In the last 50 years, we have seen the removal of Christian influence in the public schools. The result of pro-secular idealism has created a moral vacuum in public education. The result of this moral decline has led many believing families to pull their kids out of the public education. This has created an even large moral and ethical voids. The children are suffering and need spiritual life. They need to hear about Jesus, but there is a systematic abandonment of the care of children. The pressing issue for me is how the church has begun to follow suit. We have begun to create children’s programs that are separated from the church, in effort to remove the “distraction” of the children. Its not that we don’t love or care for our kids, but we have removed the biggest and most substantial event and outreach ministry in any church. We have dropped Vacation Bible School from many of our churches, and we wonder why the kids are falling away.
I don’t want to drop a bunch of stats, but a majority of believer come to faith in the elementary school years. Many of us came to faith in Sunday School, kids programs and VBS. VBS is a place where students have an immersion in Biblical truth, and our partners at Lifeway have done a tremendous job of creating material the teaches scripture, reinforce it with songs, crafts, missions and games. We create an environment that supports spiritual growth of our kids, and put a great deal of effort into this program each summer.
The problem is that many churches don’t want to put the resources into children. Children don’t bring in finances, they don’t staff ministries, and they can be loud and messy. We have given up trying to find workers, we don’t want to pay for the material, and we simply just don’t want the hassle. Then we complain about the spiritual condition of the kids, leaving church, getting into trouble, not being consistent, they are following our example. We abandon them, they leave us.
We start with dropping VBS, in the end, they drop the church. Why are we surprised?