Feed My Lambs

 

“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’” John 21:15 NIV

One of the first things that the Lord Jesus asked Peter to do was “feed My lambs.” Jesus saw qualities in Peter where He trusted him to feed the young ones in His flock. There is a specific calling to feed the lambs.

What you do is very important to the Lord.

The preaching that you do on Sunday morning is the only meal that some of your kids are getting. This is why what you do

is precious to the Lord.

Take a look at what Charles H. Spurgeon says in chapter one of his book Come, My Children about the Lord’s instructions to Peter:

It is very remarkable that the word used here for “feed My lambs” is very different from the word employed in the precept“feed My sheep.” I will not trouble you with Greek words, but the second “feed” means exercise the office of a shepherd, rule, regulate, lead, manage them, do all that a shepherd has to do towards a flock; but this first feed does not include all that it means distinctly feed, and it directs teachers to a duty which they may, perhaps, neglect—namely, that of instructing children in the faith. . . . Christian children mainly need to be taught the doctrine and life of the gospel: they require to have Divine truth put before them clearly and forcibly. Why should the higher doctrines, the doctrines of grace, be kept back from them? . . . Teach the little ones the whole truth and nothing but the truth; for instruction is the great want of the child’s nature. A child has not only to live as you and I have, but also to grow; hence he has double need of food.

Kids need more of God’s Word and yet biblical illiteracy is at an all time high in America.

When I talk to professors at Bible colleges they tell me that new students seeking theological degrees know little to nothing about the Bible.

Is this a problem? It’s more than a problem-it’s a crisis.

Ironically, this digression has happened at a time where the church in the USA has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on themed classrooms, high-tech media centers, and full time KidMin pastors. We have beautiful buildings and dedicated staff, but our kids are not learning the Bible. This generation is spiritually starving to death. My question for you is do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution?

The problem is clear; kids are not learning the Bible.

In my opinion, too many of us have bought into the philosophy of “teach less for more.” The good news is there is a solution for this crisis.

The Solution is: Teach More Bible.

If our kids are starving, the answer is more food, not less.

Peter finally did get understanding of his assignment from Christ. I know this because the first thing that Peter tells pastors to do is, “feed the flock of God.”

As Children’s Ministry Pastors, we have to think about many things including security, recruiting volunteers, dealing with angry parents and staying current with the culture. At times, it can be overwhelming, but let’s not lose sight of our number one job-feeding the sheep.

Why do we need to read the Bible?

Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ, and the purest way to fellowship with Christ is to read His words. We need to get into the Words of Christ and get the Words of Christ into us. If we don’t do that we will not make it.

Peter said it like this, “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).

The Word of God is nourishment for our soul. Not only will we not grow up spiritually without the Word of God, we will not survive without it.

Here is why preaching to kids is so critical—more critical than any other ministry, in fact. Kids under the age of eight can’t read yet. They are totally dependent on someone else to feed them.

Don’t parents have responsibility here? Absolutely, but you can’t control what the parent’s do. You can’t control what the youth pastor does after you. You can only control what you do.

It’s a great idea to hand out curriculum to parents so they can preach it at home, but you still can’t make them preach to their kids.

One day I asked this question to the kids in my class. “How many of you read the Bible every day or your parents read you the Bible every day?”

Out of 200 kids, only 40 hands went up. I was in shock. We did a great job of creating resources for parents at our church and still only 20% were using the resources.

The bottom line is this: many of the kids in your class are only getting one meal a week. The Word that you are preaching is precious to your kids and it’s precious to the Lord.

You have your kids for one hour every week. Make sure you are doing your job and doing it well.

Feed the lambs.

Teach the Word and Go Deep! (If it’s in the Bible you can preach it to kids.)

Teach in a way that holds their attention, don’t just entertain them.

Preach the Word and preach it with passion.

This is why I wrote Super Church 2.0 – to teach kids the deep things of the Word.

It’s one of the few curriculums out there that doesn’t water things down, but don’t just take my word for it, try it out for yourself.

 

Mark Harper

Pastor, Filmmaker and Coach, Mark Harper has over 30 years of experience in the local church. He is the creator of the Super Church 2.0 Curriculum, which is used in over 5,000 churches worldwide. The focus of Mark’s ministry is helping leaders build strong churches and helping parents build strong families.
Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team.
Mark Harper

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