The philosophically liberal magazine, American Prospect, included an article in the January/February, 2014, edition, by Sharon Lerner entitled, “Starting Smart.” The article begins by asserting that there is almost universal support in the public, business, and political sectors for mandatory, universal Pre-K education. Lerner, considering such broad favor, ardently calls for leveling the playing field wherever there is a perceived gap, and mandating public education for the nation’s youngest citizens is alleged as the way to go (62-65). While I have multiple problems with the content of the article, my biggest disagreement is that social, economic, or other physical needs are, as the article contends, a small child’s greatest unmet needs.
The hugest unmet needs of young children in this and every culture are spiritual. It would be interested to know what percentage of our nation’s children get even weekly Bible instruction. For several decades, there has been a steep decline in spiritual interest in our country. Secular interests have far eclipsed spiritual interest. I am confident that such tragic facts, when we stand before Christ at the Judgment, will help explain the moral volcano that has spilled its damaging influence over just about every aspect of society.
While our evangelistic efforts can help us reach more “unchurched” folks and incorporate them into our Bible school program, something else has amazed me. Growing up in the church, I have for all my life seen neglect from some members of the church in this area. Parents did not bring their children to Bible class regularly if at all. When those children grew up and left the home, they usually left the church, too. I still witness that same trend, both in congregations where I have preached and in places where I travel to speak. In essence, this robs children of the solid foundation they must have to navigate the turbulent spiritual waters of this life. Parents, let us take Solomon’s words to heart and do all we can to properly train our children for later life and eternity (Pr. 22:6)! God has entrusted their eternal welfare into our hands.