It Takes a Church
Why raising up the next generation of Christians is a burden we all must carry.
Several years ago, a Peace Corps worker wrote a children's book based upon her experiences in Africa. It tells the story of a young girl named Yemi whose mother asks her to watch her baby brother, Kokou, on their trip to the market. Yemi is proud to be watching her brother all by herself. But soon after they get to the market, Yemi turns her head for a moment, and Kokou slips away. Yemi frantically searches the market for her lost brother, worried that he's hungry, or thirsty, or tired. But as it turns out, Kokou never has a chance to be hungry or thirsty or tired, because every adult he bumped into took care of him for a few minutes, giving him something to eat and something to drink and a quiet place to take a rest.
When Yemi finally found her brother, he was happy, well-fed, and rested. She hurried him back to their mother and told her how she had lost Kokou for a while, but all of the people of the village took care of him until she found him again. Yemi's mother wasn't surprised at all. She looked at her daughter and said: "What my mama told me, I will tell you. We don't raise our children by ourselves. It takes a village to raise a child."
This morning, we're beginning a 3-week series exploring the challenge of passing faith on to the next generation. It's a series designed not just for parents, but for grandparents and aunts and uncles, as well. It's not just for children's workers and youth staff; it's for every Christ-follower. Because the truth is, we all have children and young people in our lives—members of your family or your extended family, kids who live in your neighborhood or community, young people you encounter in the course of your daily life. Some of you work with children professionally ...
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Bryan Wilkerson is pastor of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts.