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Bringing up faithful children

The future of the church is bright.
You can’t see the excitement of the thousands of young people eagerly preparing for Lads to Leaders and Leadership Training for Christ events across the nation this spring and not believe that.
You can’t witness the passion of thousands of young people filling church vans and chartered buses on their way to Winterfest events in Arlington, Texas, and Gatlinburg, Tenn., and not believe that.
You can’t realize that the Almighty God sent his Son down to Earth and allowed him to die on a cross to save the world from its sins and not believe that.
At the same time, we acknowledge that membership numbers in Churches of Christ have seen declines in recent years.
And, yes, even this month, we report on Page 1 that freshman enrollment by members of Churches of Christ has fallen at most of our Christian universities.
That can’t help but concern those of us who recognize the value of Christian education. This trend should, as a Lubbock Christian University official urged, “serve as a catalyst for open dialogue in Churches of Christ.”
But let us not lose heart.
Rather, let us focus on bringing up our children in the Lord and doing all we can to help them develop spiritually.
God is big enough to handle the rest.
A few suggestions:
• Lads to Leaders and LTC, Winterfest, youth rallies, church camps and other such endeavors are crucial in the lives of many young people. We should do all we can to promote and support them.
At the same time, let us recognize a simple fact: Parents cannot delegate all the spiritual and biblical training of their children.
The Christian walk needs to be modeled by parents at home. Bible reading needs to occur at the kitchen table after school and in bed at night, not just on Wednesday night and Sunday.
Let your children see your own faith, so it’s “caught,” not just “taught.”
• We know that today’s young people are service-minded and want to “show Christ” to their friends and their community. They want to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
We applaud that take-charge, make-faith-real approach. At the same time, let us find creative ways to make deep, serious Bible study a priority among our young people. Let us model and train them in spiritual disciplines, from prayer to fasting. Let us teach the importance of quality time in God’s word, so they can mature as Christians.
• Finally, let us involve our young people in teaching, song leading, reading Scriptures, serving at the Lord’s Table and preaching as soon as it is practical.
Depending on the size of your congregation, you might even consider a regular youth-led worship assembly — perhaps once a quarter. And let us not neglect the young women of the church. Let us find ways to involve them, from helping teach children’s classes to leading special public worship assemblies for women.
The future of the church is bright. May we all do our part to ensure that.

  • Feedback
    I want to learn on how to train my childrens in the Lord. to get materials to help in training christian children as a church leader
    Anthony Agyiri Quaning
    Accra, Nil
    June, 29 2012

    The church may go through many changes, but she will never go away. If God has to rise up stones, He can. There will always be a true church, just because they are or will be invisible does not mean there will not be a church of Christ
    God has put it into motion and only He can stop it.
    william A. Weaver
    West Adams
    Los Angeles, CA
    April, 13 2010

    I read this editorial with great enthusiasm and much agreement. Until the second to last paragraph.
    With 51 percent of the population being female, until some congregations start adequately preparing their young women for leadership positions both in and out of the church, not only will local congregations but ultimately the institutions of higher learning continue to decline.
    And that possibly “bright” future is a light being hidden under a bushel.
    Stacey Adams
    Stamford, CT
    Rhinebeck, NY
    March, 23 2010

    In addition to the editorial suggestion, may I suggest :
    1. Matt. 22:37–39
    2. This way we develop our minds so that our hearts are tranquil to serve the Lord so that HE is exalted and the world will also come to know and love HIM.
    3. Let us differentiate between what are the ESSENTIALS — SOTERIOLOGY VS. NON-essentials –eschatology.
    4.In order to “show Christ” to their friends they need to have the proper tools. For example there are a ” new breed of atheists” like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris who are arguing that Christians are intellectually dishonest or uneducated or even worst are actually dangerous to humanity. Are our children prepared for those challenges?
    eric quek
    exeter, ca
    March, 11 2010

    Well said. I’m excited about the church my children and grandchildren will be a part of. It is a bright future.
    Trey Morgan
    Childress CofC
    Childress, TX
    United States
    March, 9 2010

Filed under: Editorial Staff Reports

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