Equipping The Next Generation

We have been looking at four key essentials for the education of our children and youth.  In recent posts I have discussed two of the four essentials that must be the focus of the education we provide our children.  The first essential was the importance of knowing God. I have found a biblical principle that addresses this important essential.  It reads:

The education of children and youth must have as its primary focus the increase in the knowledge of God.   John 17:3; Romans 1:20; Romans 11:33-36; Psalm 19:1-6; Ephesians 1:16-19; 3:15-19; 4:13; Philippians 1:9; 3:8-10, 13-14; Colossians 1:9-10; 2:2-3; 2 Peter 3:18; Proverbs 2:5; Hosea 4:1; 6:6; and 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

We must never forget that God is a relational God and created us in His image so that we can have a deep, intimate love relationship with Him. Knowing Him is essential to finding true meaning and significance for our existence.

As we strive to know Him better each day, we must then focus on the second essential of education.  This essential is to discover God’s call on one’s life.  Again, there is biblical principle  that makes this a major point of emphasis for every human being.  It reads:

The education of children and youth results in performing work in fulfillment of God’s will for their lives.  Genesis 1: 26; Matthew 6:10, 33; Ephesians 5:17; Hebrews 10:36; 13:20-21; Colossians 1:9-10; 12:1-2; Proverbs 3:5-6; 20:24

If you were to go back and read the two blog posts dealing with the need for every child to discover God’s call, you will find that there are two calls that God sends to every person.  One is the call to Christ — to follow Him like Peter, John and the other disciples did.  The second call is a call to vocation or work.  Our children must not only know God but also understand how He has gifted them so that they can do their part in fulfilling the call to subdue and rule over the creation.  When explaining this essential I am equatingGod’s call on a life to knowing God’s will for one’s life.

Today, I want to share the third essential for the education we give our children and youth.  This essential is the logical result of understanding the first two essentials mentioned above.  If everyone who knows God discovers His call on his/her life, then education must equip him/her to do God’s will.

As our children go through elementary, middle and high school, the education they receive should not be something that merely prepares them for more schooling.  The education we give our children at home, in the church and/or at school must be centered on preparing them to do the work required to fulfill God’s will for their lives.

James McMenis, pastor of Word of God Ministries, presented a lengthy series in the church’s Wednesday night services.  The title he gave this series was Called, Equipped, Sent taken from Luke 10 .  He pointed out that God calls every Christian.  Once God calls them and they answer His call, He equips them.  When they are equipped, He sends them out to do a work for Him.  This is what education is all about.  We are to guide our children and youth to know God, discover His call and then equip them so that they can be sent out to a work for Him.

I think most readers would agree with me that in order to be equipped to do God’s will or fulfill His call, one must know what God’s will or call is.  Romans 12:2 tells us what is required for a person to know God’s will so that he/she can be equipped to fulfill His call.  Paul writes:

…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2 (KJV)

Another translation puts it this way.

…be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (ESV)

In order for our children and youth to receive a true and meaningful education, the entire educational process must focus on guiding them to develop a biblical worldview.  As parents, pastors and educators, our task is to help future generations renew their minds.  This is a spiritual battle that is described in 2 Corinthians 10.

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…    2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (ESV)

Whenever I read these verses, I do so by changing one word.  We know that Jesus Christ is also the Word (John 1:14).  Therefore, verse 5 tells us to take every thought captive to obey the Word.  The education that the home, church and school provides the next generation must engage all children in the process of developing a biblical worldview.  A biblical worldview looks at all of life through the lens of Scripture.

If our children do not develop a biblical worldview that enables them to think and act from it, then they cannot be fully equipped to do God’s will or answer God’s call.  If fact, we saw above that a child cannot even know God’s will if he/she doesn’t renew his/her mind.

A secular education is also equipping a child for life.  However, a secular education cannot equip children and youth to do God’s will since a secular education separates itself from the possibility of the existence of God.  Secular education equips a child to develop a secular, materialistic, naturalistic worldview so that the child cannot think and act in a way that will impact society for Christ.

There are a few questions that Christian parents, church leaders and educators must answer if we are going to provide our children with an education that embraces these essentials.

  1. Does the education you are providing your children at home, church and school lead them into a deep knowledge of who God is?
  2. Does the education you are providing your children enable them to discover God’s unique call on their lives?
  3. Are the combined efforts of the home, church and school equipping the next generation to think biblically so that they can know God’s will and be prepared to fulfill His will through meaningful work?

If Christian parents, pastors and educators cannot answer these questions in the affirmative, we are neglecting the very essentials that must be the foundation of true education.  As you strive to provide your children and youth with a biblical education grounded on these three essentials, what do you need to start doing? stop doing? and/or continue doing?

 

One Response to Equipping The Next Generation

  1. Mark Kennedy December 4, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

    No one disputes the fact that the church in North America is losing its young people at an alarming rate. We’ve lost the battle with pop media to be more entertaining and more amusing than they are. That was never the role of the church in the first place. It is truly astonishing that many Canadian and U.S. church leaders still don’t get the simple truth:
    A Christian community that allows its own children to be steadily indoctrinated throughout their schooling in a secular, anti Christian perspective on life, will simply not be able to exist for long.

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