by Khoo Tze Wei
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” Psalms 119:9-11.
I was blessed to have been born into and brought up in a Christian home. My parents brought me to Sunday School since I was one month old and I’ve grown up in Klang ever since. Being surrounded by good Christians, I’ve been diligently taught about God and His commandments. These teachings and values that were instilled in me helped me to develop my personal faith in God. Without the right guidance, my faith would be like a rudderless ship.
It is therefore imperative that we teach the young about God and His commandments, lest they are led astray. Even the Israelites were commanded to teach their young:
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deut 6:6-9.
There are three things we observe from this passage:
- The Israelites had to take teaching responsibility of their own children.
- They were to teach them at every given opportunity.
- They were to keep God’s commands close to their hearts.
Based on these observations, we should ask ourselves these probing questions:
- Do we take responsibility in the spiritual upbringing of our young? Or do we only leave it to the bible class teacher and preacher?
- Do we teach them at every given opportunity? Or do we rely only on assemblies on Friday evening and Sunday morning?
- Do you keep God’s commands close to your heart? Or are you “NATO” – No Action, Talk Only?
While we are not able to make the decision to obey God on behalf of our young, yet we ought to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov 22:6. Too often have we seen Christians lose their faith as they transition from high school to university to work.
While it is our personal responsibility as older, more mature Christians to guide young Christians, the church also has a formal structure to support this cause. The objective of the youth work in Klang is to help our young be growing and God-glorifying Christians. Its purpose is to nurture their faith to a point where they can develop and sustain their personal faith in God.
Our core program includes:
– Weekly youth bible classes on Sunday morning.
– Monthly youth fellowships.
– Inter-congregational trips every other month.
– Annual Youth Enrichment Seminars.
These classes and events are all planned and run by youths, for the youths. I have witnessed the tremendous growth of some of our youths who have benefitted from this work; not just growth in their faith, but also their studies and their careers! This is a testament to God’s assurance that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose”. Rom 8:28. It is a testament of God’s wisdom and power found in His word that can change mindsets and behaviour for the better.
Therefore brethren, do not encourage our young to prioritize their studies or career at the expense of their faith. Rather, encourage them to be present and punctual for every bible class. Encourage them to actively participate in any activities that are organized by the youth. Take them under your wing and teach them about God at every opportune time.
“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’” Eccl. 12:1.
Take up this noble responsibility and act now. Lest you blink and the young have aged.
Note: If you want to be involved in the youth work or if you want to find out more about the youth programmes, please talk to me.