The Question Corner

THE STORY: As a young mother, I am sometimes overwhelmed with caring for my four children. Especially the little ones! They are so curious, and ask me hundreds of questions. And I know none of the answers. I don’t know what to do with their questions.

Last Sunday I was so tired, and the baby needed a bath and needed his diaper changed, and I just couldn’t deal with the demands of my other three children for attention.

So I decided to turn to God for help in my time of need. As the congregation was singing the first hymn, loudly praising God, I slipped into the back of the church and left the three little ones in the back pew. Trusting God to take care of them, I went home and took a nap with my baby!

I am here to bear witness that God answers prayers! When I returned four hours later, I found the three little ones happy and content. Each one had found a grandmother – to sit on her lap and listen to their questions. I don’t know if these grandmothers knew the answers, but they really knew how to listen to my children. They felt so loved! As I left with my three little ones, the friendly pastor invited me to return the following week!

Truly, God is at work and miracles still happen! What happened to my children is proof of that!

NOTE (my commentary):
IF “it takes a village to raise a child,”
THEN it takes a whole church working together in Christian Education to raise a disciple to full maturity!

Matthew 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Eventually babies grow to be children that can walk and talk. They are curious and ask many questions. When they feel safe, they begin to explore their world.

As Christians grow up from being like little babies who must be cared for by an adult, they enter a stage like that of children. They are filled with energy and want to play with their friends. They learn what is expected of them, what good manners and good behavior are. They want to help the adult and earn respect for what they can do.

They begin to talk and they ask many questions, because they are very curious.

A growing Christian who does not talk, who is not curious, who does not ask questions may still be at the “baby” stage – all they want is to be loved, to be fed, and to be held as they sleep.

In churches in the United States, it is estimated that 83% of worship attenders are at the baby stage, no matter how long they have been a Christian.[1]

Consider your answers to the questions below about human children and born again children. Feel free to consult parents and grandparents in your church to gather details.

DISCERNMENT QUESTIONS
What do little children want?

What do children talk about?
Who do they want to talk with?
What sort of questions do they ask?
Do they seem to want to explore their world?

What problems do human children need help with?
What can they do for themselves?
Who has to help them when they cannot help themselves?

How are young Christians like human children?
What do they like to do?
Do they want to help their elders and around the church?
Who do they want to be with?

What do they talk about?
What sort of questions do curious young Christians ask?
Whom do they ask? Who are their natural teachers?

What questions are people asking in your church, about life and about Jesus?
What are people curious to learn?

In your church, who specifically are the people asking you questions?
In your church, who specifically are the people who are NOT asking questions?

Final questions:
If three young children were found alone on the back pew of your congregation during worship this Sunday, what would happen next?

Who would be the specific persons in your congregation who would step forward to care for the children? What are their names? What would they do?

When the mother returned for her baby, would the people be kind? What would happen afterward?

SOURCE – Footnotes:
[1] Newborns are primarily found at worship and fellowship activities. Receiving nurture is their goal. People move from newborn to child level by showing interest in becoming more involved. As safety, security and belonging needs are met, curiosity emerges. Research shows that only 17% of church attenders participate in Sunday School, bible study or any learning event outside of worship. If they were curious, they would attend these classes. Source: George Barna, quoted by Greg Ogden in the book Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 26.
Cited in Seminar One Diagnosis, by David O. Kueker – http://disciplewalk.com/files/Seminar_One_Diagnosis.pdf – page 37.

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