After a week at Impact, our student ministry camp, I am once again convinced that the body of Christ gets it right when we invest in leading the next generation to know and treasure Jesus Christ. A commitment to help them come to love Him, however, involves much more than simply teaching them some principles, laying out some ideas about acceptable behavior and helping them memorize a few verses. All of these are good things, but are no substitute for giving them a genuine model of deep affection for the Lord. Their love for Christ will be more caught than taught.
Next week, we will begin a three-week series of sermons called “Generations,” and look at the biblical exhortation to parents and churches to provide a vibrant example of godliness that flows directly from the kind of loving relationship with the Lord that is contagious. Until our kids see that we really do love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, all of our programs and activities and teaching will produce little affection for Him.
The psalmist explains it in Psalm 78 and gives us simple instruction that we often forget or underestimate:
That they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments,(Psalm 78:5-7)
I long to see a new generation develop a passion for Jesus Christ. I long to see them treasure Him above all things. But I cannot just teach lessons about it, preach sermons on it and write articles about it. I must demonstrate an authentic passion for Him myself and encourage others to do the same–to live for Christ in such a dynamic way that they will delight to follow an appealing model.