Lest we should ever start to feel like our work with kids is pointless, in this short chapter, Spurgeon offers two words of encouragement to both parents and teachers for dealing with kids. The two examples are found in the lives of David and Jesus.
Encouragement #1 – Working with Children is a Noble Endeavor
David was renowned King of Israel and author of numerous psalms. Appointed by God in his early years, David replaced Saul and led the nation of Israel for 40 years. Jesus was, and is, the Son of God who came to earth in human form to die on the cross to pay the price for our sins so that we could be reconcile to God forever. One thing they shared in common was a desire to teach children.
Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. [Psalms 34:11 ESV]
And Jesus proclaimed:
“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 19:14 ESV]
They both had a special place in their heart for working with children. As those involved in Children’s Ministry, we share that love of kids with David and with our Lord. But, we are not alone in that desire. Spurgeon provides a long list of noble people who have engaged in Children’s Ministry throughout history:
“In the United States we have heard of Presidents, of Judges, Members of Congress, and persons in the highest positions, not condescending, for I scorn to use such a term, but honouring themselves by teaching little children in Sabbath-schools. He who teaches a class in a Sabbath-school has earned a good degree. I had rather receive the title of S.S.T. than M.A., B.A., or any other honour that ever was conferred by men. Let me beg you, then, to take heart, because your duties are so honourable.”
Spurgeon points out that teaching kids is not a condescension but an honor, and we should view our work in that way.
Encouragement #2 – Be Encouraged By the Prospect of Success
Spurgeon points to the words of David, “I will teach you the fear of the Lord” and contrast it with what he might have said instead – “I might teach you the fear of the Lord.” David seemed assured of the success of his efforts working with kids. Spurgeon suggests that those of us who work in Children’s Ministry should be encouraged by this prospect of success as well.
Spurgeon reminds us that when we get to heaven, we will finally have the opportunity to see the success of our efforts:
“Up yonder, where the starry hosts perpetually sing God’s high praises, up where the white-robed throng cast their crowns before His feet, we shall behold the success of Sabbath-schools. There, too, where infant millions assemble Sabbath after Sabbath, to sing,—
“Gentle Jesus meek and mild,”
we see with joy the success of Sabbath-schools.”
We not ever see the outcome of our work with children here on earth, but we will have the joy in heaven of seeing how our hard work has impacted the kids we have ministered to.
Finally, Spurgeon reminds us that we should be encouraged to further action by the success from our efforts that God does let us see here on earth:
“Go on with your holy service; much has been done already, but more shall yet be done. Let all your past victories inflame you with fresh ardour, let the remembrance of your triumphs in previous campaigns, and all trophies won for your Saviour on the battle-field of the past be your encouragement to press on with the duty of the present and the future.”
While it is easy to get discouraged in our efforts with God’s kids, Spurgeon reminds us of the eternal impact of our ministry. When things in the present are not going as you hoped, looked to the past and look forward to the future. God has given us great honor and great responsibility in working with kids.
Links to Complete Text
If you’re interested in reading the complete text of “Come Ye Children,” it can be found on at: http://www.spurgeon.org/misc/cyc.htm
The complete text of Chapter Fifteen can be found at: http://www.spurgeon.org/misc/cyc15.htm
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