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Children have always been close to Jesus' heart. As his followers, it's our responsibility to protect, nurture, and pass our faith to children. In Small Matters: Why Children Are Such a Big Deal, authors Greg Nettle and Jimmy Mellado offer a model of discipleship that encourages parents to raise up the next generation to be deeply committed to and in love with Jesus.
Ministry pioneer D. L. Moody once said that if he could relive his life, he would devote his entire ministry to reaching children for God. What Moody understood was that, by investing in them, the potential for effective change in a child's life is huge. When we awaken to the fact that children between the ages of four and fourteen are the most likely to make a decision to follow Jesus, and that the discipleship that children receive forms their future, it may give you an idea of the importance of ministering the young.
Greg and Jimmy challenge the typical church models of youth discipleship and offer ways to shift into a more effective and more biblical method that begins by empowering parents in their homes and works outward:
Now more than ever churches have to invest in the cause of children through advocacy, sponsorship, and children's ministries—all of which need to be committed to holistic child development. Small Matters will transform the way we view children, invest in them, reach out to them, teach them and, ultimately, empower them to be disciples of Jesus.
"This is a book about small matters, which are really large matters... God has used the small things of this world to do his work, and he continues to do this today. In Jesus' kingdom, the first are last and the least are the greatest, the servants are the heroes and the small are the biggest winners of all." John Ortberg, author and pastor.