIGHT AT THE CENTRE OF OUR WORSHIP, MISSION, PRACTICE AND ALL THAT WE DO AS A CHURCH AND HOME?… THAT IS WHAT JESUS DOES!
When Jesus said to "Let the Children come to me and do not hinder them because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these"
WHAT DO WE DO… OR DONT DO… that hinders our children from getting to Jesus?
The research is very clear that our Children are more likely to make a decision for Jesus before they reach their teenage years but so often we as a church and as parents are guilty of not taking their decision as important. We tell them to wait until they are older, we make salvation an intellectual thing of doctrines, precepts and principles that only an adult can understand when it always is a heart thing!
Our children make a decision in Sabbath School… we say "that is nice dear but wait until they are older…"
Our children make a decision at 'Big Camp"…"That's nice dear, but wait until you are older…"
Our children make a decision at Summer camp, VBS, at a baptism or in Pathfinders… "That's nice dear, but wait until you are older…."
Our children make a decision at family worship or in the home. (the best place for a decision to be made) Hang on you need to make that sort of decision at church and….wait for it…."That's nice dear, but wait until you are older….."
Our children reach the age of 14 or above and often don't make a decision anymore.... Why? BECAUSE NO ONE OVER THE YEARS HAS FOLLOWED UP OR TAKEN THEIR DECISION SERIOUSLY SO WHY MAKE ONE NOW? The window of opportunity is shutting. Children can perceive very quickly where they are wanted and where they are taken seriously and they act with their feet!
I shudder to think what could have happened if we as parents had not taken our children's decisions seriously when they were very young… I am so glad that God spoke to my child's heart and to us as parents, because what my children are doing now makes me so proud!
(Daron gets off his soap box and smiling wanders on into the busy street)