Taking care of plants is not my thing. I have tried to keep plants alive at times, but I always manage to fail. One of my favorite plants was a gift from a fifth grader in my Sunday School class. She gave me an amaryllis plant. It was amazing to watch it grow into beautiful flowers without watering it!
However, we all know that for plants to stay alive, we must take care of them. We must take the time to give them adequate water, sunlight, and soil to nourish them. That is like preschoolers and the children in their spiritual growth. We cannot sit back, do nothing, and expect them to grow. We must be intentional.
We are all familiar with Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” It is vital to equip the children as they grow so that the Word of God takes root in their hearts. An understanding of the basic truth about God, the Bible, and salvation is essential. The next generation of adults can be well-equipped because you provided a wise mentoring process of discipleship to this generation of children.
Why is it essential to disciple those coming behind us?
- God wants to reveal Himself to the new generations. He wants them to know Him. And in this discipleship process, we have a leading role and responsibility that he gave us. The Bible in Deuteronomy 6:6-9 reminds us: And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
- Children are a majority of the population.
- They are the largest and least-reached mission field.
- Children are ready to respond to the gospel, grow in their faith, and share the gospel with others.
- If a child is reached, a whole life is transformed. They can live long, fruitful lives.
- They are a vulnerable population and at great risk for the indoctrination of worldly philosophies and ideas.
- God has given them to us today. They are in our houses and churches. We cannot allow them to be lost like the generation after Joshua (Judges 2:10, 11).
Intentional discipleship is a call to action for all of us. Each of us, regardless of our age, can play an active role in the discipleship process. We must be aware of our responsibility to lead and be led, to share and receive spiritual wisdom, and to be living examples of the faith we profess. Discipleship is a spiritual journey that spans all ages. It allows one to grow, learn, and serve God and others. Faith is a lifelong journey, and every stage of it is valuable in God’s plan.
We are praying for you as you lead!
-By Abi Avila, International Children’s Ministries Spanish-Language Training Specialist