GCN 02 The 4-14 Window — English Transcript

hello I’m Jack agar and this is global children’s network this is session number two today we’re going to be talking about the 414 window now what is the 414 window well first of all it is it speaks of the ages of four through 14 a window is an opportunity and it’s also described as the way that we look at our world so when we speak in the 414 window we are challenging spiritual leaders pastors churches parents to look at children to look at children’s ministry different than we have seen them in the past let me share this idea with you what we have found through research in North America and though we have not researched the countries or all the countries of the world we are very confident that the majority of all who ever come to Christ in faith will come to the Lord in faith between the ages of 4 and 14 if that is true and research is bearing this out today we must look at the importance of children and youth and ministry to children in youth as a great great priority of the church I’m going to share some ideas with you on the 414 window and how we should look at ministry a bit differently than we have in the past but before I do that let me give you a little bit of a historical sketch a background of the ministry of the 4/14 window it all really began with the imminent missiology Lewis Bush Lewis Bush back in the 1980s came up with an amazing concept in his research he discovered that there is a band around the earth of unreached peoples in fact he called it the 1040 window ten degrees latitude north by 40 degrees latitude north if you would look at that on a globe are on the internet you will see there are many many people groups there that still need to be reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ now to explain to you the magnitude of this finding and the revelation that Luis Bush had when he posted his research and began to share with others it reverberate it around the evangelical world and churches and ministry or ghen
ization z– mission organizations many of them changed the way they looked at the world reorganize their priorities and really begin to focus on that band going around planet Earth that was back in the late 1980s in 1994 a leader with compassion international dr. Dan Brewster was thinking of that one day and he shared with his contemporaries another idea he called it instead his viewpoint the four fourteen window he said this we all know the importance of the 1040 window but I think there might also be another window another way for us to look at the world and that is between the ages of 4 and 14 Dan Brewster at that time wrote some of his ideas and when he would speak in groups he would often ask people how many of you came to Christ as a child are a teenager and he was amazed to see that it was always a majority and he began to realize we need to think differently about the importance of getting the gospel out to children and youth so and so from 1994 to 2004 there really there was no real effort to put wills on this great idea ministries were busy everybody but it went about their own way but in my office in Chicago Illinois dr. Dan I’m sorry a dr. John crupper came to me one day he worked for us at our headquarters and he said have you seen this article he said I was digging on the internet and I came up with this idea of the 414 window that was originally posted by Dan Brewster he left it on my desk I went a couple of days without looking at it but then out of curiosity one day I reached over and I read the article and I was astounded at this amazing idea that seemingly nobody had really captured and marketed out to the Christian world so dr. cropper and I met several times and decided that we should do something about this now this was the year 2004 I reached out to a number of ministry leaders Paul Robbins the president of Christianity today Jean Mims with life way down in Nashville Tennessee Reese Kauffman the president of child evangelism fellowship bill Gregg the president of gospel light publications and Regal books several others chose to come aboard with us as sponsors of an event we literally chose to try to gather up 15 to 20 to maybe 25 leaders in a roundtable format to discuss the importance of this 4:14 window I reached out to George Barna of the Barna research group a Christian researcher in the US and he agreed to be the keynote so we set aside three days and we invited people to come to our headquarters Chicago and to our utter amazement we literally had to cut off the number of people invited at 95 leaders from over 55 different organizations and when they came they came with open ears open eyes open hearts and they really soaked in the discussions that we had for several days being led by George Barna as to the great great importance of children and youth ministry that every church needed to somehow see this as their great priority in making disciples especially next generation disciples it was a wonderful event God greatly blessed and at the end of the event when I had the pleasure and the joy of closing the event I shared with everybody the idea of a large drum and that our goal was to together build this movement and make a loud noise by beating on that drum so that pastors and ministry leaders around the world would come to recognize that the 4/14 window was every bit as important as the 10/40 window that Luis Bush originally brought to our attention as I think about this I think of what Jesus said in John chapter 4 verse 35 when he says really three things one open your eyes open your eyes insofar as take a moment to see things differently than the way you have been seeing things secondly he says look out into the fields the fields represent humanity so when you look out across the world to the billions of people that live on planet Earth recognize they’re all made in the image of God but because of sin they’re separated from God and they need the Savior Jesus Christ that is our calling it is the Ministry of the gospel that we call the Great Commission making disciples and so the last thing here is that the fields that we look out are ready for harvest in other words if we by faith are willing to reach out we will see people from all people groups in the world come to faith in Jesus Christ our we ourselves found faithful in returning to that very mission that God has given to us so let me give you five insights on the 4:14 window as you contemplate the importance of this window of opportunity this way of looking at the world differently than perhaps you have in the past number one the 4:14 window is the golden hour of opportunity it is the golden hour of opportunity for every Church you know when you think about it they say that there are something around 5 million churches in the world today but so many of these churches are inward focused they really believe that their mission is simply to bring people within their context on Sundays and and and they’re going to worship and they’re going to preach and they’re gonna pray and they’re going to do those wonderful things that we can do as believers but they fail to recognize the church is at its greatest when it’s reaching out when it’s outward focused when it’s penetrating the community with works of love and also through those works of love pointing people to Jesus Christ himself what an amazing thing when you think that between the ages of 4 and 14 that is the golden hour for every church that is where you can make a great impact in your community because children are so receptive to the things of God you know it seems that as we get older we become more resistant we become set in our ways adults are very hard to reach now people can come to Christ at any age I’m simply saying that children’s hearts are tender and they’re open and they’re receptive to the Word of God and if we bring God’s truth to them and draw them into a context where we can show them the light of Christ many of these children will come to faith in the Lord and by the way when a child comes to faith in Jesus Christ he or she has an entire lifetime ahead to serve and to be light and salt to the world number two children’s ministry and youth ministry are truly the best stewardship that a church could have when you think about it what is your stewardship we know that a steward is one who takes care of his masters resources so we are stewards of all that belongs to God in fact we belong to God and since we belong to God our time our treasures and our talents they belong to God so if we’re going to invest our time to do Kingdom work if we’re going to invest our skills our treasures then we need to look at children’s ministry because that is the best utilization of our stewardship number three children’s ministry is a wonderful way to build bridges to parents I could tell you many stories of frustrated pastors who had always tried to reach adults but found it very difficult only to discover through what we have to offer that when you reach out to the children and the youth and you begin to do ministry with them the parents open their hearts and many of the parents become receptive to that connection and ultimately to Jesus Christ himself number four disciplining children and youth now as they are young we’ll ultimately impact and change the world we live in we must begin to see the Ministry of the church no longer as a hundred meter dash as in the Olympics but more of a marathon that if we’re going to make disciples it is a long-term proposition and the sooner we start with children the better and then number five children and youth can also be disciples think about that did you know that there are people in the world today that honestly don’t believe children can be Christians they don’t believe that children can do things for the kingdom they don’t believe that children are serving or can serve as missionaries when you think about that let me tell you at whatever age you come to Jesus Christ whether it’s for 14 or 40 at that very moment you become owned by Jesus because He shed his blood for you and he purchased you out of sin and at that very moment you are his and he calls on you to come and follow him and be his disciple you don’t start disciple when they turn 18 or 28 you disciple them when they come to faith in Jesus Christ so a child can a child learn truth let me tell you clearly that children are like little sponges they can soak up a whole lot more information than we older adults can and so while they’re young while they are receptive while their brains are quick to bring in new information let us fill them with God’s truth and assign them to the task of telling God’s story to the world

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