Hello I’m Jack Eggar, the president of Global Children’s Network. I am preparing twenty training segments for all of those who will be working with us going forward. It is our passion, it is our very desire to see children come to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. To actually be missional in their vision of the world. The Kingdom of God touching the hearts of falling humanity and ever drawing them to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our desire for you, those who are training and learning our ideas, our passion, our concepts related to the ministry that we like to see with Children Youth and Families.
So global children’s network is first and foremost a network. We are a network of ministries, of pastors, denominational leaders, ministry leaders, volunteers, parents, and those who love to work with Children Youth and Families. It is our desire to effectively help train you and prepare you in every way, so that through your influence and leadership children would come to know Jesus Christ as their savior. We are very passionate about local churches all over the world, and we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ established his church so that we would be light and salt, so that we would be very hands and the feet and the voices of Jesus Christ. So as you go through these trainings with me I pray that you will be greatly blessed and that the Lord will show you some new insights to help you understand that we are to be about our father’s business and the business that we’ve been called to the very mission of every church from the day that Jesus founded the church to this very day is to make disciples.
How do we make disciples. Do we really make disciples only and entirely by bringing our children to church and allowing the church to have them for an hour or two each week. Though I am a big fan of Sunday school and whatever ministries the Church would like to do, we have come to recognize that when we are serious about making next generation disciples we must recognize that the church must reactivate the parents — get them back into the ministry — so that they see their homes as the very places where time exists.
What I would like to do now is to take you on a journey through the values of Global Children’s Network. I have on my tab here a list of six very important values that make us unique, that truly helps everyone to see what makes Global Children’s Network something different than other children’s ministries around the world. Let me share these ideas with you. First and foremost, we see pastors as wonderful and called shepherds of the Lord. As a shepherd (and I served as a pastor for a number of years), I saw my responsibilities as leading my sheep, feeding my sheep, and protecting my sheep. But one day as I looked at my oldest son, Joshua, who is in the United States Army, and I recognized one day that he was called to duty in Iraq, and as a captain over one hundred and fifty man he was called to do two things.
First and foremost, he spent an entire year preparing them for battle; but at the end of that year, he and his men went to the country of Iraq where he then had the responsibility to personally lead them into battle. This is very important to understand that we, as pastors, we are shepherds, but we are also captains. In fact in Hebrews chapter 2 verse 10 we are told that Jesus himself is the captain of our salvation. So if the Bible could use such a concept, such a motif, as the word captain in describing Jesus and what he does in leading us, so we who are shepherds must see ourselves also as captains. And as shepherds we need to do two things: we need to prepare our people for spiritual battle, and we need to personally lead them into spiritual battle.
Now I need to make a confession to you right here. I, in all of the years I pastored, always took great joy in preparing the people of the church for spiritual battle. I preached, I taught them God’s word, I encouraged them, I counseled them. But let me be honest with you. Never once in all the years that I pastored, did I ever come down from the pulpit and literally step into the homes of the people to train, commission, empower, and help them start spiritual ministry, spiritual conversation in their homes.
I discovered something fathers are a lot like soldiers. They need a captain they can respect. A captain who will enter their personal space — their very homes — and help them get started. I have found through experience that I can meet with a number of fathers, and I can share with them biblical principles, and they will all agree with me — but they themselves will not activate their role as shepherds in their homes with their own children until the captain, the pastor of the church, comes in to help them get started. And when that happens it’s almost as if the Father’s Christian fathers of the world will stand to attention and they’ll salute, and they will do what they’re called to do. But they need a captain; and I recognized that in most churches of the world with most pastors (that I know), they have not done this just, as I have not done this. And so one of the things that we would love to do in Global Children’s Network is bring to the attention of pastors around the world this unique role of being both Pastor and Shepherd.
Here’s the second thing: we believe that a church-parent partnership is now required. I talked to a group of men one day and I asked them what what is the role of the father when it comes to the spiritual development of your children. One man raised his hand. He said, “Well I I drive my my children to church every week.” And I thought, “now isn’t that interesting that the spiritual duties set forth by Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 6 have diminished to the place where so many fathers today in countries around our world think that all they have to do is to get their kids to church. Maybe a holy chauffeur. If we can get them to church then the church will take care of their spiritual development.
Here is the fundamental problem. The church doesn’t have enough time. The kids and the parents probably in the average church only spend a couple of hours a week there. Time exist in the home. That’s where there’s lots of time. In fact that’s where the lion’s share of time exists. And so if that’s the case, please understand that what we are doing is we are making the statement: That f discipleship is truly going to take place, and our children are going to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, we must certainly make sure that we are discipling them in the home.
Here’s what’s required: the parents. The parents have to see their role as being the mentors of their own children. And they cannot just easily delegate that responsibility to the church. Now I believe the church can do its part. And listen to me carefully. I believe the church should ever be pouring into the parents, and helping them pour into their children in the home where all of the time exists. That’s very important to see that it’s not the church acting as a spiritual surrogate parent in place of the parents who are inactive in their home; nor is it the parents taking their kids out of church. It really is a church-parent partnership that we must all do together. Pastors, parents, church, home: we must now synchronize this if we’re serious about making disciples.
