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GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS; DISCIPLING THE CHILD

Sunday 24th February, 2019 [Children’s Week 2019]

Bible readings
Daniel 3:8-18
2 Timothy 1:1-7
Matthew 28:18-20

Hymn of meditation: PH 282
Spirit of God that moved the first Saints,
Spirit in Zion’s cities, come again.
Come quickly, move by day and evening,
Destroy and put to shame all enemies.
Fill us to spread the Gospel news abroad,
Souls harvest for the Lord, from every land.

WHO IS A DISCIPLE?

A Disciple is simply a follower of Christ who is learning to be like the Master. The word as used in the Matthew text means “a student in the sense of an apprentice”. It is a personal apprenticeship of a Christian under the Master, Jesus, with a view to become like Him

CHARACTERISTICS OF A DISCIPLE

  • Must be born again (John 3:3,6; Rom. 8:7-8)
    • Unless we are born of the Spirit, we do not have the potential to grow to be like Christ who is Spirit.
    • It is only through this that we gain the power over sin and gain the nature of Christ in us to enable us yield ourselves voluntarily as the apprentice of Jesus
  • Taken a Decision to be with the Lord and learn of Him
    • Jesus called the disciples first and foremost to be with Him (Mark 3:13-14)
    • It is only by abiding in Him that we can bear the fruit of a disciple (John 15:4-5)
    • Our being with the Lord is to make Him evident in our way of life (Acts 4:14; Matt. 26:73)
  • Be ready for the Master’s Business
    • Deny your self – (Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23)
    • Take his yoke – (Matt. 11:28; Gal. 2:20)
      • Complete obedience to Him (2 Cor. 5:13-14)

THE GOAL OF DISCIPLING THE CHILD

  • For the child to become a matured Christian (Col. 1:28-28; Eph. 4:12-13)
  • For the child to grow and be able to teach others (2 Tim. 2:2)
  • So that the Child will be well integrated into a Bible-believing Church (Hebrews. 10:25; Acts 2:42)

WHO IS A CHILD IN THIS CONTEXT

Two kinds of Children

  • Those who are not born-again and so do not have what it takes to grow into Christlikeness – they need to be evangelised for salvation.
    • Those who have encountered Christ and are born-again, and so have what it takes within them to be like Christ – they need to be taught the ways of Christ.

The Children’s Service teacher therefore applies the word of God as a witness to bring the unsaved to Christ and again as a tool to help the saved grow in Christlikeness.

EVERY CHILD NEEDS TO GROW

1 Peter 2:2-3

Like new-born babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,  now that you have tasted that the Lord is good

2 Peter 3:18

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 

Critical things to teach the child to him or her to Grow

  • To eat
    • With you
    • By himself
  • To Walk
    • With God
    • Before others
  • To talk
    • To God
    • To others
  • Obey
    • God
    • Parents and Teachers

PLAYERS IN THE DISCIPLING THE CHILD

  • The Church
    • Equipping and motivating parents to mentor and disciple their children.
    • Equipping and motivating Children’s Service teachers to disciple the children in church.
    • Producing materials that will help parents and Children’s Service teachers to appreciate and do the work of discipling and mentoring.
    • Organising Discipleship Training programmes to equip the children’s service teachers.
  • Children’s Service Teacher
    • Seek to be a true disciples of Christ themselves.
    • Seek mentorship from others who are more matured spiritually.
    • Love the children and create friendly relationship with them.
    • Be committed to the church’s programmes and use them to facilitate the growth of the children.
    • Use their own Christlike lifestyles in teaching the children.
  • The Parent (Deut 4:9; 6:4-9)
    • Seek spiritual knowledge and guidance to be able to disciple their children.
    • Have a ‘Family Alter’.
    • Ensure their children participate in the programmes of the Children’s Service.
    • Provide the necessary materials needed for their studies at the Children’s Service.
    • Be friends with their childrens, giving them Biblical guidance and counselling.
  • The Child
    • Submit to the parents.
    • Submit to his/her teachers and learn from them.
    • Willing to participate in the programmes of the Children’s Service
    • Have the desire to be like Christ.

DO NOT SIN AGAINST THE CHILD

Matthew 18:6

But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

We Sin Against the Child by…

  • setting wrong examples
  • giving wrong teachings
  • having wrong expectations of the child
  • having a wrong attitude

Conclusion

  • Disciple-making is a process that needs boldness, patience and self-control as we teach people to be transformed and become like Christ.
  • The assurance is that, Christ who is the chief disciple-maker is with us through it all. He said he will never leave us nor forsake us.
  • Let us depend and trust in Him to help us in our walk with Him and in our task of Discipling the Child.

Amen!

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