Our children live in difficult times. The degree of temptation they are exposed to is far beyond their parents’ experiences. They are exposed to violence on TV and in movies. They are exposed to pornography through the Internet, often by uninvited, explicit spam. They are exposed to alcohol, drugs and sex as early as elementary school. It is next to impossible to protect them from all these temptations.
To deal with this, we should not be on defense but offense. Instead of trying to shield our children from the world, we should train them to combat corrupting influences and conquer them. Jesus said that the children of God are agents of change in the world. Of them he said: “You are the salt of the world. You are the light of the world. (Matt 5:13-14)”
One of the main ministry goals of our church has been to raise godly children. To accomplish this goal, we’ve made the children’s ministry a priority. For example, we have hired many staff members for the children’s ministry while we have not even one for adult ministry. We decided to build an education building before constructing a new adult worship center even though our sanctuary has been overcrowded. But we need to do more than this. To raise godly children, we have to train them more purposefully to help them become salt and light of the world.
We have decided to not only teach children the Bible but also help them learn practical Christian values and develop proper Christian behavior. We do this by teaching them to observe rules and etiquette and act courteously to others. Homework consists of practicing to treat others with consideration.
Starting this year the children’s ministry staff members will offer parenting classes as well. Our Youth Group Pastor Paul will lead a class for parents of teenagers, Children’s Pastor Lim will lead one for elementary school parents, and Children’s Pastor Seo one for preschoolers. These classes are important because we know that ultimately, parents have the most influence on their children. They are the best people to teach their children right values and behaviors. The church cannot replace this parental role; it can only help.
Full cooperation between Sunday school and parents is essential. I urge parents to pay more attention to what their children learn at Sunday school and make sure they do their homework. If their homework assignment is saying thank you, remind them when they do not do it. If it is saying “I love you”, make sure they say it.
As a side note, we need more helpers in the children’s department. Volunteers can sign up at the fellowship hall after the Sunday services. I hope we get many people willing to offer themselves to help our children become strong Christians who change this world.
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