I was asked to bring the closing thought for our end of term cell group meeting. We’d been talking about evangelising children. Here are my notes:
Tia has been talking to us about evanglising children. This is obviously very important to us, not only because there are a lot of children in our church, but because the youth of today has no purpose, and that can only lead to bad stuff.
Tia showed us ways we can overcome our fears and doubts and gave us some reasons for doing this. The primary reason for any evangelism is sin. Sin separates us from God, and separates us from our purpose in life, that is to Glorify Him, by representing Him in this creation. The call from God is to be used by Him, to make known His plan to redeem us, and to bring us back into close relationship with Him, in order that we can represent Him as we should.
This is good, but there is something more as well, that I feel we may not have thought about. Tia has been talking about sharing the gospel with her own kids and this prompted me to think about this. When we raise children, parents are the primary educators. Parents pass on their value system, which is also called culture, and teach their children how to live and organize themselves around that culture. This is their society, or socializing. This teaches children how to live, what to say and do; how to treat others and stuff like that. Generally we all teach our kids how to live in this world, but Christians have double trouble, we have to teach our kids how to live in one world with its social structure and culture, but to have a totally different culture, a God culture, with God’s values, and God’s social structure.
Educating children takes on 2 forms, formal and informal. Formal education is at school, but informal education begins with the parents. From the parents it extends out to family, friends, and the community in general. We talked about how there are many people out there who WILL stop and take the time to teach our children something, and if we, the parents, family, and community of God haven’t done our job as first and most important teachers of children, then our children will not have the knowledge and conviction to reject what these people say.
We have to be careful not to do what is called indoctrination. That is, bashing into their heads one piece of information, but we need to tell them and show in ways that they can understand, that they are separated from God, and that the best thing they can do is to entrust themselves to Him through Christ, and serve Him.
If we don’t take the time to educate we are not doing our part as people of God’s community, or people of the human race, the human race that God created with this process in place. If we think back to Creation, we can not represent our Father on this earth if we don’t have a relationship with Him, and through that relationship we learn what it is that God values, and how to live and survive in the universe that he created. It’s not just a good idea, it’s not even just because we would be not doing our part as God’s community. It’s a good idea because that is what God’s example is to us. God makes Himself known to us, and teaches us what we need to know to live in His community. We are the primary educators of our children, and the children in this community. As God is to us, so should we be to them.