In the almost nine years I have been volunteering and working in kid’s ministry I constantly hear one thing said. “Invest in kids now because they are the next generation”. This statement holds a lot of truth. However, I think it is time that the phrase gets a face-lift.
You see we view kids as the next generation because we think that we are the generation of now. According to the research done by National Kids Count in 2014, the United States population was 23% of those 18 and under. However, I would argue that this 23% has a controlling influence over those outside of it. For those of you who are parents think about your schedules. Who do they revolve around? I would say that for most of you your kids dictate your schedule. This is a fairly obvious observation but think about it also through the lens of where you spend your money, what you do with your free time, etc. Your kids control you. Who are your close friends? Odds are you either work with them or they have kids. I say this not to make you feel like you need to take control of your life. I think it is a great thing when parents make their kids a priority.
Okay, why am I saying a bunch of things you probably already know. Well here is what I want you to understand. That I am hoping will change how you interact with kids. The reality is that kids shape culture. And if we do not empower them to bring Christ into the culture now they will be fighting an uphill battle for the rest of their lives.
The reality is that kids shape culture. And if we do not empower them to bring Christ into the culture now they will be fighting an uphill battle for the rest of their lives.
Kids lead all sorts of decisions in the world- economic, social, everything. Chances are that if kids cry out for more of this in their life, chances are they will eventually get that. So as a church we need to be praying that what they cry out for to be Christ. But how do we get them to cry out for Christ? In my mind, there are three things we need to be doing. We need to be praying, taking action, and teaching independence.
Pray- Pray without ceasing that the generation that is shaping culture has a heart that yearns for God. Read Psalms 42 and pray that they will have a heart that thirst for God.
Take Action- Do not wait to tell your kids about Christ now. Let Christ saturate your life and your family. Through Christ being at the center of these things hopefully, they will realize the need for Christ to be at the center of theirs. Deuteronomy 6:1-9 read it and then live it. Set reasonable goals and make your house a house that is wholly devoted to the lord.
Teach Independence- Kids need to have a personal relationship with God. Let them take leadership in their spiritual lives now. Time after time you hear stories about people leaving their faith when they became independent. Do not let the kids you know wait until they are on their own to take ownership of their faith. There is no reason for kids to not be leading Bible studies, be in personal devotions, or doing outreach. Now we should keep in mind that physical age is different than someone’s spiritual age. But even with that in mind scripture says in 1st Timothy 4:12 to not let anyone look down on you because of your age. Do not limit God by thinking someone is too young.
Ultimately it comes down to this. If we want the culture to change we need to stop trying to shape this “next generation” ourselves. Instead, we need to empower them to own their generation and to shape it for Christ. After all, they are the ones shaping culture, not us.