Importance of Church to the Life of Your Children
Introduction: Today the church has become institutionalized and satisfied with the status quo. Forty years ago, it was simply a matter of opening the front door and the people would come. That is not true in 2010. Today, we have a large percentage of TWO full generations that do not attend church. Many children that grew up in homes void of God are now having children of their own, who may also grow up in homes void of God. The world that we live in continues each day to boldly present a message that is in direct opposition to the truth of God's Word.
Sadly, rather than going out and challenging that ungodly message, the church has decided to withdraw from the world and isolate itself. Rather than being the salt and light God has called us to be, we have found it more "comfortable" to simply withdraw and stay to ourselves. We feel safe in our churches since we are with "our own kind."
We have OUR OWN TV and radio stations.
We have OUR OWN books and magazines.
We have OUR OWN music and our OWN schools.
Rather than using these great resources to reach the lost, we have found it is much easier (and more profitable) to simply "preach to the choir" and isolate ourselves from the rest of the world.
This message today is a wake up call to God’s people who love the Lord.
God did not call us to isolate ourselves from this world, but to go out into the world and share the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
Did you not read in the Bible that we are called to go out into the "highways" and invite the lost to know Christ?
God did not call us to hide our light under a bushel, but to share that light with this dark world we live in!
God is looking for men and women with "spiritual obedience and courage" to take His message to the lost and hurting of this world.
There is a world outside of the four walls of the church that is lost, hurting, and looking for answers. To reach these people, we have to do what Jesus did and GO TO THEM. Understand that when you take Christ into the world, the people of the world will not always be nice. They have lived their life rejecting God, so most likely will not be open to your message.
However, never forget that your labor for the Lord is not in vain. Even those who reject what you are saying have at least had a seed planted in their life by you. Jesus told us that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. The church may have forgotten the most important part of being a Christian, and that is we are here TO serve, NOT TO BE served.
Since our recent messages have been dealing with issues in the Christian Home, and having said the above, let me draw your attention to the theme of this message. What are our children going to be like, and likely to be engaged in spiritually in the 21st century?
In Isaiah 54:13 we read, "And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD, and great shall be the peace of the children." Here we are instructed to teach our children spiritual truths.
In the III epistle of John verse 4 we read, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." What a heritage, knowing that our children raised in our homes are found "walking literally in truth." The truth here refers to the "Word of God."
Parents, and for that matter grandparents, I rejoice greatly when I hear of your children walking in the principles, precepts and commandments of the Word of God. On the other hand, it hurts when I hear of children who are no longer walking with the Lord nor attending services in the House of God. How can the former come about?
First: Lay truth before your child: Teach them reverence for the Word of God. Teach them the Fear of God in their lives. Use your life as an example to demonstrate godliness before them. Often what you do in your walk is far more powerful than what you say to them.
Second: Commit your child to the Lord. Remember from Psalm 127:3 "Lo children are an heritage from the Lord…" They are God's gift, but not play toys. They are loaned to us, to be trained by us, for His glory.
Third: Remember that one day your children will leave your home and God will take-up where you left-off. God will take-up either in blessing them or in disciplining them. Take great comfort in Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Now the question: "How should we train our children so they will be walking in "The Truth?" Let me share three ways. Two of these will be very brief; the third very extensive.
Number 1: If you want to have your children "walking in the truth" TEACH THEM TO HAVE REVERENCE FOR GOD. Every child has the capacity to be aware of and to KNOW GOD.
Teach them that God made the universe in all its grandeur. Show them the wonders of God's creation which all belongs to Him, and for which we are to praise and worship Him.
Teach them the wonders of life as you study Psalm 139 with them. Teach them that they came from God, and belong to God, and because of that relationship, one day they will give an account to God for their life.
Teach them to have a reverent fear of God, His holiness, sin and its consequences, and a fear of disobedience to His Word.
Teach them to love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their mind, and with all their strength.
Teach them to develop a scheduled quiet time with the Lord. Show them how to read their Bible and meditate on the scriptures.
Teach them to develop a prayer list, and to spend time in praise unto the Lord for answers to prayer.
Number 2: If you want to have your children "walking in the truth" TEACH THEM TO HAVE REVERENCE FOR THE WORD OF GOD.
Teach them that the Word of God is a SPECIAL Book, a HOLY Book written by God for them. It ought to have a prominent place in the home and its truths ought to be demonstrated in your lives.
