Children and youth have always been special to me as a pastor and teacher. They also carry a special place in the heart of the BOC Family. More importantly, they are precious to our God. The Bible prophecies in Isaiah 11:6 about the coming Millennial Reign of Christ that “a little child will lead them.” Jesus admonished His own disciples in Mark 10:14 that they should “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Then the apostle Paul, in 1 Timothy 4:12, exhorts Timothy to not “let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” And then we have that wonderful promise in Proverbs 22:6 that tells us if we “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it.”

These are some powerful Scriptures about children and youth. It’s important as a church to encourage and to affirm our young people, especially since we live in a culture that cheapens them by telling them they are cosmic accidents through evolution; are told that they are no more than another animal that cannot control urges and “instinct”; are taught that there is no hope or afterlife, but all there is is what you see; that as long as it feels good to do it; and that if anyone talks about sin and the need for a Savior, that they are being judgmental. What an odd world we live in – what a sinful world we live in – what a hard place to grow up as children and youth.

So, as a church, we must take every opportunity to praise our younger generation; to affirm them; to encourage them; to celebrate them; all while a part of the fellowship of believers we call the CHURCH!! And with so many of the next generation without strong role models in their home life, it’s even more important that we serve as a covering for them in the family of God when they are lacking such a covering at home.

This Sunday is one such opportunity to encourage them. We will be recognizing THIRTEEN different graduates extending from elementary school into middle school all the way to college graduates. Will you please help us as a church to affirm them – to encourage them – to praise them – to celebrate them – this Sunday morning during the worship service?? Your attendance and VISIBLE support will send a message loud and clear to them that they are important – they are made in the image of God – that there is hope in Christ – that the CHURCH cares for them in ways no one in the world can!! I hope you will seize the opportunity to encourage our children and youth – sounds like something Jesus Himself would do!!