What?! Emojis and the Gospel of John. What in the world am I talking about? I simple have to share a treat with you today. My dear friend, Pastor John Stahl, has a new book out – and you will want one – and many more to share! Because it is COOL. It speaks to each one of us, younger or, ummm, more experienced. So here’s John sharing about his latest book, Emojis and the Gospel of John, just in time for Easter.
To make the best first impression possible, I want to let you know that you will be given a coupon code to get a free book, along with a link to the web page to purchase it. You just pay for shipping and handling. The book ties directly to today’s blog.
But, that is at the end of the blog. For those of you that didn’t skip to the end (I would have probably skipped to the end. Then I would have felt guilt. And then I would have come back. So, here we are together.), I want to share a set of statistics and ask you to let them sink in for a minute:
- 70% of 70-year-olds grew up in church.
- 50% of 50-year-olds grew up in church.
- 30% of 30-year-olds grew up in church.
What does that trend tell you about 10, 15 and 20 year olds? Aside from the numbers, it tells us the church is in trouble.
I was sitting at a conference when I heard those statistics, and I heard nothing else the entire speech. As a former youth pastor, I was stunned. Truth be told, the kids that were once in my youth group were now in the 30-year-olds category. I am in the 50-year-olds category. That means their kids are in the 5-10 year old categories.
I don’t have grand kids, yet. But one day, when, Lord willing, I will and when they have their first birthday party, the statistics will say…
That is when it hit me.
If the 70-year-olds don’t reach out to the 50-year-olds or the 30 year olds… and the 50-year-olds don’t reach out to the 25-year-olds and the 15-year-olds… then how will they ever hear God’s Word and the truth that God loves this world… meaning each and everyone of us…both young and old?
In a nutshell, it is up to the older generations to teach the younger generations. It’s not just the role of the church, or the pastor, youth groups or Sunday schools or hoping they will learn it somehow on their own. If those of us that grew up in church do not take a proactive role, how will the statistics above ever change? Ever?
They can’t. They won’t.
The Bible shares with us that it is the job of the grandparent, parent, adult, mentor, coach, or whoever grew up hearing God’s word to teach the truth to the younger generations. Moses was speaking to the children of Israel when he shared these verses:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.Deuteronomy 6:5-9
There is action in each of those verses. Talk about God’s truth. Tie them as symbols. Write them down. Impress them on the children.
The best part is that in doing so, it brings the greatest joy that we can ever have. John shared that with us in this verse:
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.3 John 1:4
That is why I wrote EMOJIS and the Gospel of John. It is the first part of other books to come to help tie the generations together. It’s a study gospel where the scripture is on one side and the notes are on the other.
A 50, 60, or 70-year-old knows what a sad emoji is, just as a seven, 17, and 27-year-old knows what an angry emoji is. The emojis are placed in the scripture and the notes with the same emoji give us a talking and teaching point for the generations to discuss. It gives us a way to teach, train, and talk to our children about the truth and love God had written to each of us.
It’s not the only training method. It’s not the only way. But it is one way.
Those of us that grew up in church have to take the first step. The statistics tell us we must. Ultimately, God’s word tells us this is part of our walk as a believer.
What if we don’t? Well, just imagine what this world will look like when your grand child has his or her first birthday. I have. And, I have to stop thinking about it. But I also have to do something about it, as well.
So, click here. This is the link for your free book at PocketFullOfFaith.com.
And here is the coupon code you add in the cart to make it free: SUSANMEAD
Enjoy reading and sharing Emojis and the Gospel of John.
Use it to help someone as one way get closer to God. I pray you take action. I pray it helps with both your generation and the generation you talk to through it!
Join us Friday, April 19th at 3:30 PM Central time online at GraceAndTruthRadio.World or download GraceAndTruthRadio.World from the App store on your device to hear us talk about Emojis and the Gospel of John.