I grew up in the late 80’s and early 90’s as many of our readers have. My generation was known as “Generation X.” Those who grew up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s are part of what has been called the “ME Generation.” It is this generation that concerns me in this article.
Most of our readers here at Ministry to Children are involved in children’s ministry at some level in the local church. Many of the children in our churches come from one of the two aforementioned generations. These children are the first fruits of those two groups of people. Unfortunately, these first fruits might not be acceptable to God as they are full of blemishes because of the attitudes of their parents.
When a generation grows up with a “me-first” attitude and then has children without shedding that attitude, problems begin to arise. “I want” is the mantra of the late 90’s and has now become “I expect” today. The children we teach and share the gospel with every week come with an expectation of they deserve to be happy and treated well. They do not deserve to be punished because they are taught, usually in the home, that they deserve nothing less than their best life now. What is worse is that if they are not getting these thoughts from their parents, they are certainly getting it from the mainstream media and their peers.
Our challenge as preachers and teachers of Christ is to show these children their need for a savior in Christ Jesus. Usually, they have no idea of their need because they have no idea of their sinfulness. We, as called out children’s ministers, are fighting a battle of epic proportions. We are not fighting on just one front. Rather, we are fighting on several fronts at one time. It is not enough to just teach the children. We must train the parents to be the defensive front-line in this battle within their own home.
We must continue “to wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience” as Paul writes to Timothy. I write this, not to be an alarmist, but to remind our readers of the challenge that lies before us as ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.