Our Kids and Virtual Reality

Our Kids and Virtual Reality – Challenge from Pastor Gary

Awhile back, I commented that many times the ‘virtual reality’ our kids experience is so much more real to them than the ‘spiritual reality’ they can experience with God in our churches.  This thought has been on my heart again, so I’d like to share with you the ‘Introduction’ portion of ‘Redeeming a Generation.’  I pray this is a powerful challenge for you and your ministry.

-Pastor Gary

The term ‘Virtual Reality’ tends to bring to mind thoughts of a creative, computer-simulated environment which has been generated for entertainment. For a moment, focus with me on the concept of ‘Reality.’ What is real? What do we believe to be real? For many children, the virtual reality that they experience in their daily computer environments has become more real than the spiritual environment which can and should be taking place between them and God.

Today’s culture has immersed our children in a world of entertainment. The ‘virtual reality’ of the day and age we live is based upon self and selfish pleasure.  There was a time when entertainment was focused around family events. We have now seen entertainment step to the forefront of almost every activity in daily life from what was a once or twice a week event. It is becoming more of a standard for children to have: fully equipped entertainment arcade systems in their rooms; cell phones with games, music, and texting in their pockets; and laptops and computers with world-wide access at home and school. Though none of these are intrinsically bad influences within themselves, they are indeed distractions from the spiritual realities which exist in a relationship with God.

Our children are being spiritually ambushed. As entertainment has now become a daily occurrence, church family and God are being relegated to a Sunday event or the weekly occurrence once held by entertainment, instead of God remaining the central focus of our children’s lives. God must be moved back to His rightful throne. We must lead our children into daily experiencing God. It is the classic quote that must be enacted. Our children must “know God, not just know about God.” We must lead them to realize and experience what is true reality in contrast to what is perceived reality.

This magnificent responsibility is yours. E. M. Bounds wrote –

“The preacher must throw himself, with all the abandon of a perfect, self-emptying faith and a self-consuming zeal, into his work for the salvation of men. Hearty, heroic, compassionate, fearless martyrs must the men be who take hold of and shape a generation for God. If they be timid time servers, place seekers, if they be men pleasers or men fearers, if their faith has a weak hold on God or his Word, if their denial be broken by any phase of self or the world, they cannot take hold of the Church nor the world for God.”

As one who ministers to children, you are challenged to ‘heartily, heroically, compassionately, and fearlessly’ shape a generation for God. Move yourself.  Stir up the gift within you to no longer be a timid time server with a weak hold on God or His Word. Our children cannot afford such an attitude or lack of responsibility.

Redeeming a Generation” is a ‘call to arms’ for every children’s ministry leader.  The time has come for us to bring our children back into an experiential relationship with their Heavenly Father.

Redeeming a Generation Resource Kit is available online at:  http://childrensministry.org/estore/redeeming-a-generation-resource-kit/