Someone asked my recently about a conference I went to a few years ago, and after telling her about it, I began to relive the passion I felt after being there, and as I pulled out my old notes, I got all excited again. So I thought I'd share some of the vision with you, for that's what it was all about!
Have you ever truly thought about why we teach our children to obey and love God? Of course it's because we love Him, and we desire our children's salvation. But before I went to the Children Desiring God conference in Minneapolis, I didn't necessarily think about the responsibilities we have for future generations, as set forth for us in the Bible. David and Sallie Michael, the authors of the amazing Sunday School curriculum Children Desiring God, began the conference with a seminar about Vision.
This vision is "to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples." It's about pursuing the joy of the next generation, which includes our own children, the children in our local church, the children of the universal church (all over the world), and the children of future generations, those yet unborn (that part in and of itself gives me chills!). It is a "radical and well articulated vision" that is called for, not just teaching our children to "know" about God, or facts from the Bible, but to "love" what is true, to love all those facts with a deep and resolute passion.
In regards to Sunday school, the Michaels shared their deep burden that many,
many churches are just providing "something" for the children, which usually amounts to babysitting while the parents are at church. But is that enough? No! This is the future generation we're talking about! This is crucial to spreading the passionate pursuit of our Almighty God; the challenge is to "aim children at something more than just 'something.' " (Psalm 127:4, "Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.")
But this vision isn't just for Sunday school teachers right? They are merely helpers to family, and the main vision should start with us as mothers and fathers. Psalm 78:1-11 is an amazing passage which completely explains this vision.
Verses 4, 6-7 say, "We will not hide them (sayings of old) from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done...That the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments..."
We want them to delight in doing what is right, to set their hope in God (which is more than just knowing facts, right?), to obey because of that hope, to look at us and see us hoping and obeying, and to put their confidence in God, so that the future generations (Our grandchildren, and great grandchildren! Crazy, huh?) will worship Him.
So mommies, go out today and make His glory known, in your words, your life, your love, your obedience...remembering that it's for now, and later...for future generations!
My little arrows, and representatives of the universal church...