I love the United States, but one of the things I have come to notice through spending time in other countries is we are obsessed with extra-large everything. Nothing is exempt from our obsession, from sodas to cars to the homes we live in, we are hypnotized by truth we hear seemly all around us Bigger is always better. But is it really?
I recently read a book called the “Global Achievement Gap” by Tony Wagner he mentioned the 7 skills every kid needs to learn to be successful. It was an incredible read. Tony is very insightful, and his ideas very thought-provoking. What’s incredible is that many of them are not being produced by our current educational environments. This post is not about the evils of common core though I am not a big fan. As a parent, it is easy to feel powerless and frustrated by the fact we can not control the outcome of our kids.
If you are in next generation ministry you have 40 hours a year to influence the life of a child if you are a parent you have roughly 3000 hours. How will you spend those precious hours?
That stat has created a revolution in ministry to families that didn’t exist 20 years ago. The implications of that stat should force parents and leaders to do a couple of things.
How are we doing with our children? Can our children answer questions such as:
- What is sin?
- Who is Jesus?
- What did Jesus do?
- Why do you and I need Jesus to save us?
- How do we receive the salvation that Jesus offers?
It is important that we be careful with our precious children. We do not want to walk them into making a decision to follow Christ without an intentional plan for walking with them down the road of discipleship. Our ministry to children will be measured by disciples, not decisions. In the video below, Trevin Wax offers some practical suggestions on teaching your children the gospel.
- Repetition is essential.
- Choose your language carefully.
- Don’t underestimate your kids’ understanding.
I am not Amish and don’t churn my butter. I actually love technology and new things but I think events like Black Friday and disposable everything does more damage to our society than good. We have this obsession with new. When is the last time you repaired anything? Everything we own is new until it’s not anymore then we discard it and replace it and not repair it. Why fix my TV for 200.00 when I can get a new one for 300? We have a society that no longer sees the value in old things. We even want a new version of our old things and call it retro. We live in a society that used to value “growing old” together, now it seems everywhere you turn people are cashing in relationships to chase new things they think will make them happy but what we don’t know is that this new relationship will eventually break and if we don’t learn to value old things we will never understand or experience the power of redemption. The long-term damage consumerism causes reaches farther into our lives than just our stuff, it erodes the fabric of our relationship because our desire to have new things slowly makes its way into the most important relationships in our lives.