Sabbath: Discipling Children
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Read for This Week’s Study: Ps. 127:3-5; Deut. 6:6-7; Luke 2:40-52; Matt. 18:1-6, Matt. 10-14; Mark 10:13-16. gless04

Memory Text: Do you hear what these children are saying? they asked him. Yes, replied Jesus, have you never read, From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise? (Matthew 21:16, NIV).

In our desire to preach to the world and to make disciples from every nation, we must not forget a whole class of people – children.

Christian studies regarding children and youth differ about many things. Nevertheless, across denominational lines one thing seems consistent: the majority of Christians have committed their lives to Christ at a relatively young age. Fewer converts come from the older populace. Many churches apparently miss this important fact in their evangelistic planning, directing the greatest proportion of their resources toward the adult population. Christ’s earliest disciples also seem to have underestimated the value of children’s ministry. Jesus rejected that attitude and made room for children, even giving them priority.

Hence, we must do the same.

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Sabbath: Discipling Children — 14 Comments

  1. Children are the future of tommorrow. And unless we have a mind like a child we shall not enter the Kingdom of God.

    A mind like a child represents the true and sincere fellowship of God. It binds us to nature and to the acknowledgement that Jesus is Lord.

    Like(16)
  2. Children are born with their MINDS like ablank slate,if any thing is stained onto da slate, it will still be realise eventhough rubbed off. if the right info is not given unto the chn at an early stage, correcting them will be hard.

    Research shows that almost 75% of SDA christians were not born to SDA families and over 75% of those born in families of church members end up not in the church, We have to bare in mind that our children are not born Adventists but are just nurtured to become, if not properly nurtured/discipled unto Christ, there will be no SDA church tomorrow. It's our obligation to train them that the inspired words " that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style" Psalms 146:12, may be fulfilled.

    Like(15)
  3. I wish people could realise this urgent fact that we need to make more disciples of children. We can even use our own children to be fishers of men.

    Like(2)
  4. We always face a dilemma when talking about discipling our children. On the one hand we want to pass on to them our love of Jesus so they learn to love him at an early age. On the other hand we want our children to grow up as thinkers, thinking for themselves rather than just parroting the thoughts of others. At one extreme we tend towards brainwashing a child into Christian thinking and behaviour; and at the other extreme a child is led towards questioning everything until they finally believe nothing.

    Christian development should be a bit like rock-climbing. You hang on to two safe holding places while exploring for a new third safe position. Teaching a child what to hang onto while providing a safe place to explore their new ideas and questions is at the heart of parenting and teaching.

    My parents were not phased when my mind went metaphysical and I started questioning the existence of God and the differences between Christian and non-Christian religions. Likewise when I attended College my lecturers encouraged us to think through different models to gain a better understanding of the big questions of life.

    My home and my college provided me with a safe place to explore and develop my ideas and it was not until I was much older that I recognised how very fortunate I was. If I had developed in an environment where I was served up with a catechism of what to believe I think that my faith would have fractured a long time ago.

    Discipling children is about teaching and modeling how we learn.

    Like(16)
  5. Maurice, I agree that it is so important to have the two holding places while exploring the third. Many of our youth have left the church because their teachers wanted them to explore new ideas, without giving them the safe holds to hold onto while doing the exploring. They were left hanging and often choose to forget about the safe holds. I pray that in their quiet and reflective moments of life, they will remember the safe holds and realize that some of their explorations have resulted in causing them to rebel.

    Like(2)
  6. This lesson is so timely for me, I've been praying for my children and grandchildren all of their lives. Some have moved to different parts of the U.S., only four out of nine remain here within our vicinity. With three of them who are not in church school nor the best community, I've just started doing Friday night bible studies with. They are so hungry for the word and very enthusiastic! I can see why Jesus says we must be like little children to enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

    Like(4)
    • [Moderator's note: Please use your full name.]

      That's true; mothers are the most respected teachers of their children. Jesus, Moses. Desire of ages page 70 by ellen white.

      Like(0)
  7. The value we place on our children is reflected in the children's division budgets,space allocation and scheduled calendar events in the church programs. While we do not sacrifice children on altars of fire today, are we sacrificing them through neglect or severe limitations in these areas?

    Like(2)
  8. It seems as if the main focus (of what I have observed) is one of making sure that we make SDA's out of everyone including children. Am I glad I was raised an SDA? Of course I am. However, the picture of
    God is the most important (it seems to me) presentation we can give children. I was in and out of the church for years because from the time I was a child, God was presented as punitive, exacting, and severe. The only thing that kept me coming back was my mother saying, "Never give up on God." I kept searching for who God really is. Once I realized that he "IS LOVE" it all made sense.

    Like(5)
    • Larry, thank you for your testimony. I agree with you that a right picture of God is the most important thing we can give our children. Everything depends on that. We must know that God loves us and that His character is love before we can and will love Him. Serving from a sense of fear only breeds legalism, and that does not result in a very loving character.

      But let's take that a little further: Contrary to what some teach, I believe that everyone on this earth is a child of God - even if a lost child (like the lost son or the lost sheep). Thus, when we return to our Father God from wandering in the wilderness of sin (however little or much), it becomes our job to represent the character of God rightly to all His lost children around us. They need to see the love of God in the way we relate to them.

      Now that's a challenge!

      Sure glad for your mother's advice!

      Like(2)
  9. If "everyone on this earth is a child of GOD". Please explain the passage in John 8:41-44.

    Quote from NKJV

    41 You do the deeds of your father.”

    Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”

    42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

    Like(1)
  10. We have a very nice topic this week; "Discipling Children". I hope this lesson will address our problem with our youth during Sabbath afternoons. Where are our children during this time.

    If our children are in the church in the afternoon of the Sabbath, praise God because our church is just one of the few churches which hold AY programs. If our children are in the mall, this is may be because our church is closed in the afternoon.

    I think it's now time to revive our AY programs and as a support to our youth let us always find time to go back to church in the afternoon.

    Like(2)

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