The Trap Revealed
Chapter 3 helps us avoid the danger of the “gospel day” trap. We can fall into this trap when we segregate the teaching of the good news to certain special days (Easter, VBS, etc.) rather than pointing to Christ every week, in every lesson, and from every Scripture. Our students (and their teachers) need to hear the gospel often because the good news is not just for those who need to be saved, but it is also the source of our growth as believers. The unsaved church kids need to here the good news because that is God’s method for brining salvation (Romans 10:14-17). Saved church kids need to hear it because the good news brings the power to fight sin and love God and others.
“Kids who only hear the good news a little tend to become kids who only love and trust Jesus a little.”
A Dire Warning
Does our method of teaching and discipleship produce kids who are “zealous for good works”? I’m including an extensive quote from page 52 not to berate or condemn us, but to help us feel the weight of our calling.
“If kids are leaving the church, it’s because we’ve failed to give them a view of Jesus and his cross that’s compelling enough to satisfy their spiritual hunger and give them the zeal they crave. They haven’t seen that Jesus Himself is better than any “Jesus program.” He’s better than the music used to worship him. He’s better than a mission trip. He’s better than their favorite youth leader. He’s also better than money. Better than video games. Better than romantic teen movies. Better than sex. Better than popularity or power.”
“We’ve failed too many kids. We’ve fed them things to do. We’ve fed them “worshipful” experiences. But we’ve failed to feed them more than a spoonful of the good news. Now they’re starving and they’ll eat anything. They’re trying to feed their souls with something – maybe even a churchy thing – that feels like it fits them, when what they need is someone utterly better than themselves.”
Do you think this assessment is correct?
How Christian Growth Stalls
We are all subject to stagnation in our spiritual growth. Jack uses the flashlight illustration (p. 55-57) to show why that happens and why our saved church kids are especially susceptible to it. The solution for all of us is for the value of the work of Christ to grow in our hearts just as much as our realization of God’s demands and our inability to meet those demands. So lets ask the Holy Spirit to help us see that the gospel realities of Christ’s obedience, sacrificial death, and resurrection are always on our hearts and lips as we live and teach.
In the next post we will read and discuss Chapter 4: “The Factory-Preset Fourth Grader”.
I Want to Hear from You: (Click on “Leave a Reply” at the top in order to comment.)
What were your biggest takeaways from this chapter?
Have you ever had your spiritual growth stall because the cross was not “big enough” in your mind? How did you change that?