Pouring into the next generation

Pastor Caleb Campbell from Crossroads Church in Georgia shares a message on the significance and centrality of children in God’s Kingdom.

Jesus repeatedly received, blessed and served the youngest of society

And they were bringing children to Him that He might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.’ And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them.”

– (Mark 10:13-16, ESV)

Mark’s account is a powerful reminder of Jesus’ love for children and the priority He gave them in His ministry. In a world that too often dismisses, minimizes, or mistreats them, Jesus repeatedly received, blessed, and served the youngest of society.

 

In reading this and similar interactions from His life, it’s clear Jesus focused on children because He viewed them as the most precious, innocent, and vulnerable of His creation. That’s why we see Him not only blessing them, but also warning against any who would harm them (Matthew 18:1-6). It’s why He took time to free a tormented boy from an unclean spirit (Mark 9:14-29) and bring a little girl back to life (Mark 5:21-43). If anyone needed the love Jesus brought the world, surely it was children.

They carry in them the coming Kingdom



This passage, though, suggests Jesus also prioritized children because He recognized their importance in His kingdom. It’s interesting that even as Jesus lived in the present – constantly meeting the physical and spiritual needs of those around Him – He always had a mind for the future. Our Lord spoke of His coming kingdom over 100 times in the Gospel accounts, and He consistently poured into those who would lead it after He was gone. In this context, Jesus knew the babies, children, and teenagers He encountered would be the very ones who would carry God’s hope, power, and kingdom into the future and around the world.

Attention, hope and dignity for every child

Since being introduced to Abba’s Pride in 2022, I have been struck by their commitment to honouring Jesus’ devotion to the most vulnerable of His creation. Like Jesus, Abba’s Pride goes beyond just seeing and feeling the needs of children; they make an impact by acting on those needs.

 

Crossroads (my home church) and I have been privileged to see firsthand their programmes that feed, serve, and teach over 800 children every single day in rural South Africa. On each of our trips working alongside them, our mission teams have been moved by the attention, dignity, and hope the Abba’s Pride team offers every child they encounter.

Also, like Jesus, though, Abba’s Pride is focused on more than just immediate needs. They recognize that the future of God’s kingdom on the African continent depends heavily on its youngest generation, and they place a premium on strategies and programmes that will develop young leaders and produce God-honouring, sustainable results far beyond their own reach. One such programme that Crossroads has been blessed to participate in is Tlotso, an annual retreat to strengthen, develop, and revive teenagers who serve across Abba’s Pride’s rural locations.”

The potential to serve His kingdom now and for years to come

This year’s retreat saw around 50 young leaders come together for four days of worship, teaching, personal prayer, small groups, leadership development, barbecues, rest, and fun. The teenagers had deep spiritual experiences like a journey through the Stations of the Cross and a night of worship under the stars, and they had a blast with everything from lip sync battles and team chants to relay races and water balloon games.


 
It was incredible to see young people walk away with deeper relationships with Christ, a stronger community of fellow-believers, and the knowledge that they have the God-given value, talent, and potential to serve and grow His kingdom now and for years to come.


 
Crossroads and I are incredibly thankful to Abba’s Pride for the way they have welcomed us, treated us like family, and given us the opportunity to serve alongside them. But more than that, we praise God for their faithfulness in loving His children and growing His kingdom.



If you are looking for a partner who is committed to impacting children’s lives today while building the kingdom’s future, I humbly recommend that you consider the Abba’s Pride team and their Christ-honouring work.


 
-Pastor Caleb Campbell

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