God has entrusted to each of us a certain amount of time, money, and talent. What we do with these resources is called stewardship, which is the “wise investment of resources in order to reach the maximum amount of return.” George Barna, the nation’s leading church demographer, found an astonishing fact while doing research on evangelism. He wrote:
“We discovered that the probability of someone embracing Jesus as his or her Savior was 32 percent for those between the ages of 5 and 12; 4 percent for those in the 13- to 18-age range; and 6 percent for people 19 and older. In other words, if people do not embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior before they reach their teenage years, the chance of their do so at all is slim.”
This means children are one of the largest, most strategic, and responsive mission fields in America today. Many churches are investing far more time and money in trying to reach adults and teens than they are children. This plan doesn’t seem like good stewardship.
Imagine having $1000 to invest in mutual funds. Your financial advisor does his research and tells you that if you put your money in Fund A, you’ll get a 32% return. But if you put your money into Fund B, you’ll get a 4% return. And if you put your money into Fund C, you will get a 6% return on your investment. Which fund would you choose? Only a fool would put his money into the fund that was going to yield the smallest return. This, though, is the spiritual investment strategy of many churches in America. They put their time, money, and resources into the adults and teens, while giving the kids’ ministry only token resources.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying, “Forget about teens and adults.” Those ministries are vitally important. I was saved as a fifteen year-old kid. I have a daughter, Ashton, who is 15 and a son, Jordan, who is almost 14. I understand the importance of a strong student ministry. From a standpoint of wise stewardship, however, the largest harvest of souls for our investment is going to come from investing in children.
I pray that more churches would be wise in their investment into the kingdom. I pray they give their kids’ ministries the focus, attention, and resources they need to do an effective job of communicating the gospel to the largest and most fertile mission field in the world!
 George Barna, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions (Regal Books, 2003), 34.