The Next Generation: Baby Dedication
By Matthew Castro
As I sit in my office at home writing about the next generation, my thoughts focus on my three year old daughter, Maggie, and my one year old son, Lincoln. Most of time, when we discuss the next generation, we focus on young adults or students. While I love college students, most of my prayers are directed towards my children.
I have no idea what world Maggie and Lincoln will enter, when I drop them off on their first day of kindergarten, middle school, or high school. Their teachers will instruct them every day. Their classmates’ religions, morals, ethics, and values will surround them eight hours a day. They will operate in environments that glorify worldview systems that are utterly opposed to God. As Brian Haynes says in his book Shift, we send our children into the world to learn to be like the world.
The world will teach them to embrace individualism and autonomy. Do whatever you feel is the golden rule of the current culture. Unfortunately, the church has embraced a similar position, and taught children and adults to construct a self-serving form of Christianity. The result is the dimming influence of Christianity among the next generation.
However, if the church boldly embraced the priority of equipping the family spiritually, would the next generation become the greatest generation of Christ-followers? Will my daughter and my son be the leaders in the church that unashamedly follow Christ? Will your children be raised to love God’s Word as King David did? The next generation desperately needs the church and the family to work together for their spiritual formation.
For most of us, we spend too much of our time focusing on our own future that we neglect to teach those behind us. The goal for Redeemer Fellowship is to see every newborn be raised to spiritually maturity. As a church, we are called by God to partner with parents to model and teach the faith once for all deliver to the saints. Programs cannot form disciples of Christ. However, the church and the family prayerfully serving together will raise up in Christ the next generation. What would it be like if every Christian church intentionally and effectively equipped the next generations for building up the church?
“He decreed statues for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands” (Psalm 78:5-7).
I pray that God would give Redeemer Fellowship that legacy. May we see children taught the Word of God, and legacies created that expand generations. May we see spiritual maturity become the norm among our children. May the church leadership baton be passed to them with confidence and celebration. This is my prayer for my children, and my prayer for your children.