On July 22, I had the privilege of participating in a preconference Webinar that featured several speakers from AiG’s upcoming Children’s Ministry Conference (September 11–12, 2015, at the Creation Museum). I had an absolute blast with Ryan Frank, Bodie Hodge, Ruth Carter, and Eric Hovind as we discussed what effective children’s ministry looks like today. The webinar conversation was thought provoking, encouraging, equipping, and a good taste of more to come. If you missed it, I highly encourage you to check it out here.
The major theme of the webinar and upcoming conference is the responsibility of those in children’s ministry to lead children to Christ, ground them in God’s Word, and equip them to stand in this increasingly secularized culture. We do this by combining passionate volunteers, teachers, and leaders with sound biblical teaching and apologetics to communicate the gospel with clarity and power!
As we discussed the most effective ways of accomplishing these goals in today’s culture, a common notion kept reoccurring and rightfully so: Keep the main thing, the main thing. And the main thing is the gospel!
Has the need for this in America ever been greater? I think not.
Children are exiting the church in droves after high school largely due to compromise within the church.1 The moral/sexual revolution is proudly marching on; Planned Parenthood sells baby parts while denying the parts came from a baby; Islam is called a religion of peace while Christianity is accused of being full of hate; a singularity of “nothing” rapidly expanding and creating everything is “logical” while a Creator God is ridiculous; people demonize a lion-killing dentist but are unbothered by doctors slaughtering babies (around 55 million of them since Roe v. Wade)—on and on the list could go. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of our culture’s insanity, which seems to be increasing exponentially by the moment.
How easy it is to see everything that’s happening and become overwhelmed by the evil and lunacy all around us.
But take heart, for God’s Word is clear—His justice will prevail, His servant’s vindication is sure, His kingdom will be established forever, and the answer to all we face is the gospel (Isaiah 51:5–8; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Revelation 22:1-21). It is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation. It is the gospel that can change a culture by changing that culture’s people from the inside out (Romans 1:16).
The gospel is the answer; the gospel is the main thing!
Now, do we truly believe that? Does that truth resonate within the deepest depths of our being? If indeed it does, I suggest we live like it.
Let us cast off the worries of this passing world, the fear of man and the indignation at those who blindly reject the reality of God’s Word. It is time we boldly pursue those around us with the truth and love of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 3:7–14).
It is essential that we recognize the culture we are engaged with and train coming generations, and ourselves, to answer the skeptical questions of this era. Not to win debates or for an intellectual exercise, but to courageously proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ! Defending biblical authority where it’s currently under assault, to plow the ground of the unbeliever’s heart and prepare it for the seed of the gospel (Acts 17:17–34; 1 Peter 3:15).
I am excited and eager for the conference in September because we will focus on what this looks like practically for children’s ministers today. And based on the webinar dialog, this conference is just what the doctor ordered for the current struggles and realities of ministry.
But ultimately, whether “minister” is in your work title or not, all Christians are missionaries. And whether you’re engaging family, friends, or strangers, let us be found ready to answer their questions in obedience to God’s Word (1 Peter 3:15), all the while making every effort to get to the main thing: the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18–20).
Let’s be sure that we always keep the main thing, the main thing.
For an audience of One,