By Steve Horn, Pastor First Baptist Church Lafayette
One of the stated core values of our church is that we will share the Gospel with the next generation. We are passionate about this in our church’s ministry. We are unashamed in pursuit of this passion. We believe that this is a command of God from the beginning. Consider just one passage of Scripture:
- Deuteronomy 6:7 And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
If we believe in the reality of Heaven and Hell, how could we not be willing to do whatever it takes to make sure we communicate effectively the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How important is this? Some of you have heard these things before, but I think it is good that we hear them again.
George Barna concluded that, “those between the ages of 5 and 13 have a 32 percent probability [of accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior]; individuals in the 14 to 18 age range have a 4 percent probability; and people between the ages of 19 and death have a 6 percent chance. In other words, we have the greatest window of opportunity for reaching people with the gospel before they reach their teenage years. The chances of seeing their spiritual life change after that point are relatively slim.”
We are spending the week investing in the next generation. Using the curriculum of our Convention’s Publisher, LifeWay, we are using Psalm 139:23-24 as a key text.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.
The students are learning this week that Jesus sees, Jesus knows, and Jesus saves. These are important truths for all of us to know.
I am thankful for our staff who coordinated this entire week and the maintenance staff who have one of their hardest weeks of the entire year. Both of these groups will be exhausted when Friday comes, but will still have much to do in order to get us ready for Sunday.
Ultimately, we couldn’t do this week without a volunteer force of teachers and helpers. The close to 900 students that will be on our campus this week equates to a large elementary school.
Why do we do it? It’s all about the next generation!