Jesus Loves the Little Children

You may have never heard of “Biological Church Growth,” but I guarantee you have seen it.  It is what is happening right now at Morningview.  Biological Church Growth takes places when the members of a congregation contribute to the growth of the church by having children.  You might have noticed from our attendance numbers that on Sunday mornings, those age 18 and below regularly comprise over 40% of our attendance.  On some Sundays, it is over 50%.  Our preschool area is experiencing the fastest growth.  A few weeks from now, we will have over a dozen new children set before our church in our Parent/Child Dedication, and these are all new additions since our last dedication service in December.
Biological growth should never displace evangelistic growth as the principle biblical strategy for “making disciples,” but we should still see biological growth as a wonderful blessing from God.  It is a blessing to see all the new “life” in our church and to see our entire membership embracing the truth of Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward.”  This reality stands in stark contrast to our secular culture where large families are often looked down upon and where children are often viewed as burdens rather than blessings.
We must also remember, however, that “from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” (Luke 12:48)  The children and families that are being entrusted to us are a sacred responsibility.  We shall one day be called by our Lord to account for how we have shepherded them, discipled them, and prepared them to be stalwart soldiers of Christ who are engaging the world with the Gospel.  With that in mind, I want to set forth some ideas and directives to guide our church as we continue to grow in this way.
1.  Pray for our families and for the salvation of our children.  Raising children for the glory of God is hard work, so we should pray frequently for parents and grandparents because they are the most direct influences for Christ upon the next generation.  Pray for them to be faithful in family worship and in scriptural training.  We should likewise pray for the salvation of our young people; pray that God would protect and preserve them unto salvation and that He would equip and mature them in Christ once they have received the gift of salvation.
2.  Pray for our Youth and Children’s Leaders.  Pray for Kem and Randy, and also pray for the dozens of men and women who serve so faithfully in these areas in our church.  We have many wonderful people who love children and who are dedicated to teaching the word of Christ to our preschoolers, our children, and our youth.  They often miss services to teach and care for our children while their parents are in worship.  These faithful servants are also gifts that God has raised up among us, and we must likewise pray for them, encourage them, and support their vital ministry.
3.  Get involved in our ministries for children.  It is somewhat comical to me when I hear people say “Children just aren’t my thing.”  And yet being a child is something every adult has experience in.  I know people have different gifts, talents, and interests, but we all have something we can invest in the next generation.  Teach a Sunday School class, work with our children’s music programs, chaperon a trip or retreat, work once every other month in worship care, or just volunteer to help in VBS (IT’S NEXT WEEK!).  Yes, taking care of kids is often like herding cats, but when you actually experience the pure love of a child and grasp the significance of our part in training them to savor Christ, you will be overwhelmed with joy.
4.  Join me in seeking out more opportunities to demonstrate God’s love and concern for children.  You might remember that last week, my article was on adoption.  Did you know that there are hundreds of children without families and homes right here in central Alabama? Maybe you could adopt one.  Maybe you could be a foster parent.  Maybe we could develop a ministry that would simply allow us to demonstrate Christ’s love to underprivileged and unwanted children.  The opportunities abound, and these types of ministry are “gospel” ministry at its best (James 1:27). I love you all!