Teach them Bible stories along with the principles of life they represent
Teach them to memorize scripture. If I had it to do over again with our children, I would have had them memorize whole chapters in the Bible instead of just individual verses.
Teach them to have reverence for the Word of God and you will have passed on to them a spiritual heritage that will always go with them and keep them grounded wherever they go.
Number 3: If you want to have your children "walking in the truth" TEACH THEM REVERENCE FOR THE HOUSE OF GOD. Psalms 122:1 says, "I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord." Children grow up to attach importance to the things that are important to their parents. Someone said, "The church is the family's best friend and its confines should be the child's second home." The one tool God has used through the centuries, and will use until Jesus returns, is HIS CHURCH. Admittedly, the church is not perfect, but it is the tool created especially by God to reach the world for Christ and it is indispensable to a Christian and his family. Remember the church is not the four walls of this building. The church of Jesus Christ is made up of BLOOD-BOUGHT, SAVED, and BAPTIZED people.
So why DO I love the Church?
First: Because Christ loved the Church as we read in Ephesians 5:25-28. As Christ loved the Church, so I love the church.
Second: Because I made life-time friendships through the Church. Over the years my dearest friends have come from the Halthrope Community Church, the Overlea Baptist Church, the Perry Hall Baptist Church, the Cherrydale Baptist Church, the Odenton Baptist Church I pastored for 23 years, the Grace Bible Baptist Church, the Arlington Baptist Church, the Foot of Ten Bible Church, the High Point Baptist Chapel, the Wagontown Union Chapel and now the Green Street Baptist Chapel.
Third: Because my life's decisions have been made with the Church in mind. I can honestly say ministering in the church is not only my job, it has become my life.
Now here are TEN SUGGESTIONS on teaching your children or grandchildren the importance of the House of God. Perhaps someone is saying, “Ok, Pastor, are these your opinions?” No, they are scriptural in foundation, and we practiced each of them in our home.
First: Teach them the importance of Church attendance by example. There should be no discussion as to whether or not the family will be going to church on any Sunday for Sunday school, the morning service, Sunday evening, or on any Wednesday night. It should be understood that yours is a Christian family and your family is attending church regularly. And by the way, this is a family affair, not just for the youngsters or for one parent. Everyone in the family should march in and sit together in the House of God.
Neglecting any services allows your children to question, "Oh, well if it isn't important to them, why should it be important to me?"
When I was growing up we took it for granted that:
SUNDAY SCHOOL was a time to teach the Word of God.
SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE was a time to hear preaching of the Word of God.
SUNDAY EVENING SERVICE was a time of fellowship and preaching, and
WEDNESDAY EVENING SERVICE was set aside for Bible Study and prayer.
You ought to build the right habits of being here for every service, and you should maintain that habit at all cost. In Hebrews 10:25 we read, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Some say forcing a child to attend the church services will turn him against the church one day. No, my friends, it is the HYPOCRISY in the home that makes a SHALLOW MOCKERY OF THE CHURCH. There should be no question concerning Sunday school, Sunday morning worship, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, nor any other special service. TEACH THE IMPORTANCE OF CHURCH ATTENDANCE BY EXAMPLE.
Second: Start preparation on Saturday night. Begin to prepare for the Lord's Day on Saturday evening. Prepare for Sunday like it was a very important day. In fact, it is, for it's the Lord's Day, and time to worship the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings!
This means there should be NO late night TV and NO late visiting on Saturday evening.
The motto on Saturday should be: “Early to bed, early to rise, it's the LORD'S DAY AND WE’RE GOING TO HIS HOME FOR AWHILE.”
On Saturday evening, gather the family around to pray and ask God's blessing on His day. When our children were younger, each Saturday evening just before bed time, each member of the family would pray for their Sunday School teacher and one other area of the church ministry.
Third: Never criticize the church, the pastor or the staff in front of your children. Someone said, “No church is perfect, so if you think you have found the perfect church, don't join it, you'll ruin it!" You are bound to find things wrong with your church. If you have to criticize, do it in your private prayer closet. Many thoughtless words of parental criticism against some little detail in church have turned children against the whole church. Parents, you are the real losers in a case like this, and so are your children.
