Be careful! Don't make the mistake of thinking that little children are unimportant! I tell you that they have angels who are always with my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:10 NCV)
Children matter to God. They should matter to you, too. Jesus reminds us in the book of Matthew not to “make the mistake of thinking that little children are unimportant!” (Matthew 18:20). We need to obey Jesus’ words.
Before I started Saddleback Church more than 30 years ago, I went door-to-door in our community and did an opinion poll. I focused on people who didn’t go to church and why they didn’t go. Many people weren’t attending church simply because the churches in our community had nothing for their kids. We’ve focused a lot of energy and resources through the years on meeting that need by building thriving ministries to children and youth.
As adults, we tend to focus on what we can teach children. But what about what they can teach you? Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). You need children in your life. They help you grow.
You can’t be all that God wants you to be without children. It’s not possible. Children teach you how to be unselfish. It’s hard to be selfish when you have children who depend upon you.
You don’t need to be a parent to have kids in your life, though. Your community has plenty of children who need a caring adult in their lives. Be a Big Brother or Big Sister. Get involved in the children’s ministry or youth ministry at your church. There’ll never be a time in your life when you don’t need to have kids around.
You’ll make a difference in the lives of kids when you do.
And they’ll make a difference in your life, too.
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Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.