CHILDREN, OUR NEXT GENERATION CHALLENGE
In the 1980's and for almost three decades the focus of the mission world was on the 10/40 Window. This represented 65% of the world’s population living between the north latitudes of 10 degrees and 40 degrees – most of whom had never once heard the good news of Jesus. They were considered unreached. Because of this a major coordinated effort was made by the church globally to do all it could to penetrate this region with the Gospel in obedience to Jesus’ command. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Today the mission world’s focus is on a new challenge. It’s called the 4/14 Window and represents about two billion children of the world between the ages of 4 and 14 who need to be reached with the Good News of Jesus.
Studies show that individuals are most open and receptive to making a personal commitment to Christ between the ages of 4 and 14, and that those who do so at this early stage of life are most likely to continue in their faith commitment.
When Jesus was on earth the disciples tried to scoot some playful children away from him. Jesus scolded them and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14) While the disciples saw only disturbance and distraction – Jesus saw enormous potential. Consider these facts:
· Children represent our hope for the future and are the engine of change in every nation. Nicaragua (where I currently spend considerable time), is a nation steeped in poverty, corruption, drugs, and other vices. We have made our primary focus children. And why? Because we truly believe if we can "Change a Child – we can Change a Nation." It’s our motivating theme.
· Our children will learn and become what their parents, their teachers, and their culture impart to them.
· It takes a village to raise a child. Whether or not you have children yourself, you are a parent in some way to the next generation. “If we can only stop thinking of children as individual property and think of them as the next generation, then we can realize we all have a role to play.” (Charlotte Kasl) Parents rely on the help of many others.
· Without children, people stop planning for a better future and give in to the lower aspect of their nature. They begin to think only about self-preservation.
· The Christian Church at any point in its history is one generation from extinction if we are not focusing on children and functioning as the people of God.
Let us join to love, value, invest in, reach, and build up our children. They are our hope for the future.
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love