Seek and You Will Find………What You Seek
Frequently, church visitors come seeking a church that have various avenues of meeting the needs of the modern family. If they are young enough to have children or teens still at home, their questions are many with regards to children’s ministry, student ministry, and summer activities for that age group. They may ask about recreation plans for the youth and children, outings, music training, and ways to help with the struggles young people face. Ironically, I don’t remember anyone asking me for a very long time about the qualifications of our student or children’s leaders (staff or volunteer), the content of the curricula from which we teach, and the doctrinal beliefs that our church will be using to teach a new generation.
As the “activity” side has come to have more concern for parents than the Biblical application side has for those young folks that do participate with us, the outcome has also begun to reflect the fact that sound Biblical teaching has taken a back seat to activities.
That standard that is the “bar” by which a church’s ministry is measured is creating issues that we have not faced before. We are rearing a generation that is very knowledgeable of the rules of baseball, soccer, and football, and could not recite the Ten Commandments, the Creation account of Genesis, the key points of the Gospel so that friends can be saved, or the basic verses of Scripture that are viable “ammunition” to use when asked basic questions about one’s faith. Our standard is no longer how we measure up to the stature of Christ, but are we “as good as” the other Christians we know at work, on the recreation fields, band contests, and peers that are our social contacts.
Failure to demand strong, Bible-based teaching from the church as well as in the schedules of home life while the children still reside there is not just an oversight. It is dereliction of doing what we are called to do as parents in guarding, teaching, and preparing a new generation for life. The command of God was for us to train our children in Godliness. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:7-8).
This religion of “me and thee”, as George Gallup, Jr. calls it, along with a hunger for experience over knowledge, has contributed to a tremendous diversity of beliefs, many of which are antithetical to biblical principles. These unhealthy attitudes have crept into the church, as evidenced by the following results of a survey of church lay leaders by researcher George Barna:
· only 53 percent believe that there are moral truths that are absolute
- 43 percent say there is no such thing as the Holy Spirit
- 33 percent believe that Jesus never had a physical resurrection
- 19 percent believe Jesus sinned while on earth.
(Source: “Lost in America” by Tom Clegg and Warren Bird).