These are the children who attend every service, and can’t remember anytime when they didn’t come to church. In my ministry, most of these kids also attend a Christian school. They can recite the books of the Bible, they’ve memorized countess Scripture verses, and they know details about Bible stories that I can’t even remember.
By over-churched kids, I mean children with too much religion and not enough actual interaction with Jesus…
One of the dangers that stood out for me:
They Have Learned to Pretend Pray: A real struggle for grown-ups is connecting with God through prayer. Too often it becomes routine and dry. Most younger children learn prayer as an act of imitation. Many don’t even realize that something cosmic is happening when we address our words to God. They don’t feel the presence of God or even expect that they should.
Tony’s solutions are extremely encouraging. Here are a couple:
Pray for Every Child: Sometimes the deepest problems require a spiritual solution. Ask God to make a difference for those over-churched kids. It’s great when we pray for those outside the church, but don’t forget to lift up those familiar names to the Lord. Remember, effective ministry depends on prayer.
Teach the Bad News: According to the Bible, we are all sinners who have earned the displeasure of God. Without Jesus, we would have no hope of passing God’s judgment. Over-churched kids need to realize that they too need a Savior. They need to learn about sin. Keep teaching the 10 Commandments, but also teach what Jesus said about loving your neighbor. None of us can really meet those standards on our own.
Read both posts; they’re well worth your time.
A Brief Bit of Housekeeping
This past week I was on vacation in Grand Bend, Ontario, enjoying some time relaxing with my family (and preparing a sermon). In my absence a number of gentlemen agreed to lend a hand and keep content coming. Matt, Chris, Gabe and Ben did a tremendous job and I know I was ministered to as I read their posts. (If you haven’t yet, keep scrolling down and you’ll find them.)
Thanks guys, I’m looking forward to having you back if you’re up for it!
In Other News
Church Life: Jason Helopoulos offers a few good reasons for changing churches (and a few bad ones, too).
Social Justice & the Bible: Kevin DeYoung wraps his Seven Passages on Social Justice series by examining Luke 4:16-21. The rest of the series includes Micah 6:8; Amos 5; Matthew 25:31-46; Jeremiah 22; Isaiah 58; and Isaiah 1.
Prayer: Rick Warren’s eyes were severely injured when he got toxic sap from his African Fire Stick plant in his eyes. His sight is gradually improving every day. Please join in praying for his full recovery.
Books and Technology: This week Amazon announced that Kindle books been selling 180 units for every 100 hardbacks for the last three months. Here’s what they didn’t say when they made that announcement.
In Case You Missed It
Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:
Matthew Svoboda tackles Eschatology and why he believes Amillenialism is the most biblically accurate view of the end times.
Gabe Posey looks at the call to ministry.
Chris Canuel examines the purpose of suffering through the eyes of Job.
Ben Reed shares the importance of the beautiful mess that is a small group.