As a pediatrician, Dr. Alan Getts is concerned about the medical well-being of his patients. As a Christian, he wants to help them grow spiritually.
"I often don't have time to talk about medical issues with the kids, much less spiritual issues," said the Evans resident who wrote a book entitled, Who Will Tell Your Children About Jesus? to distribute to his patients.
Getts self-published the 94-page book and distributes it to his patients on their first-year checkup. The book also is available for purchase at most of the local Christian book stores, including Family Christian Stores and Whole Life Christian Bookstore.
During his training in adolescent medicine, Getts, a physician at Pediatric Partners of Augusta, soon learned that "the old talk about the birds and the bees is a myth. Nobody does it."
Years later, Getts would be compelled to write a book about the spiritual growth of a child when he realized that "Mama and Daddy aren't telling their children about Jesus. I'm confident most parents don't and just leave it up to somebody else."
In his book, Getts writes, "I am a Christian pediatrician. Nearly every day I interact with 30 to 50 different families and, due to the nature of my profession, we discuss problems. In doing this for almost 20 years, I have observed how families approach problems ... I am convinced by these observations that most families are not familiar with Jesus Christ and include neither Jesus nor the Bible as important parts of their problem-solving mechanisms.
"It is clear that most families are not trusting in Jesus Christ to help them in troubled times, nor are they teaching their children to do the same," he wrote. "That is why this book exists."
Dr. Gene Smith, senior pastor of In Focus Church, where Getts is a member, helped proof the book. He recalls the surprise he had when Getts told him he was going to write a book. "I was very surprised that he had the time," said Smith. "I thought that if a doctor sees this as being that important with his time constraints, surely I could help him."
Smith, who calls the book "one of the most outstanding things I've seen done," said his experience with parents is that they aren't teaching their children about Jesus.
"This is so needed, it must be the work of the Lord," said Smith of the book. "Research has shown that in the formative years, a child's mind receives so many things and we are learning not to sell a child's ability short when teaching them new things and that includes learning about Jesus."
Getts agrees. "At a year, children are already being read to and are starting to learn new things. They can learn to say the Lord's name and incorporate it into their world."
In his book, Getts outlines how parents can incorporate the teaching of Christian values and morals to children of all ages. In it he focuses on how parents can tell their children about Jesus and reminds them that they, just as Jesus did, have disciples.
"You, too, can impact generation after generation if you will tell your children about Jesus," he wrote. "Tell them with a love and passion that makes them want to repeat this process with their children. You can have - and pass on - this heritage."
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