Nothing excites me more than hearing the laughter of children ringing through the halls of North Hills. During our Vacation Bible School we have been celebrating the number of children who have come to hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As I walked through the hall of our educational wing, I was reminded of Jesus’ rebuke to the disciples when he reprimanded them, “Permit the children to come to me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14). So many people see children as a nuisance. I admit that it takes a lot of work to work with children. Just this week I have been bit on the arm, tried to soothe a crying child who wanted his mom, kept a child from heading wandering down the hill behind the church, attempted to outrun several kids in a foot race (note the word attempted!), and had many of them jumping on my back for a ride. Let’s us say that my body is not like it used to be.
However, imagine the impact that one can have in a child’s life just by spending a few minutes with him or her. I wish that I had someone who would have spent time with me when I was young and rambunctious. More than just having fun with these children which I believe is a bridge to reach them, I believe that the greatest impact that we can have is to present and model the gospel before them. Tonight I will have that opportunity. During last night’s festivities, a lady visited our church looking for some financial assistance. This divine appointment gave me the opportunity to present the gospel to her. So I asked, “How do you know that you are a Christian?” She replied, “Because I have lived the Ten Commandments?” Listening to her response forced me to realize how the gospel is not clear in people’s minds. If the gospel is not clear to this adult I can only imagine how muddled the gospel has been presented to these children. This leads me to my questions: “How do we present the gospel clearly to children?”