pramsay posted on February 12, 2008 16:46 1851 views

It Needs a Heart

How is the Gospel doing in your area? How many new families from the community over the past five years are now regular attendees? As an overseer in your local assembly, would you consider counting them up and sharing the number with the believers sometime over the next month and then ask them to pray for greater effectiveness in reaching the community with the Gospel?

Are you depending on growth from the inside OR from the community? Seeing our own saved is a threshold level of activity – the minimum expectation for our Gospel efforts. The real indicator of a robust and thriving testimony is the number of new families we are reaching each year.

Have you ever wondered what it was about Christ that attracted children and parents to Him? Why did parents travel down dusty roads and over hills and through fields to get perfectly healthy children to Jesus? And did you notice these kids didn’t seem to cling to their parents or scream with fright or in shyness as Jesus reached out to them and wrapped His arms around them?

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them,
and the disciples rebuked them.
But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them,
“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God…”
And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
(Mark 10:13-16 ESV)

The disciples thought it was a waste of time paying attention to the children. We can sort of think that way too. Maybe that’s why some places never have special children’s efforts but always have the big Gospel campaigns. Children’s work often takes back seat to the annual Gospel efforts targeting adults.  Someone sadly said: ‘Children’s work is a poor cousin to Gospel preaching.’

Do you know how many children live in your area? The statistics are available if you want to dig for them. And when you have found the number, ask yourself: what percentage of these kids are we reaching or trying to reach? How many dollars are we annually pumping into the Gospel to reach these children?

There are 40+ million children between the ages of 5-14 in the United States and approximately 4 million in Canada – not to mention other places. This is the age group who are most likely to attend children’s meetings or youth efforts.

Are you planning to purchase a van to pick them up? Do we really want to get serious about reaching these children or are we content with our routine SundaySchools or once-a-week Children’s meeting? Could you be doubling your efforts in your community – in different locations?

How many have an annual series of Children’s meetings? Let’s face it – don’t you get more in from the community when you have a Children’s effort than when you have adult meetings?

Almost without exception, when you invite parents to attend a children’s meeting function to see their child do or get something family members will show up. Why don’t we increase these special events from one a year to five? It does take money, time and effort but the crux of it is – it takes heart.

Do you have a heart for children? Your Master did and still does.