Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Aim Lower!

Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God 
may not be the big things that you do
 — but the one little person you love. 
Ann Voskamp

In my previous post, I talked about the importance of the 4/14 Window, which shows us that the majority of people who come to know Christ as their Savior do so before the age of 14. Currently, 48% of Uganda's population falls into that 0-14 age range.
That means we all come into contact with many children each day in Uganda.
And that means we have a responsibility.
A big one. A responsibility to aim lower.


So how do we aim lower? How do we see children come to Christ? Some would argue for VBS-type programs, others support youth conferences and camps, and Sunday school seems to be the most popular method. But is that enough? Will children grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord from one hour a week? Or one week a year?

I whole-heartedly believe that empowering parents to disciple their children in Christ is the best way to reach children. Deuteronomy 6 gives us the model for generational faithfulness. It shows parents how to and when to disciple their children (Spoiler alert: In all ways, at all times). The church gets one...maybe two... hours a week with children and youth, but what about the other 166 hours? Who is discipling them the rest of the time?

God created the family structure on purpose, and the church should be aiming to support parents in their God-given role as the primary disciple-makers in their children's lives. Providing training, encouragement, support groups, and accountability for parents are just some of the ways this can be accomplished.

But what about the children growing up in homes without believing parents?
Or the children who don't have parents?
That's where we come in. When we're living in community, we have unique opportunities to speak truth and show love to the children in our lives. We can make an eternal difference because "every child we encounter is a divine appointment" (source). So we, as the body of Christ, must come together and
aim lower...
think smaller...
give up...
and go have a cup of coffee!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

4/14 Window

If you know much about missions or the Church, you've probably heard about the 10/40 Window. According to The Joshua Project, it "is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia approximately between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude...and includes the majority of the world's Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists."

The 10/40 Window is a great frontier for missions and making disciples of all nations, even especially those that are currently 99.9% Muslim.

AIM has a strong emphasis on reaching the unreached people in Africa.
"Christ-centered churches among all African people, with an emphasis for the unreached." 
That's our mission's motto. That's our hearts' cry.

While the 10/40 Window certainly influences us, AIM also believes in something called the 4/14 Window. This "refers to the demographic group from ages four to fourteen years old, which is the most open and receptive to every form of spiritual and developmental input." (

AIM recognizes the importance of reaching children and discipling them from a young age. The Church has influence, opportunity, mandate, manpower, and responsibility to raise the next generation of Christ-followers and transform the world by doing so.
God is calling us to radically change the way we view children and recognize their rightful and powerful place in His Kingdom.

In Deuteronomy 6, parents are given the mandate and instructions on how to raise their children in the knowledge and fear of the Lord. This is, hands down, the number one top priority in parenting. More important than making sure your children are happy, comfortable, popular, high-achieving, or successful is making sure they love God with all their heart, soul, and strength.

I'll explore what this looks like in an up-coming post!