Starting With Me :: For The Next Generation
[ECC Covington Campus, Lead Pastor Scott Moore & Student Pastor Kurt Petersheim]
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NLT)
Thinking that this doesn't apply to me (because I don't have kids or I'm beyond child-bearing age) doesn't mean that I don't have equal stake in the development of the next generation.
What do we do?
We look to the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit (never one without the other) for guidance.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11, 12 NLT)
So we want to equip the next generation to follow in our footsteps (and our teaching).
Kurt begins to explain the end of the book of Genesis where the Israelites are gaining their freedom and leaving captivity (the Exodus). This 40 year span of time is saturated with God's miracles and the manifestation of a Holy God with a pillar of fire.
Now the time has come where God will lead them into the Promised Land and He will wean them off of the hand-to-hand provision. Instead of manna from heaven, they will farm the land. Instead of the pillar of fire visible to all to prove God's presence, He will give them a small ark and a tabernacle. The point is, this next generation will not have seen or experienced God like the current one has. This next generation will need instruction, need the stories of the past, and need to see adults living out their worship and faith.
“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. “The Lord your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give you when he made a vow to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. When you have eaten your fill in this land, be careful not to forget The Lord, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 6:4-12 NLT)
17% people attend church on Sunday
80% kids who graduate high school and youth group..abandon their faith
What can I do?
- Volunteer in ministry
- Sponsor a kid for Summer Camp and/or a mission trip
- Pray for the next generation
If you have the ability to do any of these things, then you have the responsibility to do these things.
Use the resources that ECC provides to help partner together in their growth.
- Adventureland // birth-PreK (Parent Cue//First Look)
- E-Town // K-5th grade (Parent Cue//God Time Card)
- MidPoint & HighPoint // middle & high school (Parent Link email)
Get your kids involved.
This may sound too difficult, too overwhelming or too RADICAL. But that's what's disciples are..radical.
It takes an entire body of believers to raise next generation disciples.