Sometimes our mission of “God’s Word, Every Child” prompts the question, “why children?” The tone varies from honest curiosity to judgmental condemnation.
On a pragmatic level, we know youth are often the easiest audience to accept the Truth. We also know that children who accept this Truth go on to lead more spiritually vibrant lives later in life.
The spiritual development of children is also necessary to safeguard the future of the Church. Particularly challenging is that the Church finds itself in an era of rapid paradigmatic shifts due to globalization, urbanization, the emerging middle class and the rapid adoption of digital transmission illustrious to our times. In a global knowledge economy dominated by technology, the need for children’s evangelism and discipleship is not simply a foundational component to be achieved, but a critical need more acute than ever before. From ABY
- Three out of four Americans (72%, a record high) believe that religion is “losing its influence on American life”
- “1 in 3 religious “nones” (31%) say it has become easier to be a person with no religion in the U.S.” 
These statistics should sound an alarm to the Church, overriding other priorities. Research has regularly reported that almost 3/4 of believers worldwide accept Christ before the age of 18, with the percentages dropping drastically after age 14. According to Barna, “By the age of 13, one’s spiritual identity is largely set in place.” And children are fully capable of evangelism.
Take, for instance, Pastor Joseph Tshitende’s church in Democrat Republic of Congo. What started as an outreach to children turned into a club with 120 kids, 4 adults, who were simply curious to find out what the club was about, and a variety of family members who escorted their children to the opening worship of the club and stayed to learn more. The club kept growing as the children shared their newfound faith and knowledge, invited their friends, neighbors and family members continued meeting on a weekly basis. Now the church has 8,000 attenders, 1,500 of those being children.
The children are our future. When equipped, these children will take on the work of growing the church for generations to come. It’s one of the reasons we are so passionate about reaching children and youth with God’s Word. Here are the top 10 countries OneHope is currently working in with the largest child and youth populations in the 4/14 Window. Will you partner with us in reaching the next generation?
- 5 steps to more effective children’s ministry
- Syrian refugee children in crisis
- Parents must talk to kids about 50 Shades of Grey