A while back, our family visited the National Gem Collection in Washington, D.C. It contains an amazing display of some of the world’s most beautiful gems—diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and more. Each gem is carefully displayed to reflect its many dazzling facets. Each stuns the eyes of the beholder. The value of the collection is beyond comprehension. A priceless national treasure…and yet just infinitesimal—a drop in an infinite ocean—in comparison to the greatness and worth of God!
In his classic work, The Knowledge of the Holy—The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life, A.W. Tozer writes:
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.
The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him—and of her. In all her prayers and labors this should have first place. We do the greatest service to the next generation of Christians by passing on to them undimmed and undiminished that noble concept of God which we received from our Hebrew and Christian fathers of generations past.
(copyright©1961, pages 1, 4)
Too often, the church has fallen short of this obligation, especially in regard to children. It has mistakenly assumed that children do not need, nor can they grasp a biblical vision of God. So the many-faceted, brilliant treasure of who God is, is “brought down to size” and diminished. Sadly, children are given something akin to a piece of rock candy—a gem look-alike that tastes sweet for a moment, but soon dissolves and leaves them dangerously malnourished and “un-awed.”
What about your own church and it’s ministry to children and youth? Do the classes, programs, curricula, etc. rightly reflect and communicate the beauty and awesome grandeur of the incomparable greatness and worth of God? How would you go about evaluating this? Are there specific changes that could and should be made in order to elevate the concept of God in children’s and youth ministries? (And also in our homes!)
Parents, here is something you can do toward that end: Encourage the children’s and youth ministry leaders at your church to attend at our National Conference. The line-up of the following plenary speakers—Mark Vroegop, John Piper, Bruce Ware, Albert Mohler, David Michael—reflects our deep desire to pass on to the next generation… “that noble concept of God that we received from our Hebrew and Christian fathers of generations past.” Here is a special invitation you can pass on to your children’s and youth ministry leaders.
(Image courtesy of Boykung at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)