Scripture: Mark 10:13-16; Jeremiah 1:4-10
This Sunday, in our sermon series, Hidden Angels, we will be discussing our responsibility as Christians towards children. A 2015 study performed by the Urban Institute states that, “the future achievement of ever-poor children is related to the length of time they live in poverty.” According to the study, if you fall into the category of being “persistently poor” (which means that you experience poverty for more than half of your childhood years), then you are 30% less likely to complete high school and 47% less likely to enroll in college than those who are never poor.
What this study found is that when you experience persistent poverty you are less likely to exceed the achievements of your parents. For instance, if you live in poverty and your parents did not graduate from high school, it is likely that you will not graduate from high school either. This reality is further exacerbated by the housing instability that is often experienced by the persistently poor. When a child is forced to move three or more times for negative reasons before they turn 18, they are 15% less likely to complete high school, 36% less likely to enroll in college, and 68% less likely to complete a four-year college degree by age 25 than poor children who never move. All of this negatively impacts the likelihood of being financially stable in adult life.
All this to say, it’s relatively rare for someone who comes from poverty to be able to turn their situation around and create a better life for themselves. But being rare does not mean that it’s impossible. In fact, I know many people who have been able to turn their situations around and that’s what we’re going to focus on this Sunday. What can we do as Christians to help a child living in poverty rise above their circumstances? This Sunday is also Commitment Sunday, so please don’t forget to bring your commitment cards to let us know what you plan to give for 2019. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!