The wise parent will see to it that the child develops a close relationship with the pastor. The pastor should become his friend. If your child has a problem, bring him or her to me for council. Oh, may I encourage you to take very, very seriously the words of Hebrew 13:7 and 17, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. (17) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
Fourth: Praise and pray for your church, pastor, assistant pastors and staff in the presence of your children. Occasionally invite your child's Sunday school teachers, Christian school teachers, the pastor and his wife, even the youth leaders to your home. Get in line to invite visiting missionaries and guest speakers. Why, because you need to keep godly influences before your family.
Fifth: Discuss their Sunday School lesson at home throughout the week. Encourage your child's work in the C-Clubs, and discuss life and life's events in light of the Word of God with your teenagers.
Sixth: Teach your children the importance of tithing. If you are going to teach the importance of tithing, first you must tithe with I Corinthians 16:2 in mind, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” You might want to explain what is meant by Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Get them to understand that one tenth of what they earn or receive belongs to God. Instruct them to put that amount in the offering plate. It's OK for you to give them something, but it's far better to encourage them to put their own money in the plate.
Remember God has commanded us WHEN TO GIVE, THE AMOUNT TO GIVE, AND THE PLACE TO GIVE IT. I believe if every Christian was honest in their giving, there would be no need to plead for funds, nor would there be any lack of funds to take care of the house of God.
Seventh: Teach your children to be servants. Teach them the joy of helping others. Teach them to minister to the sick and the older folks. Take them out soul-winning with you. Encourage them to give out tracts everywhere to everyone.
Eighth: Teach them age-appropriate Church manners: From I Timothy 3:15, we read “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” Church time is a time to worship, not a time to play. If they act up during a service, immediately take them out. Discipline them to accept that church time is NOT a time to PLAY AROUND. Here are six, simple, church manners to teach your children:
1. No talking, chewing gum or leaving their seats.
2. Sit up, listen to instructions, and sing out from the hymn book.
3. Be especially quiet during the specials and the offering.
4. Follow along in the Bible with the Preacher.
5. Take notes on the sermons when old enough to do so.
Ninth: Do not let other activities take priority over the services of the Church.
The church services ought to be more important than school functions and more important than any sports activity.
The church services ought to have priority over a picnic, outing, or a visit to relatives.
The first time you allow any other activity to come ahead of church time YOU LOSE. The next time you consider missing a church service, it will be easier to miss. Church time is a family affair, NOT FOR ADULTS ONLY WHILE THE CHILDREN STAY HOME.
I believe it is more important to have your children well for Sunday school on Sunday than to be well and ready for school on Monday. But here is what I have witnessed. You keep your sick children home on Sunday, so they can be well for Monday school. I say, NO, NO, NO! You need to keep them home on Friday to get them well for Sunday school. Who are we to seek first? I believe our Bible tells us to SEEK THE THINGS OF GOD FIRST!
Tenth: The Child should build his life around the local Church. As the child grows older, we need to give added emphasis to the activities of the church. It has been said:
A Beginner child ages 4-5 is 90% dependent upon his parents.
A Primary child ages 6-7 is 75% dependent upon his parents.
A Junior child ages 8-12 is 50% dependent upon his parents.
A Junior High Student is 25% dependent upon his parents, and
A High School student is 10% dependent upon his parents.
Now the wise parent will graciously relinquish the parenting, and then run to the church house to aid in the activities that provide that lost percentage the child is no longer dependent upon them for.
As the child grows older, he or she is going to spend more and more time away from home. He will become less dependent upon his parents. HE IS GOING TO GO SOMEWHERE. MAY GOD HELP US TO PROVIDE THROUGH THE CHURCH THE "SOMEWHERE."
This is the reason we must as pastors, children's workers and youth workers increase the number of activities and the time consumed by the activities as the children grow older. By the time your children enter high school, he or she should be so involved in the activities that they will have NO time to run with the WRONG CROWD.
Warning: there will come a time when a teenager will become un-co-operative and decide "I am not going!" Now, please hear me out. IF YOU GIVE IN, YOU ARE MAKING A BIG MISTAKE. If they are not here in church, they will drift into the world with worldly friends and activities.
Movements come and movements go, but God's church will still stand. It will be here to carry out God's plan of world evangelism until Jesus comes. Children should be taught to love the House of God and the people of God. Parents and grandparents, you are the key to training your children, so that they will want to say the words of Psalms 122:1, "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord."
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon “Importance of Church in the Life of Your Children” then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, let me know. Please send an e-mail to, pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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