Nov 22, 2017

Will the Next Generation Know What Truth Is?

Remember this verse?

"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free."  John 8:32

One of the most important things you and I do as children's ministry leaders, is to help kids know the truth.

But that is becoming more and more challenging, isn't it?

Truth is perceived as relative.  Postmodernism has led us to the point where society says there is no "absolute truth."  What is right for you is right for you and what is right for me is right for me.  Everyone does what is right in their own eyes.  A 2016 study that analyzed 376 million Facebook users’ interactions with over 900 news outlets found that people tend to seek information that aligns with their views.

Fake news is mingled in with truth.  Kids are bombarded with hundreds of stories and information bits each day.  Anyone can report anything they want and spread it online to thousands of people with just a click.  This results in fake news being mixed in with the truth.  If it's online, then it must be true, right?  Often it's hard for adults to know the difference, much less kids.  Truth has become very murky.

Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired magazine said,  “Truth is no longer dictated by authorities, but is networked by peers.  For every fact there is a counterfact and all these counterfacts and facts look identical online, which is confusing to most people.”

Truth is rejected.  Relative truth leads kids down a pathway that rejects moral absolutes.  This means a fixed moral code is not accepted.  Claims of truth are met with "You are intolerant."

Truth is being replaced with personal emotion.  In late 2016, Oxford Dictionaries selected “post-truth” as the word of the year, defining it as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
People don’t want to BE informed, they want to FEEL informed.  -Roger Ailes
So how can we prepare the next generation of believers to know and walk in the truth of God's Word? Let's look at a few ways to help them know and walk in the truth.
Misinformation is not like a plumbing problem you fix.  It is a social condition, like crime, that you must constantly monitor and adjust to.  -Tom Rosenstiel
We must renew our commitment to helping kids identify and adhere to truth.  We must equip them to examine everything through a Biblical worldview.  Does this line up with God's Word?  Does this reflect the heart of Jesus?  

We must show kids the real truth.  The best way to know fake truth is to know real truth.  When kids know the teachings and doctrines of God's Word, they can then identify false truth.  Kids will see and know that things that are different are not the same. 

We must help kids be able to defend the truth.  We must help kids know why we believe what we believe.  Apologetics are more needed than ever before.  Kids must be able to contend for their faith. 
The crisis we face about ‘truth’ and reliable facts is predicated less on the ability to get people to believe the *wrong* thing as it is on the ability to get people to *doubt* the right thing.  -Jamais Cascio
It's time we start teaching with the goal of giving kids a solid faith foundation.  Fluff must be replaced with a focus on the foundational truths of God's Word.  This can be done with teaching series like this one - Pranksters.   

We must show them how to live out the truth.  Truth must be lived out for it to become an integral part of a person's life.  Head knowledge alone will not suffice.  We must help kids apply the truth to their everyday lives.  Then and only then will we see it stick.  Information must have application if we are going to see transformation.

We must empower kids to be bearers of the truth.  We must empower kids with truth, not so they can "hide it under a bush," but so they can "let it shine."  The light of the truth is not meant to be hid, but rather to be shone in the midst of the darkness.  We must raise up bold bearers of the truth whom God will use to spread the truth throughout the world.

Can I remind you of how critical what you do is?  You hold the baton of truth in your hands.  And God has called you to pass it the generation that is behind you.  You are in the hand-off zone right now.

Teach the truth.

Read the truth.

Hold on to the truth.

Live out the truth.

Invest your time in passing on the truth.

Be passionate about sharing the truth with the next generation.

Defend the truth in love.

Equip the next generation with the truth.

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