Preparing A Generation… To Be Done?
A functional family mobilizes children and young people, preparing them for adult life. An education system expects them to be involved in their education, perform at the highest level they can, and is always working toward taking them to the next level. Sports, music, dancing or whatever they take part in expect them to be active, participating members.
Sadly, in most churches there is little expectation or opportunity for children and young people to be mobilized.
Many teenagers hold a responsible position in school and their input is taken seriously. Some of them work and are expected to contribute to their workplace in a responsible manner. Sadly, in most churches they hold no responsibility and their input is not asked for. Yet – the values of small group belong to them, too. “Church” means every generation:
All (adults, young people, and children) are ministers.
All (adults, young people, and children) are called to serve.
All (adults, young people, and children) are called to win others.
All (adults, young people, and children) have small group as a priority.
All (adults, young people, and children) are empowered for service.
All (adults, young people, and children) participate fully.
All (adults, young people, and children) are receivers and givers.
All (adults, young people, and children) are hearers and doers.
If we raise them to be spectators, sooner or later they will realize we sold them short. Children raised in Christian families should be discipling others certainly by their early teens. Children and teenagers can lead small groups; I have seen them as young as 8 years being effective, trained small group leaders. They do not have to always be removed to another venue, or room until “they are old enough.”
A while ago I was bemusing the fact that if Jesus had grown up in most churches He would be removed from the presence of the adults, His abilities would not have been recognized, and He would have not been given a place for making a difference until He was well into adulthood. A large proportion of the church is in “waiting” mode. Their only input is drawing, coloring, and crafts. In other words, they are spectators. There is no Biblical precedent for them to not be mobilized. They are an emerging end-time generation to take the gospel to the nations. They are called to be trained and discipled for such a time as this.
If they are not, it is hardly surprising that by the time they are adults, they are still not mobilized. Rather, they are done.