Good News Worth Sharing
September 19, 2019 | by: Stephen Sprague | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
We are blessed at Oak Hills to have such a vibrant children’s ministry. On any given Sunday we average around 40 children actively involved in our various children’s ministries, from Acorns to Promiseland, pre-k Sunday School to youth Sunday School. That’s awesome! Even just this week our church grew by 2 more members as we welcomed Téa and Tyus Porter into our fold, praise God! The Lord continues to bless and grow Oak Hills, from families moving in, to little ones being born, and that is something worth rejoicing over.
Another huge blessing is the large number of volunteers that we have actively serving in our children’s ministries. On top of the 40 children in our ministries we have nearly 30 volunteers serving regularly in various children and youth ministries. This, to me, is an answer to prayer as it shows our commitment as a church to the love and discipleship of our members, from the youngest age to the oldest. When you volunteer in children’s ministry, you aren’t just volunteering to do childcare for an hour and a half on a Sunday morning.
No, each and every one of you who serves in our children’s ministries plays a vital role of instilling in our children, from the youngest age, a love for our Triune God, his Word, and his church. In Sprouts and Promiseland, you are engaging them with his Word and providing them with a foundational understanding of Scripture and how it all points to Christ. You're teaching them the gospel at every angle and you are doing it in a setting where they are learning alongside other members of this covenant community. In this you are giving them the tools to transition into hearing the Word of God preached each and every Sunday with the rest of the congregation. In Acorns, you're helping the children to grow up in the covenant community experiencing the beauty of a church that is a family and a body, loving and caring for one another.
Hear, O Israel
I love the Shema. It’s a passage in Deuteronomy that many of you will be familiar with, Deuteronomy 6:4. It’s a passage, spoken to and recorded for Israel, God's visible church in the Old Testament, and it gives this call –
"Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
The Israelites were commanded to recite and teach the word of God to their children diligently. To call them to "love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." And in verse 20 it continues,
"When your son asks you in time to come, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?' Then you shall say to your son, 'We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers."
This is our calling as a church when it comes to our children’s ministries – to love our youngest members and to instill in them a knowledge of and love for the gospel, a love for God, a love for the Holy Scriptures, and a love for the church. And each and every week to tell the kids as they come through our doors and enter our classrooms, "we were once slaves to sin, but the LORD has rescued us through the miraculous life, death and resurrection of his son Jesus. He has triumphed over our enemies of Satan, sin and death, and has brought us from a life of misery into a life of hope.” That’s good news worth sharing.
- Pastor Stephen