Do Not Hinder the Children, Part 2
In last week’s brief midweek message, I was fairly hard on parents. This week, I will lay a burden on the whole church. Let me say, again, before we get started, that I am not wanting to cultivate some kind of legalistic approach to church attendance. I am simply arguing that Christians need to gather with the church as much as possible in order to fend off the attacks of the evil one.
In part one, we quoted the words of Jesus when He said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” I described the current situation of our times and how parents are some of the main culprits of this act that displeases the Lord. Many parents hinder their children from being introduced to Christ, experiencing a relationship with Him, and learning of Him simply by neglecting regular church attendance. Yet, I do not want you do be deceived into thinking that I am only talking to parents with school-aged children. No, the spiritual growth and discipleship of children is the responsibility of the entire congregation. Yes, parents (and especially fathers) bear most of the responsibility, but the church bears some as well.
In a couple of recent sermons, the subject of mentoring has come up. All Christians, according to New Testament norms, are expected to mentor others in the church. Older men are to teach younger men. Likewise, older women are to teach younger women. Moreover, we should all be conscious of the example that we are setting for others, especially for those who are most impressionable—children. Similarly, the Great Commission is a wonderful passage (Matthew 28:16-20) and really gets at the heart of Christ’s purpose for the church in this age, and I would propose to you that if we are going to be obedient to that call to make disciples, then there are no better candidates than the kids that are running around us in the sanctuary.
Parents, this is your main job—discipling your children, and church, you should also take an active role in helping to raise up a godly generation.