Nigerian church leaders have been asked to intensify effort in evangelizing the children in order to continue the Christian tradition among the future leaders.
Pastor of Christ’s Fragrance Church, Lagos, Pastor Emmanuel Olufemi made the call while two American missionaries visited his church recently.
The foreign missionaries; Jules and Cindy were impressed after the Bible recitations rendered by the children arm of the church.
According to them, they were challenged by the memory verse renditions of the children and encouraged the church to keep the tradition in order to preserve the future of the children.
“They were impressed with our focus on children training because they are the future believers who will change Nigeria for good. They also loved our emphasis on the word and worship,” Emmanuel said.
Talking about how seculiarism has affected children evangelism in Nigeria and how churches do no longer have enough time for children, Emmanuel, a faculty member at the West African Theological Seminary (WATS), Lagos said, the church must be deliberate in evangelizing the children who are the future of the church.
“The Church should be more intentional with her children evangelism. Overtime what has been in vogue is adult evangelism which in most cases do not last very long because the adults are already formed,” he said.
Continuing, he said, “Children are easily influenced and shaped in the way they should go. Proverbs 22:6 says we should train our children in the way they should go and when they grow up they will not depart from it.”
He also noted that non-Christians seem to obey the Proverbs 22:6 injunctions more than Christians. “People in other religions introduce their children early to their beliefs and practices. That is why religious terrorism is on the increase today. So many children have been used as suicide bombers because they were thoroughly brainwashed and indoctrinated.”
Enquiring why the church is not leveraging on the method of catching children young for the Lord, Emmanuel said, “Today’s church growth is only measured according to the number of adults in attendance at church meetings and according to how much adults bring to the church.
“Unfortunately we don’t know that by so doing we are short changing our future; that is why most times, the older a church denomination is, the less powerful it is spiritually. It is because of how the church neglect the children in terms of their spirituality.
“The best churches do for their children to keep them busy with religious activities. That is why these children on becoming adults get attracted into the world and abandoned the church. They were never introduced to the faith of their fathers, they only enjoy the results of their fathers’ spiritual sacrifice therefore they would get attracted to the world. When they don’t have enough inner energy to resist, they get blown away,” he explained.