Let me say this about time. Think about Jesus himself in the Gospels. He spent over three years with his disciples. He spent every day, all day, seven days a week training them as disciples. That took an extraordinary amount of time. Do we think that we can actually commit less time to our kids — put them in that little box of a couple hours a week — and that out of that box someday when they turn 18 they will be spiritual champions for Jesus? I think we are deluding ourselves in thinking that we can make disciples by literally controlling their time and space within the context of the church for just a couple of hours a week. I think you know in your spirit along with me that discipleship is far more demanding. It requires much time, great sacrifice, lots of energy that we need to pour into our kids. That’s why the church, as it puts into the parents and empowers them to put into their kids, they will truly make next generation disciples.
The third thing is God’s Big Story.
Think with me about this. This Bible is God’s word. We have all said that for years. But here’s another way of looking at it. This is God’s story. It is the story of the redemption of humanity. In fact this story of God is made up of many, many stories. And all of these stories are interlocked and they build foundations of understanding. They literally take us on an experiential journey of discovery — so that we know God’s word, and ultimately as we learn the truths of God’s word, we are introduced to Jesus Christ himself, through faith, through fully trusting in Jesus Himself.
When you think of the four stories of Scripture think of them this way. There are four major themes in the Word of God. Four major themes. There is the theme of God: who He is, His eternality, His creative genius — all that He sustains to this very day in existence. My goodness! It is the Lord himself the Bible reveals. But then we read also that God made man and woman in His very image. We are awesome. We are special. We are made with intellect. We are made with the powers to reason. We are also able to discern and to choose right from wrong. God has made us with so much.
And now we come to the third theme and that is sin — because of our parents Adam and Eve in the Garden. Well ladies and gentlemen, we have all sinned. And this is what troubles us and our world to this very day. But because of God’s great love for us the fourth thing speaks of salvation. And that is that God sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. And that’s what we want our kids to know.
So when we talk about the Big Story, here’s what we do in Global Children’s Network through our Malachi Kids Club ministries: we teach our children through stories. We teach them God’s Big Story. And we build those foundations, those spiritual stepping stones, that bring them to a knowledge of Jesus Christ. All of the stories of scriptures are interlocked, so that those four major themes are seen over and over again — through the Old Testament into the New Testament — through the very life of Jesus Christ Himself. It’s very important to see that we are really passionate about the big story: God’s Big Story.
Number four: we believe that everyone can be a storyteller. In fact if you went to one of our Malachi Kid’s Clubs, you would see that after the fun and game time that we all get together and have this wonderful storytelling time, where a Master Storyteller gets up and tells one of the 97 primary stories from the Word of God. And what we do with that story each week is we, with great skill and passion and object lessons and aids and music and drama and whatever tools that we care to use — and we will teach our master storytellers all of these things — what we do is we absolutely fill our kids with wonder and amazement as they listen to these stories. And then what we do is we break into small groups and the kids literally learn more about the story. They do a deep dive down into the morals, the teaching, the theology of each story; and then they practice telling the story to one another. That is the most awesome thing when you think about it. In fact what we then do with our children is we come together, we hold hands, and we commission the children and the youth, who also serve as leaders, and the volunteer leaders, to all go out and tell God story every week. And you will be amazed with me how many kids actually go and do that.
Number five: we always place the Gospel at the center of all that we do. We are in the business of making disciples which is the great commission of Jesus Christ that he gave to his Church. And in that commission we are pointing people to Jesus. When we speak of the Gospel, we’re talking about the person of Jesus: the Son of God, and God the Son; and the work of Jesus: His atoning death for the sins of the world on the cross of Calvary. We point all that we influence to Jesus. It’s all about Jesus. And we are most passionate about Him.
And then sixth and last: we have global ownership. Most organizations and ministries — they have more of a tight fisted-control approach. “This is ours. Even if we expand out into different places of the world, it’s ours. You need to do it our way. We have all of these controls and checks and balances.” In Global Children’s Network we are simply catalysts. We are part of a movement bringing the church back to its mission of making next generation disciples. And therefore our approach is more of a hands open (visual sign of blowing something off of open hands) — we really truly believe that’s how Jesus did it with His disciples and all that came about as a result of their wonderful ministry. And so it is today, as we raise up leadership in countries around the world, we want you to take ownership. We want you to take ownership in your churches. This is your ministry. We are handing it over to you with a challenge to go make disciples, to go and produce spiritual fruit for the glory of God. So as an introduction I want you to know that Global Children’s Network is quite unique and we have some wonderful training resources and tools for you to be at your very best to be effective and reaching children and youth — and yes, families/parents with this ministry. And by doing so we believe that your church will grow and have a larger impact in the community in which you exist.
God bless you. Have a wonderful day.