The Generation That Didn't Remember the Lord

There is a church building that I drive by every day on the way home.  It is covered with weeds.  The roof is damaged severely.  There is a for sale sign out front.

As I drive past this church building each day, I often wonder what happened?  

I am sure that decades ago there were babies in the nursery.  There were elementary kids giggling and laughing in the hallways. 

I know what happened.  They were not able to successfully pass down the faith to their children and grandchildren.

This verse describes what happened. 

After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works He had done for Israel.  Judges 2:10

The next generation didn't remember the Lord because their parents and grandparents did not pass the faith down to them.  Their parents and grandparents were not intentional about bringing them up in the faith.  They got so busy, that they didn't make time to tell them about what God had done in the past.

The next generation didn't remember the Lord because their parents and grandparents did not read God's Word with them.  Their Bibles collected dust during the week.

The next generation didn't remember the Lord because they didn't impart God's wisdom into their lives.  Instead of teaching the next generation how to listen for and hear God's wisdom, they taught them to rely on their own wisdom.

The next generation didn't remember the Lord because their parents and grandparents didn't tell them about the miracles they had seen God do.  They had seen God do miraculous things time and time again over the years. But the next generation did not not see this.  Miracles of the past doesn't guarantee present miracles nor miracles in the future.

The next generation didn't remember the Lord because they did not embrace the faith for themselves. God doesn't have grandchildren...only children. 

The next generation didn't remember the Lord because He was crowded out by false gods.  The next generation chose these false gods over the one and true living God.  We are seeing this happen in our day as well.  

Rather than passing down the faith, parents are passing down loving sports more than God.

Rather than passing down a real faith, parents are passing down a faith that is not authentic.  

Parents are not teaching their children to follow Jesus.  Instead, they are allowing them walk in the ways of the world.

Rather than passing down a faith in the one and only true God, parents are falling into the trap that says there are many ways to God.

Research shows that 13% of the next generation say they are atheists.  This is compared to only 6% of adults who say they are atheists.  

The next generation is slipping away from the faith because the church and their own families are so ingrained in the world that passing on the faith is not a priority.

It's time for parents to get serious about passing down their faith to their children.  As a children's ministry leader, one of your top priorities should be to encourage parents to get serious about passing down their faith to their children.  

It's time grandparents realize the important role they also play in seeing children follow Jesus.  After church yesterday, I spoke with a grandfather.  He came to pick-up his granddaughter.  He shared with me that he is raising his granddaughter because his children have gone astray and can't parent their child.  His story could be told 5 million times over.  There are currently over 5 million grandparents raising their grandchildren.  

Grandparents can help their grandchildren follow Jesus.

We are seeing many parents and grandparents who simply don't have it on their radar to raise their children to follow Jesus.  This will result in millions of children who will grow up and not know Jesus as their Forgiver, Leader and Friend. 

But there is hope. That hope is found first in Jesus.  As we introduce children to Jesus and disciple them, they can come to know Him and follow Him for a lifetime.  As we help parents see their role in reaching and discipling their children, we can see the faith passed on to the next generation. 

Yesterday at church, I had a conversation with two pre-teens.  Both of them are being raised in church. But when I talked with them, they both had limited knowledge of what Jesus did for them on the cross.  Both of them said they have never asked Jesus to forgive their sins and come into their life. I am praying that they will come to Christ and know the joy that comes from a growing relationship with Him.  

There is a battle going on for the next generation.  You can rest assured that the evil one is going all out to capture the hearts and minds of the next generation.  He is also trying to make sure that parents don't see their responsibility to raise their children to follow Jesus.

But you can change that.  Reach parents.  Disciple parents.  Give parents the tools they need to reach and disciple their children.  Encourage them to use these tools.  Make it a priority to influence parents, so they in turn can influence their children for Christ.  

Pray for the next generation.  Pray for the next generation to personally come to Christ.  Pray that parents will make their child's spiritual discipleship a top priority. 

Will our kids and grand-kids know Jesus?  Will they remember the God that we told them about.  Will they remember how we lived out a sincere faith in Jesus?  Will we tell them again and again and again our own personal faith stories and how we've seen God do amazing things in the lives of others as well?

If you haven't gotten a copy of my new book "Fertile Soil...See Kids' Faith Grow and Flourish for a Lifetime,"  you're missing out on a great tool that can help you and the parents in your church see children follow Jesus all their life.

Get your copy at this link