This is what LOVE DOES…Love teaches kids to become what God created them to be!
So here we go. Are you ready? Do you want to see the Kingdom? One great place to start is with a suggestion that Jesus made about how to experience and share His Kingdom.
Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. (Matthew 18:3-5)
Jesus loved children and he wanted them to experience abundant lives. But in Jesus day children weren’t considered worthy of time and attention. It wasn’t until you were an adult that you became a meaningful part of society.
We have a different idea about children in our culture, especially our own children. It’s still fair to say, however, that children are often neglected, and still treated as if they’re not worthy of time and attention, especially in the broken places in our society.
In the United States more than one in five children live below the poverty line ($23,000 a year for a family of four). Sociologists say that on average, families need more than twice that level of income to provide a full range of meaningful opportunities for their children (things as basic as having a book to read). The children who lack such opportunities aren’t just missing out on what many of us take for granted, they’re at far greater risk of a variety of problems. For instance:
One in four young black men ages 16 to 24 who dropped out of high school are in jail, prison, or some form of juvenile justice institution.
Male dropouts of all races are almost fifty times more likely to be incarcerated than their peers who graduate from college.
37 out of every 100 people who dropout of a school live at or near the poverty line.
The basic question we have to ask ourselves as followers of Jesus is this—what would Jesus do about all of that? Honestly, if Jesus was carrying out his ministry today, I’m fairly confident he wouldn’t be a pastor of a church, but I think he might be a teacher at an inner city high school, helping young men and women learn and grow and discover what truly matters in life because just like Jesus was in his ministry, a school is a holistic place of transformation that impacts the body, mind, and yes even the soul of a child. Schools help prevent poverty, homelessness, incarceration by forming kids and helping them become what they’re capable of being. And we can help with that important work.
Now, I want to be careful here. I’m not saying that the only schools God cares about are public schools in the inner city. I’m not saying that the only place where Christians should invest in education is where people are poor and struggling. Not at all! God loves all children. But the reason I believe that God is calling us specifically into the broken places is because there are some places where kids have abundant opportunities to learn and thrive and some places where kids have almost none, and so when Jesus asks us to love our neighbors as ourselves, what that means is that we have to figure out a way to make sure every one of our young neighbors has the same opportunities that we think God has given us.
And so over the next two months, that’s going to be the focus of KOG2ILM our year-long mission trip in our community. In the coming days you’ll be given opportunities to learn and be inspired by articles, videos, and blog posts (some from the incredible folks in our church who are career educators) about how God changes lives through education. You’ll be given an opportunity pray for the kids, teachers, and administrators in our community. Most importantly, you’ll be given an opportunity to jump in and make a difference in a child’s life through sharing your time and resources.
Post By: Dr. Matt Cook
Keep checking back here if you want to find out more!