Make them My Disciples

Compiled by Hanlie Wentzel on 10 Feb 2018.

little boy studying the scriptures.

Our kids are vital members of the body of Christ now, and like every other member of the body we should be concerned with providing opportunities for them to meet Jesus, grow in faith, and become true disciples of the Way. The best way to do that is to provide age appropriate instruction, inspiration, and opportunities for growth and service. –Isaac Hopper

The Bible is the perfect tool in training our children through discipline and discipleship. We should never underestimate the power of God through His Word. -Genna

What Kids Really Need

#1—Kids Need God
(1 Chronicles 29:11; Proverbs 2:4-5; Acts 17:24-25)

The Situation: Children ask, “What is God really like?” Schools, friends,
television, and other sources expose children to a variety of ideas. Much
of what kids hear about “god” does not even resemble the God who
reveals Himself in the Bible.

The Solution: God delights to reveal Himself to all who seek Him. Knowing
God personally and enjoying His greatness is the highest privilege
of every Christian. The Bible is the one inspired place to find out about
God—His personality, His attributes, His Names, and His character.

#2—Kids Need Reverence
(Luke 12:4-5; Philippians 2:12)

The Situation: Children wonder, “Why fear God?” Though kids often
hear about God’s love, they rarely learn about the fear of the Lord. They
are largely unaware that God commands people to fear and revere Him.
As a result, children show disrespectful, indifferent, or flippant attitudes
toward God.

The Solution: To those who fear Him, God promises deliverance, love,
protection, restoration, and reward. Those who know the Lord God Almighty
possess a deep reverence and awe for Him. The “fear of the Lord”
provides exclusive access to the halls of knowledge and wisdom. In fact,
learning cannot take place until we fear the Lord! (Proverbs 1:7).

#3—Kids Need Worship
(1 Chronicles 29:11; Revelation 4:11)

The Situation: Children wonder, “Why bother with worship?” Many kids
understand very little about the purpose of worship. Rather than focus
on God, they often center on themselves. Children want to be “entertained”
not “bored.” They lose sight of the fact that God is the primary
audience.

The Solution: God made people for the express purpose of worshiping
Him. Worship is our primary purpose in life—not an optional activity
each week to endure or to enjoy. Worship means “worth-ship.” We give
God special devotion and honor because He is worth-y of worship.

#4—Kids Need Faith
(John 20:30-31; Hebrews 11:1,6)

The Situation: Children ask, “Can you prove it?“ Some kids are taught to
believe that the scientific method is the ultimate test of validity. In their
worldview, people who believe in miraculous events are simple-minded and
uninformed. Faith is a weakness that cannot stand up to scientific reasoning.

The Solution: In reality, faith forms a bridge that connects truth and hope.
At one end, the bridge of faith rests securely upon the tangible foundation
of Scripture. The events revealed in the Bible are factual and historically
reliable. On the other end, the bridge of faith reaches toward God’s intangible
promises yet to come. Because we know certain things that are
true, we have faith. Because we believe, certain things will become true.

#5—Kids Need the Bible
(Joshua 1:8; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The Situation: Children ask, “What’s so special about the Bible?” Billions of
beautiful and interesting books are printed every year. Some children treat
God’s Word like any other book, missing out on its guidance and power.

The Solution: The Bible stands alone, the only Book from God—His
inspired, relevant, and life-changing message. God has preserved His
Word through the centuries so that it might continue to speak to us
today and transform us tomorrow. Cultivate a deep appreciation for the
richness and power of Scripture so the Bible will become your child’s
trusted companion.

#6—Kids Need Direction
(Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 4:14)

The Situation: Kids ask, “Where does this path lead?“ They are looking for
clear direction. Many parents feel inadequate, so they leave academic and
social training to the school and spiritual training to the church—or to
chance. As a result, children wander, or worse, choose dangerous courses.

The Solution: God has given parents primary responsibility to train their
children (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Parents must rise to this challenge, or worldly
influences will win the hearts of their kids.

#7—Kids Need Prayer
(Matthew 7:7-8; James 5:16)

The Situation: Kids wonder, “Will God really answer my prayers?“ Some
children think that God is too big or too busy to hear their requests.
Others feel too awkward or unworthy to speak with Him. Still others stop
praying after a request is not granted.

The Solution: God yearns to hear from His children! The Lord speaks to
us via the Scriptures. We respond to Him via prayer. God created people
to enjoy unbroken communion with Him. Prayer can be as natural as eating
and sleeping.

#8—Kids Need Jesus
(John 14:6, 20:29-31; Matthew 28:18-20)

The Situation: Children ask, “Is Jesus Christ real?” Some people honor Jesus
as an important historical figure, some worship Him as God, still others
reject Jesus and use His name with contempt or indifference. Many children
are confused about His true identity and don’t know Him as Savior.

The Solution: Though 2000 years have elapsed since He walked the
earth, Jesus Christ remains the central figure of human history. Jesus’
messages, miracles, passion, and triumphant resurrection confirm that
He is truly God and truly Man, the Savior of the world. Children can affirm
Jesus Christ as personal Savior and exalt Him as Lord over all.

#9—Kids Need Character
(Matthew 12:33; Luke 6:45)

The Situation: Some people challenge established Christian virtues.
They ask, “Why value a righteous lifestyle?” Many children grow up
without the benefit of role models who exhibit positive character traits.
Qualities such as honesty, diligence, and respect are in short supply.
Homes and schools do not necessarily reinforce these basic values.

The Solution: “Character” describes who we really are, the person we
choose to be. Jesus modeled character traits all Christians can develop.
We build character through thousands of choices, one decision at a time.
Outside, everyone can see our attitudes and actions (our reputation).
Inside, only God knows about our hidden thoughts and dreams.

#10—Kids Need the Holy Spirit
(Galatians 5:16; John 16:13)

The Situation: Children wonder, “Why do I sometimes do what is
wrong—even when I don’t want to?” For many kids, the spiritual life feels
like a tug-of-war. Evil pulls on one side and good tugs on the other. The
flesh battles against the Spirit.

The Solution: The “Spirit of life” has set Christians free from the power of
sin and death. God’s Spirit indwells (lives permanently inside) every Christian
(1 Corinthians 6:19), but many Christians are not filled (directed and
empowered) with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). To walk in the Spirit,
Christians must be under the full influence of God.

#11—Kids Need God’s Worldview
(Acts 1:8; Acts 17:24-28)

The Situation: Kids ask, “Why should I care about people on the other
side of the globe?“ Many children are nearsighted and self-focused,
showing concern only for what immediately affects them. They are
largely indifferent about what matters most to God.

The Solution: Our worldview is the lens through which we interpret
everything we see. It becomes the basis for our beliefs and decisions.
A correct worldview begins with the infinite, personal God revealed in
the Bible. God wants people to see the world from His perspective. The
Scriptures form the framework for living out a consistent, Christ-centered
worldview.

#12—Kids Need Discipleship
(Matthew 28:18-20, Deuteronomy 4:9)

The Situation: Many kids wonder, “If Christianity is so special, why don’t
Christians live like Jesus?“ Children readily distinguish between what
they read in the Bible and what they see in real life.

The Solution: Jesus calls all His followers to unswerving allegiance to
Him—and His word is never negotiable. Being a disciple is much more than
“part-time Christianity.” First and foremost, Jesus Christ calls the Church to
make disciples. Discipleship is Christ’s sole weapon to win the world. He
never mentioned “Plan B.” The vitality of the next generation of Christians
hinges on the willingness of parents and churches to disciple children.

#13 Kids Need Wisdom
(Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9)

The Situation: Kids wonder, “How can I make good choices?“ On issues
related to their values, character, and conduct, many children are
exposed to very conflicting perspectives. They are pulled in divergent
directions and need help to choose wisely.

The Solution: Proverbs 1-9 is God’s guidebook for parents to direct their
children. These chapters extol the way of wisdom and condemn a life of
folly. The last chapter personifies wisdom and foolishness as two opposing
voices that beckon to children. Wisdom calls youth to follow a
righteous path (9:1-12). Folly cries out for kids to listen to ill-advised ideas
(9:13-18).

– extract from Disciple Land

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