Until recently I never thought of Charles Spurgeon and children in the same sentence. While he is one of the most famous pastors and prolific writers in the history of the Christian church, he served in an era when “out of sight and out of mind” was the general attitude towards children. It never occurred to me he might have much to say about the importance of kids ministry.
However, after reading Come Ye Children, I now believe, that given the opportunity, Spurgeon just might change his ministry career path from senior pastor to kids ministry.
Evangelism was the heartbeat of his life and ministry. As a pastor he encouraged, instructed, and challenged ministry leaders to “Go and catch the children.” That is the focus of VBS 2015 Preview beginning this week at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, as Dr. Shane Garrison will challenge us to not only build bridges to spiritual orphans (unchurched individuals discovered during VBS), but to fully adopt them into our lives and the life of the church
The challenges he proclaimed over 100 years ago to the kids ministry leaders at the great New Park Street Chapel in London are just as fitting and challenging for us as VBS leaders today.
From the pen of Charles H. Spurgeon…
- “Go and catch the children.”
- “There is no law against it; all is fair in war against the devil. So my first instruction is, get the children, and get them anyhow that you can.”
- “Children need the gospel, the whole gospel, the unadulterated gospel; they ought to have it, and if they are taught of the Spirit of God they are as capable of receiving it as persons of ripe years. Teach the little ones, that Jesus died, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.”
- “Believe in the conversion of children, as children; believe that the Lord can call them by His grace, can renew their hearts’, can give them a part and a lot among His people long before they reach the prime of life.”
- “None of us ever knew what a Savior Christ was till we knew what an evil thing sin was.”
- “This will necessitate your teaching the child his need of a Savior. You must not hold back from this needful task. Do not flatter the child with delusive rubbish about his nature being good and needing to be developed. Tell him he must be born again. Don’t bolster him up with the fancy of his own innocence, but show him his sin. Mention the childish sins to which he is prone, and pray the Holy Spirit to work conviction in his heart and conscience. Deal with the young in much the same way as you would with the old. Be thorough and honest with them. Flimsy religion is neither good for young nor old. These boys and girls; need pardon through the precious blood as surely as any of us.”
As you prepare for kids ministry in this New Year, and especially VBS 2015, may Spurgeon’s words constantly echo in your heart and mind, “Go and catch the children.”
From the pages of Come Ye Children: A Book for Parents and Teachers on the Christian Training of Children by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 19th Century pastor of New Park Street Chapel (Metropolitan Tabernacle), London.
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