Spiritual & Natural Development
Birth to Two Years
Humans develop in stages. Not exactly big news – everything that develops does it in stages. But did you know that for each stage of human development, there is a corresponding stage of spiritual growth too? And the most important of these comes first! Listen to the first of the series Spiritual Growth and Human Development and learn about the first stage of human development, from birth to two years of age, and the corresponding spiritual piece.
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We have learned recently that our mission is to make disciples, and that disciples are drawn to healthy congregations. Why would God send new people to sick environments? He doesn’t. Disciples are drawn to healthy congregations. Now, spiritually healthy congregations, we’ve learned, are in part composed of spiritually fervent people. Right? You’ve heard us talk about that. Spiritually fervent people have a strong relationship with God. That’s what makes them spiritually fervent. And all adults who are spiritually fervent start out as children, don’t they? Rearing our children with a relationship with God in mind helps fulfill the reason for our calling. Does that make sense? If God calls people to healthy congregations, and healthy congregations are made up of spiritually fervent people, and all people start out as kids, then, if we help our kids have a relationship with God early on, then we’re contributing to congregations that are spiritually strong – congregations that God would like to call people to. So, when we talk about our children, and helping them develop a relationship with God, that really is one aspect of doing the work of God, isn’t it? For that reason?
Now, I believe that God has provided us – and “us” would be parents, pastors, youth workers, congregational members – a powerful way to help children develop a relationship with God – a powerful way to help them develop – to grow spiritually. And I believe that those of us in the Church have overlooked that powerful way almost completely, except perhaps in the area of Bible education. So, let’s understand that.