Donna Hostetler, April 1, 2015
Yes, pools, not fools! Many pools around Washington State host April Pools Day events. Pretty cool and so smart. These are two-hour events designed by local community pools to encourage water safety activities. Many pools offer water safety instruction, elementary rescue and life jacket use along with one hour of free swim time.
Every summer we repeatedly hear the story of a child drowning. According to reports in 2013, an average of 390 children drown each year in the United States, most of those are younger than 5. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional death in youths ages 1 to 19.
Water safety can be taught. Grief can be spared. Lessons are extremely important. Children are a gift from God. Let’s protect them.
We take the same attitude when we encourage children’s ministry leaders in their critical roles as instructors. You’ve seen the stats. More than half of the people who believe in Christ do so before the age of 12. By the time a child is 9 their basic moral foundation has been formed. By age 13 a person has already formed their basic beliefs—the nature of God, the reliability of the Bible, the existence of an afterlife, and the everlasting love of Jesus.
Let’s train our volunteers to embrace the significance of their teaching and relational roles. Let’s model what we teach. Let’s teach children as if their lives depended on the truth in God’s word—it does. Their eternal lives are riding on it. Let’s not fail to equip them with life’s most important lessons. Let’s keep them safe in the water and wisely prepare them to live in the land.
“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil day. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” Ephesians 5:15-17 NLT