by Deb Hane
The old proverb, “Opportunity knocks but once,” encourages people to seize each opportunity because that may be the only chance to do it. Our time is limited and usually, once an opportunity passes, we don’t get it back. That is true in the lives of children. They spend their weekdays in school, play sports and video games, eat and sleep, but how much of their time is spent learning about God and focusing on things with eternal value? If a child goes to church, he may receive one to two hours of spiritual training a week. But often teachers in churches are not trained to teach spiritual truths to boys and girls or how to lead a child in making a decision to follow Jesus. Since we have limited opportunities to teach kids about Jesus and how they can come to Him for salvation, we should be purposeful and prepared to make the most of each opportunity.
When several pastors attended a Teaching Children EffectivelyTM training course, they were surprised to realize the importance they should put on leading children to Christ and teaching them God’s ways. They confessed they had never personally led a child to Christ. They said, “We will go back to our Sunday school teachers and tell them how important it is to lead children to Christ and not just play games or feed them.”
According to George Barna, “Whatever a child believes by age 13 is in most cases what he will die believing.” Our time to instill spiritual truths in the lives of children is limited. They will quickly grow up not caring about the ways of God and face an eternity of separation from Him. That’s why it’s important for Christians to be purposeful and prepared to make the most of opportunities God gives. CEF® offers practical and effective training on how to disciple children in the ways of God. Children’s Bible lesson curriculum and devotional books produced by CEF Press® keep kids engaged while teaching them important spiritual truths.
As a young orphan, Rose felt unloved due to abuse and abandonment. But she loved attending Good News Club® in her neighborhood where she learned about Jesus’ love for her. At age six she believed in Jesus as Savior and her life changed with the joy and hope found in knowing God. Years later when she had a family of her own, Rose started a Good News Club in her home to teach her neighborhood children about Jesus. Twenty years later, one of the boys who became a Christian and learned to follow the Lord through her club now pastors a church. Through the dedication and purposeful teaching of her Good News Club teachers, Rose learned about Jesus and followed Him all her life, teaching, leading, sharing, and even serving as a missionary to Mexico.
When Christians make the most of the opportunities God gives to teach others about Jesus and the truths from God’s Word, they impact lives for eternity. And that’s true for young Christians too. Eleven-year-old Abigail is no stranger to Good News Club and teacher training. Her mother is the national coordinator for CEF of Anguilla, an island east of Puerto Rico. Over the years, Abigail has attended many training courses and has helped with kids’ clubs. She enjoys telling others about Jesus, leading songs, role-playing for Bible lessons, and helping in other ways. Abigail’s desire to share the Gospel of Jesus with younger children and her peers is evident. When something in her schedule is canceled, she immediately asks to help her mom teach kids about Jesus. Abigail makes the most of her opportunities.
When opportunity knocks will you seize the chance to do something important, even influence lives for eternity? Will you be purposeful and prepared to make the most of the time you spend with children to lead them to Christ and teach them spiritual truths? Find ways to make the most of your opportunities by talking with your local CEF chapter (https://chapters.cefonline.com).
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