Various surveys in recent years have found that churches in the United States are losing between fifty and seventy-five percent of their children to the world by their early twenties. In spite of the fact that some of those return later in life, this rate of loss should be extremely alarming to church leaders as well as parents. While this defection may appear to develop in our children’s late teens to early twenties research has discovered this may well not be the case. Ken Hamm in his book “Already Gone” found that children start to lose interest in their religion as young as six to eight years old when they begin school and other activities outside the home as well as exposure to the internet with all its distractions. We often make the false assumption that our children are growing in their faith because we drag them to church activities several times a week through their pre-teen and teenage years. Many denominations and some congregations of the church of Christ, in knee-jerk reaction to this crisis, grope for ways to keep and bring back millennials and their children. Much of these efforts relate to satisfying “felt-needs” and providing various sorts of entertainment in and out of worship. While this may appear to provide positive results in the short run, is it in keeping with God’s will for our children?
Paul writes in Ephesians 6:4 “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”(ESV) The verb “bring up” means “to nourish” indicating our children are to be fed God’s Word leading them to spiritual maturity as they reach physical adulthood. Training indicates educating, instructing, cultivating mind and morals, leading to full possession of God’s will as found in the Bible. Admonition, literally “to put in mind”, relates to a warning, correction or encouragement. (1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:13-14)
Preparing our children for a faithful life of service to God is an awesome, and at times, frightening responsibility for fathers as well as church leaders. (Mark 9:42) “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.”
Where to find the resources to effectively accomplish the critical task?
I have been involved with L2L for over twenty-five years as a father, deacon, elder, convention coordinator, and convention director. During that time I have witnessed first-hand the success this program has had in helping parents and their congregations prepare children to withstand worldly temptations and lead a faithful Christian life that is pleasing to God.
L2L is the oldest and largest leadership training program used by the churches of Christ today. It is a tool that each congregation can use to help prepare their boys, girls and adults for service in the Kingdom of God and develop overall leadership potential in their respective roles in the church. L2L is more than just attending a youth rally or participating in a Bible Bowl. We offer a wide variety of Bible-based materials and events for preschoolers through adults.
The goal of L2L is to provide churches of Christ with effective, proven, year-round leadership training tools that can be adapted to individual congregational needs.
The purpose of L2L is to help local congregations instill the word of God into youth and adults so that they will stand firm in the faith. Teaching students to do “Bible things in Bible ways” is the essence of L2L.
L2L is NOT a “youth” program; it is a congregational program that requires participation throughout the family of God to be successful. There are currently six conventions at various sites in the spring of each year that are attended by over 20,000 youth and adults to celebrate the accomplishments of our children. We have numerous publications available on our website www.lads2leaders.com and almost forty year-round, pre-convention and convention events/activities for preschoolers through adults covering every aspect of spiritual growth and leadership training.
We simply provide materials and hold workshops and conventions. Control of the use of this program is under the leaders of local congregations.
Children that actively participate in the L2L Program throughout their pre-teen and teenage years have a faithfulness retention rate of 80-90 percent after high school! Founded in 1968 L2L has a proven record of success in training up our children in the way they should go. (Proverbs 22:6)