Children are NOT Gatos!
Traveling to some countries of the world one often sees many many cats. The cats seem to be everywhere: in the alleyways, at trash sites, on the streets and even in homes as pets. When one travels back to a country ten years later one will still see many many cats and somehow we think those are the same cats! The cats have just become a part of the background.
Children are not Gatos (Spanish for cats). Traveling to some countries one often sees many many children. The children seem to be everywhere: in mom’s arms, on the backs of older siblings, at school and children are in almost every home. When one travels back to a country ten years later one will still see many many children and somehow we think those are the same children! The children have just become a part of the background.
Please remember and never forget. Children grow up.
Is this a Tree?
A mango tree can be used as a model of Christian growth and maturity. One must plant the seed, nurture the young plant, and patiently wait years before there is any fruit. In training children’s workers and casting vision with pastors often we will use a live example of this. We will bring up three individuals to the front:
- Representing the mature fruit tree is a mature man who is strong
- Representing the immature tree with no fruit is a teenager
- Representing the small seed is a young child
The question is asked one by one, “Is this a tree?” Everyone will say yes to the mature fruit tree, most will hesitate at the immature tree, and all will say “No” about the small seed!
The question is then phrased differently: “Rather than trees, what if these individuals represented people in our church? Let’s ask a similar yet different question: Is this a human being?” Everyone will say yes to the mature fruit man, everyone will say yes to the teenager, and everyone will say yes to the young child!
To make sure everyone understands the point, a mother is asked to come forward and another question is asked: “When the child is in the mother’s womb – is that child a human being?” Yes!
Going back to the tree analogy, when a storm hits, it will not affect the strong mature tree, it will bend the immature tree, but it can destroy the very youngest tree [the trainer can dramatically pick up the youngest child and swoop them away].
Church, where do we invest most of our time? Feeding milk week after week to the already mature trees – the mature adults (they should be eating meat and feeding others!). Church, we should be focused on feeding and protecting the youngest trees – feeding the youngest children the milk of God’s word, so they can grow into strong mature believers that yield to Jesus. Church, look to Europe as a sad example, the church did not teach their children and after a generation or two the church disappeared. Church, if we reach our children and continue to reach our children our churches will grow and multiply for generations!
Note on Persecution:
In many locations around the world Christians are persecuted and killed for their faith in Christ Jesus. While you may not be persecuted for training children, the enemy has a different challenge for those that work with children and youth. You must persevere over time and not give up and lose heart as training a child may take years and years and we may not see the fruit for decades. See Hebrews 11: 39-40 for encouragement.