What Our Children Really Need

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There is a growing movement in both children’s and youth ministry toward making sure that everything we teach is about the “Gospel” with the goal of encouraging students to make a sincere profession of faith. Yes, our children need to be saved and embrace Jesus as their Savior. That is of greatest importance. But I wonder if, in the process, we inadvertently minimize the need to put an explicit Gospel presentation within the larger context of ongoing, progressive spiritual nourishment. Carefully consider these words by Tedd Tripp,

Let’s rethink this matter of getting your children saved. Perhaps one of the problems with this perspective is that it looks for a major spiritual event of salvation and misses the spiritual process of nurturing your children… Even when the Spirit illuminates and quickens them to life, it is a life of progressive growth.

 What your children need is spiritual nurture. They need to be taught the ways of God. They need to be instructed in the character of God so that they can learn a proper fear of God. They need to understand that all of life rushes toward the day when we shall stand before God and give account. They need to learn about the pervasive effects of the fall on the human condition. They need to understand subtleties of the malignancy of their own hearts. They need to know the dangers of trusting in themselves. They need answers to the great problems of life. They need to understand the difference between presuppositional thinking and empiricism. In short, they need instruction.

(Shepherding A Child’s Heart, copyright©1995, page 54.)

(Photo courtesy Phanlop88 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

Written by Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and author. She has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and writes God-centered curriculum for Children Desiring God.

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