Yes, it’s official! Children Desiring God has a new name: Truth78. But in all honesty, I need to confess that this surprisingly “simple” name did not jump out at us quickly. Our leadership and staff spent months considering dozens of possibilities, but slowly, we all became convinced that Truth and 78 best represented our ministry’s heart, vision, and mission.
Truth—These words from John Piper, spoken at our 2011 National Conference, reflect why we landed upon “Truth” in our new name.
If one of the greatest tragedies for children in our age is the attitude that there is no such thing as truth, or that it doesn’t matter, then one of the greatest blessings we can give to children is the passionate conviction that there is such a thing as truth and that it matters at every point in life and eternally.
…What is the sum of truth we want the next generation to be passionate about? The answer is: the Bible, with Jesus Christ the incarnate Word at the center. This is the sum of Truth.
The God who made everything, knows everything, controls everything, and has a purpose for everything—this God has spoken to us. He has not left us without the revelation of his will. He has not left us without wisdom. He has not left us without unfathomable knowledge, that none of us ever exhausts. He has not left us without a full and sufficient revelation of the way of salvation, the way of everlasting joy. He has not left us without a way to measure the truth claims of every life-shaping question we face. This is simply a priceless legacy for our children.
(From the message, The Sum of Your Word Is Truth, March 20, 2011.)
What about the 78? If you have ever heard Pastor David Michael share his vision for the faith of the next generations, he often (almost always, in fact) refers to Psalm 78. Here is an excerpt by David and Sally Michael from “A Heart for Ministering to Parents and Children,” a vision booklet written when David assumed his new role as a Pastor for Children and Family Discipleship back in 1996.
He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God (Psalm 78:5-8).
This text is one which drives our passion for ministry to parents, children, and youth, and it expresses our desire for the next generation…to surpass us in faith, in knowledge, in righteousness, in fruitfulness, in evangelistic zeal, and in commitment to world evangelism. Like the Psalmist, we hope that the next generation will learn from the mistakes and the rebellion of our generation and firmly set their hope in God. What a blessing that would be for us! As John says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).
Even before there was Children Desiring God, there was a pastor’s and parent’s heartfelt vision for the faith of the next generations—grounded in a text of Scripture—Psalm 78. Over the years, David repeatedly taught from this text. When Children Desiring God was formed, this text shaped our ministry goals, influenced our prayers, and guided our resource development. How fitting that this text now is officially included in our new name.
Truth78. A new name founded upon old convictions: the authoritative, objective, absolute, universal, unchanging Truth of God’s Word. God’s Truth reveals to the next generations the “glorious deeds of the LORD, his might, and the wonders that he has done” (Psalm 78:4), is able to make them wise for salvation in Christ (2 Timothy 3:15), sanctifies and equips them for every good work (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:17), and tells them why they exist: to live for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Truth78’s vision is that the next generations know, honor, and treasure God, setting their hope in Christ alone, so that they will live as faithful disciples for the glory of God.
I have to admit that after 20 years of saying, “Children Desiring God,” I’m having a hard time transitioning to saying, “Truth78.” But my heart has been there all along. That is why I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to change our name, to ground it in the unshakeable truth of Scripture. But our new name serves as a sober “boundary” and reminder. Everything we do, and how we do it, must come under the authority of God’s Word—His Truth. May we, by God’s grace, be faithful with the work God has given us.