Keeping Watch over the Next Generation
The summer holidays will soon be over, and it is again time for the offspring of our brothers and sisters to prepare for a new school year. I¡¦m sure you¡¦ve all had an enjoyable get-together period with the family. I hope that it wasn¡¦t the fun of fishing or clamming that most attracted you this summer, but rather the feasting at the spiritual banquet during our summer camp, when you were deeply attracted by the great love of our Lord to strive for more growth in your spiritual lives, and to testify whole-heartedly for the Lord.
With the beginning of the new school year in September, some children and youth will switch to a different fellowship for their meetings, and 7 youngsters will transfer from the Children¡¦s Worship to the English Worship. The church has always assigned flocks by school grade level, and used the age-group method when shepherding in its children and youth ministries (including fellowships and Sunday School). This arrangement allows children and youth who are within a few grade levels and years of age of each other to receive the appropriate Biblical teaching and spiritual training. The writer hopes to encourage everyone through this communication to express more concern for the next generation of this church and to pray ardently for our children and youth.
This writer believes that Christian parents play a most important role in the spiritual nurturing and character development of children and youth. Tutors at the church can only assist from the sidelines. The Bible clearly points out that it is the duty of parents to teach and discipline their children ¡V ¡§Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.¡¨ (Ephesians 6:4) Consider that there are 168 hours in a week. Tutors at the church are only in contact with your children for not more than 6 of them (fellowships and Sunday Worship). Their ability to understand, guide and influence your children is quite limited. Christian parents must earnestly pray for themselves and the tutors and ask God to grant grace, love, wisdom and power to raise the next generation.
Besides praying often for tutors and members in service, Christian parents can also use the following means to support the church¡¦s children and English ministries ¡V
1. Maintain more direct communication with the tutors to ascertain their children¡¦s weekly progress and performance. Encourage them to carry out the Biblical Truth in school and at home.
2. Cooperate with the tutors and use the same Biblical principles and standards when teaching, so that children will not be confused.
3. Encourage the children to participate in fellowship gatherings and strictly observe Sunday Worship.
4. Take at least one Sunday in every two months to join the English Worship with your children. That way, besides being able to worship as a family, parents will get to know the spiritual sustenance and needs of their next generation. It is also a show of support for the members serving in the English ministry.
5. Teach the children from infancy to dress properly and neatly for Sunday Worship. Instruct them to go to bed earlier Saturday evening so that they will have sufficient energy on Sunday to worship and listen to the sermon.
6. Remind the children to finish their weekly assignments for Sunday School, take care when using and protect public articles, not be wasteful, maintain cleanliness of the facilities, and return everything to their original locations after use.
This writer hopes that members will be of one mind in the Lord, use Biblical Truth in your teaching and ardently pray for and keep watch over the next generation. May God grant us reverential and obedient children, so that in this dark age the church may continue to be the Golden Lampstand that pleases the Lord.
By: Daniel To