I am a person who loves to read and has tons of books. I find that there are times or seasons in my life when I need to return back to the books that I have read and reread some of them. That seems to be the season that I am in at this time. Yes lately I have been going back and re-reading some children’s Ministry topic books for myself and this has served as a good refreshing time for me. One of the books I have picked up and reread recently is a book called: “Crucial Concepts in Kids Ministry”by Randy Christiansen.
In the book at the very beginning Randy starts off talking about a Eutychus generation. Randy begins to talk about that is one of the foundational reasons that churches are suffering today is that, deep down inside, their ministry to children is suffering. Many church bodies have grown to have a high pain threshold in the area of children’s Ministry. There is something vitally wrong, the leadership has grown to ignore and live with the pain. Often times churches don’t sense something is even wrong because of their high threshold of pain until children hit the teenage years where many churches then begin to see these kids as possible contributors to their volunteer base and tithers. I think usually at this time then churches can begin to diagnose the problem incorrectly, and give blame to other various causes and treat only symptons instead of the root cause. The whole local body is being affected, but they have not yet diagnosed the root problem. Few look at the ministry to children at their church. We must realize that healthy Ministry to children is a central part to the overall health of the church.
Acts 20:9-12: “….in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “to not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.“and they brought the young man in alive…”
There are many children in the church today who we could see are just like Eutychus. Eutychus had a desire to hear the things of God and most likely desired more of God’s presence in his life. He wanted to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. He probably sat in the window because the fresh air would help him stay more attentive to Paul’s message. Children today are also attentive spiritually. Spiritual sincerity and curiosity envelope our children. Saturday morning cartoons grasp their imaginations. They want to believe that a greater spiritual creative force (God) exist. Children are searching for the reality of a supernatural power in an everyday world. This is the theme of most popular children’s books,movies and toys.
Eutychus probably exemplifies church young ones in another way. Simply stated, Eutychus fell asleep. His attention was not focused and captured. His flesh over rode his spiritual desire at the time. No one can ignore a true move of God. When children’s sense the presence of God during worship, when they lay hands on a friend and see a healing occur, when they see the unsaved walk the aisle in response to the gospel, one will not have a problem maintaining children’s attention! The reality of a relationship with the all-powerful God is not something that a person can sleep through. This spiritual atmosphere must be fanned into a flame by church leaders and committed parents. This expectation level must be set as an everyday standard. Too often our expectation level of children and ministry to them and with them doesn’t match God’s level of expectation.
Notice what Paul did, He stopped his Sermon and went down to Embrace Eutychus. Paul was not satisfied to leave Eutychus in a state of sleep, or a state of death. We face the same question today. Will we be satisfied to ignore the spiritual condition of our children? Will we stop what we are doing, to bring life back to these young ones?