When you walk in on a Sunday morning, you drop off your kids, talk to friends, grab your coffee & donut, sit through service, pick up your kids & head out for lunch, right? Seriously, run through a Sunday morning in your mind. Think about what you do from start to finish.
Keep that in mind.
A couple weeks ago, a team of us went to Belize. We were gone for 9 days and missed 2 Sunday services. Normally, I would blog about the trip, the ministry, what God accomplished through us, the message we can take away from that experience.
Not today. Today, I want to brag on someone a little bit.
Go back to that moment when you drove up to church. Someone put out all the traffic cones. Someone brewed that coffee. Someone picked up those donuts. Someone typed the song lyrics into the computer so you could follow along during worship. Someone is at work behind the scenes in every area.
When you walked into service on Sunday, April 6 & Sunday, April 13, the lights were on, the projectors were working, the song lyrics & sermon notes were available. Everything was recorded: Derek’s sermons, baby dedication, baptisms, the skit, the children’s dance. That afternoon, the sermons were captured, edited and posted to all our sites. Nothing was out of the ordinary.
But, why? Why was nothing out of the ordinary?
Because one of those “someones” was a volunteer named Conner. Maybe you saw him running around one of those mornings, maybe you didn’t. The big picture is, he trained for a month & made it happen in the background. He wasn’t on stage. He didn’t ask to be recognized. No one thanked him. He just did what was asked of him. He served his church and he served God in a position that, when you know nothing about media, is kind of hard to learn.
Did I mention Conner is 11?
1 Timothy 4:12 – Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
I think we (society) have a very big problem. We encourage kids and teens to do their best. We tell them they can do anything they set their mind to. We tell them they can be world-changers. But, when they want to be a part of something, we tell them no because they’re “too little” or “not mature enough.” (But, let’s be honest, it’s because we don’t trust them.) We create this gap in their minds. They stand on the “you’re too young” side of the canyon & stare at the “you can do anything” side & wonder, how do I get across? We tell them they’re the future, but what does “future” mean? I would dare to say these youth are not the future. They are the present! “The future” is NOW!
I have been in journalism, both print & video, for a long time. One of the reasons I do what I do is because Johanna Burton, my high school newspaper class advisor, believed in us. I was taught pagination as a sophomore. That means, at age 15, I could design a newspaper, not some little newsletter, but a full-blown, professional newspaper. That summer, I got a job at my hometown’s newspaper because Johanna Burton realized that I was the present.
Our youth are often smarter & more capable than we give them credit for. Many of them don’t make anything of themselves because we don’t let them. I just wanted to encourage everyone to look at kids and teens from a different perspective. The next time you start to dismiss someone because of their youth, resolve to fill the gap with trust in them and help them succeed.
This Easter Sunday, let’s truly celebrate our Risen Savior, who is so worthy to be worshipped. Instead of looking at who has new clothes on, let’s try looking for someone who needs a friend. For that matter, who doesn’t need a friend? The point is, the greeter at the door can’t do it all. The Pastor certainly can’t talk to everyone. Easter Sunday always has visitors and they are looking at us and our God.
Let’s come with humble hearts desiring to bow at our Savior’s feet and worship.
Let’s join together and celebrate the relationship we have with Jesus, who loves us more than we can comprehend.
Let’s share His love with all.
Let’s be the church: 4 God, 4 People and 4 The World
Build Your Kingdom Here Lyrics
Come set Your rule and reign
In our hearts again
Increase in us we pray
Unveil why we’re made
Come set our hearts ablaze with hope
Like wildfire in our very souls
Holy Spirit come invade us now
We are Your Church
We need Your power
We seek Your kingdom first
We hunger and we thirst
Refuse to waste our lives
For You’re our joy and prize
To see the captive hearts released
The hurt, the sick, the poor at peace
We lay down our lives for heaven’s cause
We are Your church
We pray revive
Build Your kingdom here
Let the darkness fear
Show Your mighty hand
Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire
Win this nation back
Change the atmosphere
Build Your kingdom here
Unleash Your kingdoms power
Reaching the near and far
No force of hell can stop
Your beauty changing hearts
You made us for much more than this
Awake the kingdom seed in us
Fill us with the strength and love of Christ
We are Your church
We are the hope
Rend Collective Experiment
Copyright © 2011 Thankyou Music
Well, week 9 was hard. And that’s all I’ll say about that!
God loves us and sent the Vine CC team to us on Saturday/Sunday, and we spent the whole week running around with them There’s a reason people call it a church family. We already miss them all terribly!! And we got a special delivery from our blood-related family…a care package full of goodies
Too many times in our Christian walk, we are faced with decisions that MAKE us take inventory of our motives. Too many times, we choose unwisely and end up regretting the decision. We serve a mighty GOD who demands certain things from us, yet we do not return our glory to Him. We just walk around entitled and unimpressed by who He is and what He has done because we are so fixated on what we feel we need from Him in the future. Instead of allowing Him to drive the car and us sit quietly in the back seat, we have taken over the drivers seat and placed Him and His will in the Trunk. Because of this, we have manufactured for ourselves a life that has not made much difference to the Kingdom of GOD. Although this is wrong, God still longs for us to serve Him by giving Him glory and living a life of sacrifice for Him.
This means, because we are flawed, we need constant reminders of how best to do this, along with how best to propel the Gospel. That’s right, the Gospel. You know, the whole reason we are still on this earth breathing is because God wants something from us…you got it, EVERYTHING. This means everything we are, everything we have and every dream we can think up. Now, in reality, we do not like this nor do we submit. So, we walk around doing what we please and slapping a “Jesus is pleased with me” sticker on what we want God to bless or what we want others to think God blessed. What I find very interesting is that seldom God wants the exact same thing I want. So, I must submit, forfeit and allow God to work His will through me.
This brings me to my last point: Christianity. Christianity should be talked about and introduced in such a way as to make the person understand that this is the single hardest thing they will ever do.
That this decision will cost them their dreams.
That this decision will cost them their lives.
A person becoming a Christian should realize that because of this commitment, there is nothing else more pressing or more important than this relationship. Then, if they are ready to make it, we are to shape, mold and direct (disciple) them until they are ready to duplicate the process with others.
My prayer this week is that we would all look – no, search for opportunities to pray for and possibly bring someone to church in the next few weeks. I believe that a healthy church is a church where those attending invite people who are not attending, so there is a greater impact for the Kingdom of God.
Would you pray that with me?
Would you commit to walking this road with me?
Would you look into your own life and ask the hard questions?
God bless you this week.