Interesting information about children.
Psychologists say that a child’s moral compass must be turned on by age seven or they could become pathological morally. The compass is activated by making sure children understand that their actions impact the lives of others. Parents who wait until the child is five or six to discipline them, are gambling with their ability to activate the child’s moral compass. Those children will have trouble adjusting to social norms in school.
George Barna (Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions) says moral development begins as early as two years old and by nine it is pretty much set.
During those years is when parents have the most influence on the child. After that age it is harder to get them to change their views. By the time they are sixteen they are influenced more by others than by parents.
What does it mean to the church?
We need to spend more time helping parents influence children spiritually from two years old to nine years old.
Do you know where churches tend to invest most of their money and resources? Adults and Youth! By the time they are in Youth, you are literally wrestling with them mentally to achieve change that aligns with Christ.
Get rid of Youth groups? Of course not. They are invaluable. But imagine the difference if those in our Youth were already properly formed spiritually and thinking biblically.
What it does mean is that we should invest more resources, including time and people, in those from two years old to fifth grade.
The challenges? It is very difficult to get workers who will invest their time in the children’s ministries. It is the place where you need more workers per student. One teacher can handle thirty youth or adults in a class, but not so with children. Another challenge is that often parents do not bring their children to Sunday School or other children’s ministries. They wait until they can go to Youth- when it is practically speaking – too late.
Something to think about!