In July 1780, Robert Raikes organized a Sunday school in England primarily for the children of poor families who were forced into labor fields to help support the family. They could not go to schools and hence they had no education. This produced a poverty cycle that continued generation after generation. With the Holy Bible, paper and pencil, these children were taught how to read and write on there only day off. This was the beginning of The Sunday School Movement that eventually hit United States in 1790’s.
Robert Raikes did hear from the Holy Ghost because of the wonderful fruit that the Sunday school Movement produced. However, it is time for a change. The children of today are not the same as two hundred years ago. It is time to change the wineskins. It is time to take notice of what is happening within our Church walls.
It is no wonder the average thirteen year old, in a Bible believing churches, thinks he knows everything there is to know about God and has no further purpose going to Church. The same 13 year old will also tell you he as never heard the voice of God nor felt His presence. We need to be asking ourselves, why is this happening?
We have been doing the same thing for over two hundred years. We expect the children to come into a ‘classroom’, sit down with a pencil, periodicals and a Bible in hand. Many children view Sunday School as boring after all the hard work was put into teaching the lessons. The real tragedy is what happens as a result of this. According to a recent study from Barna Group reveals once children reaches thirteen to seventeen years of age the numbers who continue attending church dwindles dramatically and an alarmingly small number of these teenagers actually take Jesus with them through out High School.
There is nothing more boring than church without the Power and the Presence of the Living God!!
We need to rethink the way we have done Children’s Church in the past! We need curriculum that the core value is bringing children into the presence of the Living God and exposing them to the supernatural. How many ways can we repackage Noah’s Ark? We have this limited amount of things we think the children can handle and keep giving to them over and over again and then we wonder why they leave the church.
We must take Children’s Ministry to the next level as we could die out as a evangelical community in less that a generation.
Seventy percent of the boys and girls in a Bible-Believing Churches will leave the church when they come of age and to never step foot in Church again. We must ask ourselves what is wrong with this picture! When on the other side of the world, children are ready to die for what they believe in.
Hitler knew the value of children. Hitler Youth Movement called for all the children age 10 and older. This movement was an extension of Hitler’s belief that the future of the country was its children. The Hitler Youth Movement succeeded in mesmerizing an entire generation of with the NAZI ideology. It was this generation that he raised who carried out without question the barbarities of the Holocaust. The scary thing here is some of these children are alive today and are still Nazi’s at heart.
The Catholics knew the value of children as well. The Old Catholic saying goes, “give me a 7 year old and we have them for life.”
The Communist said the same thing. Communist may have fallen in Russia, but there are many communist there today because that is who they are…. In spirit, soul and body! Whatever you put into the heart and mind of a child when he is a small child is what he carries with them all the days of their life.
There is a difference between salvation (knowing that you are going to heaven) and being a Christ-follower. We all have issues in life, even those who were raised in Christian homes. But, as Christ-followers we have the tools that are needed to overcome the issues of life.
Our belief systems are formed during childhood. By the time a child reaches seven to nine years old their moral values are already in place. We have to put the right things into the children now in order for them to handle the issues of life as a child, as a teenager, and even as an adult. Jesus called for the children, saying, "Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”