The beginning of this week has been filled with excitement and activity as our annual Vacation Bible School has started. It has been a blessing to see so many children here actively learning God’s Word and enjoying themselves with the games and activities. But as I thought about everything going on this week, it occurred to me that we have an abundance of children to minister to every week here at Morningview.
This past Sunday, we had 63 in Sunday School attendance in our Children’s Department, and during our worship service, we had 61 in attendance in our Preschool. It is now a rare occurrence for us not to have at least 125 present in the age range from birth to sixth grade, and some Sundays we reach upwards of 140. If you factor in our Youth Department, it means that on a regular basis, over 50% of our Sunday morning attendance is under age 18.
These children and youth are a precious stewardship entrusted to us by the Lord, and they are the future of Morningview. If the Lord tarries, they will be the ones leading and teaching and ministering here (and hopefully, around the world) when Morningview reaches its 100th anniversary (in 2049). Given that reality, it is important that we continue laying a biblical foundation in them for their good and for the glory of Christ.
First, we need to pray regularly for them. They are growing up in a world with a media machine that will virtually suffocate them with temptations. Illicit sex, materialism, self-centeredness, worldly entertainment, and host of other idols will be regularly be paraded before them. We need to pray for spiritual protection for them as well as praying for their salvation. Hearts and minds informed by the Word of God and indwelt by the Holy Spirit will be their best protection and the best foundation from which they can engage the world with the gospel.
Second, we need to be found diligent in teaching them. Our instruction comes in two primary forms — accurately and continually communicating the eternal truth of God’s Word, and faithfully embodying examples of godliness in our homes as well as in church. We must continue working with them to memorize Bible verses and catechism questions. We must talk with our children about how to apply God’s Word to everyday situations and temptations. Even our discipline of them must be grounded in the eternal truth of the Scriptures and modeled after the gentle love and patience of Christ.
Family worship is key in this regard. The ministries of the church are secondary and only intended to support the primary spiritual instruction that is taking place in the home, so make times of Bible reading and discussion and prayer a regular part of your week. We all have much to do, but no other involvement or priority will serve your children as well as this one. And even if you don’t have children or don’t have them at home anymore, your example still matters. We are all part of one body, one household of faith, and your life and your example impacts every other person who is in covenant with you in this church.
Third, we need to continue to invest our labors in these young ones. This week during VBS, it has been such a blessing to see how so many adults and youth are pouring their time and energy into ministering to the children that have come. Likewise, we have so many faithful Sunday School Teachers and Leaders and Childcare Servants who give so much of their time to teaching and caring for our young ones. Our worship Care workers regularly sacrifice a Sunday each two months to care for our little ones during worship.
I commend all of you who serve so faithfully, and I ask that we all consider how we may join their ranks, in large or small ways. Remember, they are gifts from God, a precious stewardship, and our future. In what way are you investing in eternal things by pouring yourselves into their lives? I love you all dearly!