While at lectures I was reminded that our future does not have to be so bleak. Each night, I sat in the bleachers at lectures. The bleachers were “reserved” for the college students. Or better stated, the college students sat in the bleachers so that the rest of us could sit in more comfortable seats. All week long they gave up their parking spots so that the guests that came each morning to lectures didn’t have to walk so far to attend the daily lectures. But, what impressed me most about these wonderful people is not whether or not they were “compelled” to give up these choice spots, it was their character which I got to witness all week. I saw smiles upon their faces. I saw them holding doors open. I saw them laughing with each other. I saw them courteously step aside. I saw them looking out for each other. I saw the bleachers filled with kids each night. They wanted to be there being encouraged by godly men preaching the word. I saw them show up early to sing praises unto God. I saw them show up during the day lectures. Yes, rather than sleeping in, going to the beach, hanging out in their rooms many college students took the week to sit and listen to God’s word taught. These kids were not great examples on accident. They were great examples because someone showed them that Christianity is more than just a thing we do on Sundays. Being a Christian is something that we are 24-7. It shapes your decisions, not because people compel you, but because God’s word compels you (II Cor. 5:14). I saw hundreds of kids compelled by their love for God. Correction, I saw hundreds of young men and women compelled by their love for God to be servants all week long, especially when it was inconvenient for them to do so. Like when it rained and many of their cars ended up stuck in the mud as a result of it. I never heard one complaint. I did however hear many laughing about it.
As I drove home from lectures I had several hours to think about my experiences. (21 of them to be exact). While I have been preaching a lot about teaching our children. I have been teaching Proverbs on Wednesday nights (a book written by a father to instruct his son). I have even been active in teaching our youth. (I have taught just about all the kids here). But, I couldn’t help but think, am I doing enough? Is a Sunday bible class or a Sunday sermon enough to positively impact these kids’ lives in such a way that they end up like those young men and women at Florida College? I also thought about my own childhood experiences. There were a ton of kids in my home church (more than 20). Of those 20 only three from my generation are faithful (I was talking with a Christian couple during lectures about this very problem and they were almost reserved to the fact that ˝ of all children raised in the church would fall away). My home church experienced greater loss than that. And I am convinced it had nothing to do with whether or not mom and dad were good Christians. It had nothing to so with whether or not the truth was being taught (it was). Today, that same church has seen most of its young people remain faithful to the Lord. (I know because I was just there and all those young kids that were babies when I was in high school are now Christians. What changed? Their work with the young people. When I returned home from college several of us decided it was time to do something about the lack of time we spent with one another. Apparently the work has continued on some level over the last 15 years.
While I am thankful for our quarterly get togethers, our young people need to be spending more than 4-6 times a year with other god fearing people outside of the worship assembly. And as the old saying goes, if I am not a part of the solution, I am a part of the problem. So, with that in mind, I believe it is time that we don’t just look for opportunities to get our children involved with extra-curricular activities. We need to get them involved with extra-curricular activities with other godly people. I am not saying that it is bad for them to be around other kids. They need to be a light in their world as well. I am simply saying that we need to be providing these young people with opportunities to spend more time with those of a like and precious faith. They can even use these opportunities to invite their friends to be around other Christians and see what our faith is all about; to see that our faith is more than just worshipping on Sundays.
With that in mind, I would like to encourage you to let your children, grandchildren, etc participate in a new work I am trying to do here. Once a month, I want to invite them into my home for an afternoon of faith, fellowship and fun. -WTK
Grinnell church of Christ
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Giving Our Children a Bright Future in the Lord's Church
Volume 6 Issue 10