In a couple weeks your ministers will be heading to two different camps, Tony to camp Silver Maple and myself to Preacher Training Camp. Though the activities will be different, the goal is the same: train the next generation of Christians. This got me thinking about training younger children in church and what we can do to better equip them for the future.
Classes – The most immediate way we can train children for the future is through our Bible classes. Children need the Bible teaching that class provides. It’s important to note though that only some of their training will take place here, most of their training occurs in the other two points.
Example – The training of children is seen in the example of those around them. This could be in their teachers, ministers, elders, and is definitely seen in their parents. Your example as a parent stands out above all others. Children trained by even the most spiritually minded among us, will be handicapped in their development of faith by parents who aren’t dedicated to Christ.
– Lastly, if we want well equipped leaders in the next generation we need to make sure they’re being influenced for good. People (teachers, elders, ministers, friends) influence your children, make sure they’re good. Media (movies, music) influences your children, make sure what they see and hear is good. Placing the proper influences in your children’s life can drastically shape the faith development of the next generation.
Training children is not an easy task, but it’s worthwhile and needed more and more as our culture steadily pulls away from God. Camps and classes on their own won’t help equip the next generation. It takes dedicated parents, good influences, and Christ-like examples all year long.