It’s easy to look down on young people in our society, especially given that they don’t have the strength or skills to earn a living, nor the maturity to cope with independence.
Yet, when it comes to following Jesus, the model believers are children.
Jesus famously said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.” (Luke 18:16)
Ironically, Jesus highly regards the simple and naive faith of a child, as they demonstrate a deep dependency on others, with little claim to their own ability.
They are too young to say “I did it my way”, and they are too new at life to point to their successes, abilities and strengths.
However, this is the very attitude that Jesus wants of adults and all people: the ability to discount personal achievements, and instead to humbly accept the grace of God without any personal merit.
That is why children provide the perfect model of a true believer: a humble dependence on God.
And this is why ministry to children can create true and genuine followers of Jesus.
Children are not the church of the future, but the believers of the present… and an inspiration to the grownups who easily let their achievements cloud their need for salvation from Jesus.
This is why our upcoming Holiday Kids Club is such an important ministry to the children of our village and valley.
We want our kids to meet Jesus, knowing that their simple faith is precisely the kind of attitude that is so highly regarded by God.
We want kids to follow Jesus so that they will meet him now, and follow him for life.
And our week-long Holiday Kids Club in October is the perfect way to help kids meet Jesus and experience the joy of knowing his love and forgiveness.
This weekend we get to see a classic example of where a plan goes very wrong. The evil one worked through the religious leaders to try and shut down people who were sharing the news of Jesus. So, they killed Stephen, who was one of the main leaders, which resulted in the believers being scattered in every direction. But all it did was super-charge them for evangelism!
This is what the message is all about this weekend, as we look at the New Testament book of Acts, in chapter 8, as we consider the topic ‘Evangelism Explosion!’ If you’re a follower of Jesus then you’ll also be revved up as you hear about how the amazing message of Jesus spread so quickly to the most unlikely of hearers. And if you’re not yet friends with Jesus, you’ll get a great picture of just why this message is so important to believe… and how good it is to be friends with Jesus!
As well as the Bible talk we’re going to hear my answers to your questions from the last few weeks, which are:
1 How did Stephen remember all of the details in his speech?
2 How can Acts 7:22 say that Moses was powerful in speech, when Exodus 4:10 says he wasn’t?
3 Did any of the Jews who stoned Stephen eventually repent?
4 What was the significance of placing coats at Saul’s feet?
5 How long after Stephen’s stoning did Saul get saved?
6 Did Saul change his name to Paul, or keep both names?
7 Are Christians a type of Polish Jew?
So, don’t miss out on joining us this weekend, it’s really going to be quite inspiring! Join us at 5pm on Saturday for an all-age service with kids’ program, two-course dinner, then youth group. Or come at 9am Sunday for a more classic-style Anglican service followed by a latte from our Italian espresso machine.
Grace and peace, Jodie.