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“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21–23, NIV).
Ministry leaders need to grasp God’s big-picture story in order to teach kids who God really is. We are speaking to one of the first generations to be raised by biblically illiterate parents. Ideas about sin, justice, and love are no longer taught as precepts of Scripture, if they are ever taught at all. Kids don’t know Jonah from James in a time when a biblical worldview is more important than ever.
The truth of the gospel is that God loves us and pursues us in spite of ourselves, not because of ourselves. However, when it comes to the way we walk kids through the stories in Scripture, it can be easy to make it about practicing virtues or obeying the rules.
It’s not an understatement to say that our young people are in an identity crisis. The traditional grounding of our identity is our family, but in the majority of the Western world the family is no longer stable or it is already distorted and broken. In addition to this, in our abstract world we like to tell people, “You are who you feel you are.” We emphasize that no one can tell you who you are but YOU!
As leaders and those who are involved in ministering to kids during the very formative years of life, we need to be aware that we are helping to shape their understanding of the freedom that Christ purchased for them on the cross. Jesus said in John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (NLT). Young or old, Jesus provides freedom in our life when we invite Him to make our heart His home.
On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States determined that marriage between homosexual couples would be legally recognized in all fifty states. No doubt, our kids are hearing all about this topic both on the TV and, many times, on the playground. It’s hard for any parent to control the context in which their child may have conversations regarding this important topic. Many Christian parents have struggled with the question, “How do I talk to my kids about this?”