I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. – 2 Timothy 1:5
Paul’s second letter to Timothy, like his first, is filled with much practical instruction for a young pastor, especially related to the handling of God’s word and passing on its teaching to the next generation. Also, in the letter are a couple of hints as to how the ministry of the word was effective in Timothy’s own life from a very early age. Paul recognizes the godly influence that his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois had on his sincere faith, and who also apparently taught him the word of God from an early age.
If you grew up going to church, as I did, you probably have sweet memories of a person, or perhaps several people, who were “lifers” in children’s ministry. They didn’t see teaching Sunday school as an obligation, a necessary service so parents could get a break, or a stepping stone to more significant ministry. They saw it as the ministry that God had called them to and a tangible way that they could love Jesus and his church. I remember one such teacher, my 6th grade boys teacher, Mr. Herman. Mr. Herman had a physical presence that demanded your attention (he played football for the Detroit Lions in his younger days), as did his Detroit accent—we loved it when he would say, “Hey, yous guys.” Mr. Herman was serious when it came to teaching, but he also had a quick smile and you knew he cared about you as a person. Mr. Herman served in several other leadership capacities in the church over the years, but his main ministry was always Sunday school.
Now, many years later, as a parent of four grown children, I am so thankful for the emphasis that SGCC has placed upon children’s ministry. Kristen and I recognize the significant impact that godly men and women had upon our children and the children of many others. I want to take this opportunity to say a big “thank you!” to those saints who served sacrificially for many years, investing in the lives of future generations, giving of themselves when they could have been in church or their own Sunday school class.
Related to this topic, Steve S. Chang, a pastor in Brea, CA, has recently written an important article for The Gospel Coalition called “Don’t Neglect the 4-14 Window of Children’s Ministry,” which I recommend for your reading. Pastor Chang argues, and I would agree, that a church committed to missions must be, if they are to be consistent, committed to children’s ministry. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/want-missional-dont-neglect-4-14-window-childrens-ministry/
As we celebrate 100 years at SGCC, and as we look forward to the next 100, should the Lord tarry, one of the most important things we can do to ensure that future generations “hold to the trustworthy word as taught,” is to invest in children’s ministry.
For the sake of his name,
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. – 2 Timothy 3:14-15