I've had a wonderful experience with His ability to add to our concept of time this summer. I've had the new, unique experience of parents sharing with me they don't have time to go to church and midweek groups. It's a lot. It isn't easy. It's a choice and it doesn't happen accidentally.
I get it - there's sports, travel ... and then you want to have time together as a family, have rest, etc. There's a LOT to fit in - times the amount of kids or jobs you have ...
They are share this because, then, it happens ... kids start wanting to come, asking to go to additional events, making connections with friends, loving group leaders back. Then they are are begging to go to youth group or events we have. How do you not give in to that? That's where God's work begins! I've had wonderful conversations with parents about this.
Give God just a little time in your life, He can do amazing things that provide you even more to work with. That's His kind of business. What are we talking about?
I've heard recent testimonies that, when they have committed, their families have changed and been blessed. They have gotten a chance to reconnect with their spouse, their kids are making better choices and building strong relationships with other adults who are speaking to them, reinforcing the values the parents are sharing.
They have seen the transformation in their kids and they now have partners in parenting and loving their kids so there are more reminders, less entire conversations. God is at work in the child's heart, so this is only the beginning!
In Children's Ministry, this is what we are here for and believe in. We want to help support your child's faith development and show them the love of Christ (sounds like a great mission statement, doesn't it??).
I encourage (challenge?) you to pray together as a family or, if you're not ready for that yet, on your own, to help you find ways to give God a little bit of your time each week ... to grow in your journey as a family in your faith.
I'm not talking about gardening and bike rides on sunny days together. I would agree, playing in the dirt and being at home, resting, playing can be a great connection with God. But I'm talking about big, structured stuff.
Stuff that screams commitment to your faith (or commitment to your consideration of faith).That's the kind of thing that I think God can work with, if you let Him.
I want to take this chance to share something that I think of as a recently synergy project that I think God has just poured into ...
We have a wonderful Wednesday night kids program at Trinity. The kind that kids love going to, that they want to bring their friends to, that they show up for even on the off-night that we don't have it due to some complicated scheduling details.
We have extended it to follow the school year, to go into the busy months of December - to be here all the time kids are here and want to be here! We could not do this without the amazing leaders we have that LOVE kids and connect and embrace them every week. Yep, every week that we open our doors, our teams are on.
So I was thinking: how do we grow this team to engage more kids - and keep up with the growing amount of them we have?! I thought deep, prayed through and around it and brought it to some co-workers to process with me.
As a result of these many conversations with spiritually inspiring people who talked through and prayed through this with me, I am really excited to be able to open up a new opportunity for young adults as we launch the Trinity Fellows Program for kids midweek connection.
The Trinity Fellows Program (TFP) is for young adults 18-35 who have aged out of youth group allowing them a place to engage in the life of they church. They will lead, grow and serve.*
The reason I am so excited for this opportunity is that it fits with the passions and needs of our church and many churches. I know many young adults (and I have been one too not THAT long ago!) that struggle to connect in and with a church. Its hard to start fresh in a new church or go away (to college, etc.) and come back. It's just complicated. We understand.
This is an opportunity for our young adults because they are leaders and we know kids love them. They will serve as small group leaders on Wednesday Nights. Our kids are hungry to see what happens after they finish high school, after they grow out of youth group. This allows young adults to mentor to the kids following them them and inspire them to go on. They will be wonderful leaders for our children.
This is an opportunity for our young adults because our not-as-young adults believe in them. We have been there, we have made tough decision, we have navigated life choices and have learned from it. They will meet with a mentor regularly throughout the Fellows program to support encourage their own personal and spiritual growth.
This is an opportunity for our young adults because they will serve in meeting the needs of the church that they see and we do not. The church does not look the same to us as it does to them and we honor and respect their input. Fellows will be asked to take on a service area of ministry that inspires them to see where God is calling them.
Ministry is about families, all kinds of families. How do we grow together and support one another in the process? We live in a 'either/or' society but God is in 'and/also' business.
As we grow as God's disciples, may we bring one another along with us. I am grateful fo the God-inspired synergy that was poured into this through His people's ideas and work. This is an opportunity for our children, young adults, less-young adults and ministry teams to grow in God's synergy of blessings - and then, in turn, bless others.
* To find out more about the TFP, please visit the online resources and application- click here.