The enemies of Christianity are working overtime to try and stop the Gospel from going forward. If nothing is done to get Christian kids involved in the mandate of the Great Commission, there shall come a time when missionaries will go extinct.
Most Christians who are involved in missions today are elderly people. Young missionaries are far and few between. There is a desperate need to continue discipling our children if we hope to continue to reach out to the world with the Gospel and the love of Christ.
In Christianity, the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Christ to His disciples to spread the Gospel to all nations of the world. The famous version of this instruction is found in Mathew 28:16-20, it is a command that must be obeyed by every Christian, and every tool must be mobilized for this purpose. Children are powerful instruments either in the hands of God or in the hands of the devil. The people of this dark world have realized this and have utilized children in advancing their agendas.
Children have been abducted, recruited and used by terrorist groups. After they are kidnapped, they are assigned a variety of different roles like suicide bombing, information gathering and killing.
Children who come in contact with these terrorist groups are indoctrinated and forced to carry out physical and psychological violence. Children are psychologically malleable and are prone to act without looking back.
They are dangerous weapons in the hands of those who are using them for the purpose of committing criminal offenses. Children have become weapons of war in many African countries. During conflicts, army commanders see children as cheap, compliant and effective fighters.
The psalmist explicitly stated the benefits of having children: “Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127: 3-5).
Christian leaders are supposed to disciple and catechize children in evangelism from a young age. “And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely; for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light” (Luke 6:8). In this generation, are the people of the world still wiser than us?
Afri-mission and Evangelism Network recently embarked on “Catch Them Young Project” and has visited schools to inaugurate Young Missionaries Clubs with the objectives to recruit and train children in missiological strategies.
According to Afri-mission director of conventional mission, Pastor Emmanuel Yusuf: “We have decided to be proactive over the missional inclination of Christian children. If we wait further, they will become rigid like most of the adult Christians who are now finding it difficult to embrace the mandate of the Great Commission. If there are Jet clubs, Young Farmers Clubs, science clubs, cultural clubs and other clubs, why can't we establish Young Missionaries Club?
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). If the Church does not build the Christian foundation of our children to include the Great Commission, we risk of becoming the last generation of missionaries.
Sunday school curricula for children in our churches should focus extensively on evangelism. Let us let them know that the primary vocation of every Christian is missionary work, and any other profession is a secondary assignment. Christian children who want to be doctors, lawyers and engineers should be guided and raised to understand that they should aspire to be missionaries first.
It is high time we started developing missiological strategies for children because they are arrows in our hands. We must step out and speak with the enemies of the Gospel at the gate. This starts with grooming the next generation of missionaries for this exact goal.