A parent should never have to bury a child—it is outside the normal order of things. But there are things worse than such a death if he is God’s child. Consider for a moment the reality of living day to day with the knowledge that your adult children are lost, and will step over into eternity unprepared to meet God. This pain and grief is all too real for many in the church. Knowing your child was a faithful Christian means all the world to a parent who is forced to deal with such an untimely death. 
And yet, every year we see young people abandon godly principles and cling to the enticements of this world. There are parents in every congregation around this nation who are silently suffering and searching for peace as they offer up prayers and look for ways to reach out to their lost children. Preacher Jay Lockhart recently asked a group of Christians gathered together for a Family Enrichment Seminar to raise their hands if someone in their family was lost. More than 50% of those in attendance raised their hands—and this was a group of Christians who were giving up their weekday evenings to strengthen their families. We suspect these findings are typical. 
Take one minute and consider how large the church would be today if we had not reached a single soul from our communities for the past 60 years—but we had retained every single one of our family members. That would mean roughly two generations of new Christians would be praising God and preparing their children for the field of discipleship. In our last issue we focused on the importance of taking the Gospel to those in our communities—a command from the Great Commission. We do believe that the time has come for Christians to get out of their comfort zones and reach out to their neighbors. But in this issue, we turn the focus onto saving our own families—a principle found throughout both the Old and New Testaments. The reality is that we have a mission field right before our eyes that we often overlook—the home. 
Because of the emotions and pain involved, the issue of our spiritually lost adult children is rarely addressed. And yet, can you consider an issue of greater importance? As many families prepare to send their children away to college, we wanted to shine a spotlight on lost children. Think has always tried hard to address serious issues that affect Christians outside the walls of the church building. We believe the epidemic of lost children is one that must be confronted, especially given the current trend of negative church growth. 
How hard are we working to protect our families? How diligently are we in teaching His principles to future generations? What legacy are we leaving through our posterity? 
This issue of the magazine is not meant to assign guilt or cast judgment. Rather, our aim is to point out that we do have a problem—a very real problem! We have asked parents who have lost their children to share their real accounts with you. We also want to offer encouragement and suggestions to those who may have children who are lost. We hope that through this issue you find hope and maybe a door opening that will help you reach your child. For those with younger children, we hope this issue is a wake-up call that you must get serious in training up your children. It is our prayer that this issue will be an eye-opener for parents, elders, and preachers—and that through it we can focus on a much neglected mission field—the Christian home.  And as always we hope you will think on these things.