By Wanda Parker
On page 27 we read, “… the youngest generation doesn’t necessarily leave their faith; rather they leave their church.”
Don’t we see this over and over in the Old Testament? The second generation may still have their faith but the third generation “knows not God.” – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Jacob did wrestle with God and came back), David, Solomon, Absolom – what others can you add?
I think it was Bruce Wilkinson who first brought this to my attention over 20 years ago. He pointed out that as we raise up children we want them to be First Generation Christians.
First Generation Christians Know God and Know His Power
Second Generation Christians know God but know not His power.
Third Generation Christians know not God nor His power.
If we are going to raise up First Generation Christians we must first KNOW GOD AND KNOW HIS POWER ourselves. Then we must expose our children to situations where they have to be dependent on God so they can experience His power.
I have never met any one who has expressed the wonder of experiencing God’s power when they have been living a life where they were always in control. Experiencing God’s power requires that one lives on the edge where they are dependent on God. In America it may be more difficult than it is in other places – but it is still possible. We must stop overprotecting our children which keeps them from discovering the power of God in their lives.
When we become our children’s god they don’t feel the need for the one true God.
Are the adults in your church so dependent on God in all aspects of life that kids are taking notice?
- Are the finances of adults in your church focused on God’s will or their own wants?
- Are adults of your church out in the world serving where it isn’t always comfortable?
- Do adults and kids leave your church on a Sunday morning challenged to go and make a difference?
- Do kids in your church feel they are an important part of your church and that they would be missed if they weren’t there?
A family moved out of state and were attending a large mega church that had a WOW fun time Children’s Ministry. After a year the family moved back to our community and to our church. One of the sons came to me the first Sunday back and said, “Wanda, I’m so glad to be back here.” I asked, “Why? You went to a big fun church with lots of stuff, videos and all – why do you like it here so much?”
“Because I know you love me.”
As you live on the edge totally dependent on Jesus do not forget the importance of relationships within the Body of Christ.