Posted by: pastortomvabeach | August 2, 2016

Thought for the Week August 7, 2016

I would like to take an opportunity to pass on to every reader the deeply held values that we have here at our church. These values drive everything we do, every decision we make, and make us unique as a church. As you read them, you will most likely see that these values are lived out in how we do church. I will share all of them with you and then want to talk about one in particular.

First we are Christ-centered, which means that we unashamedly anchor all of our faith in Jesus Christ because we ardently believe that His is the only name by which people may be saved. Second, we are People-focused; we are over the top in loving, accepting, and making everyone feel like they belong because we believe that every person has infinite value to God. Third, we are Relational; we fiercely pursue friendships believing that people find Jesus and grow in their relationship with Him through others they know. Next, we are Authentic; that is we are up front, honest, transparent people who wear no masks. We live in light of God’s truth that sets us free. Then, we are Prayer-empowered; which means we will actively create a culture of prayer because we know that we can do nothing apart from God’s supernatural help and guidance. (Note: this one is aspirational which means this is what we want to be but we don’t feel like we have quite made it there. We are working on it.) Then, we are Relevant; we go out of our way to make the good news of Jesus Christ resonate with the man on the street because we know that the truth never changes but our methods must connect with the culture. Finally, we are Future-minded; we aggressively invest our resources to establish the faith in the next generation because we want the good news of Jesus Christ to continue after we are gone.

Can you see any of those values coming out almost naturally in the way things happen at our church? We believe these are areas that make us unique and that make us the best church in town for those who call Christian Chapel home because they value these things, too.

Let me focus on the last value on the list, we are future-minded. We believe that it is our mandate from God to pass on the faith to our children, all the children in our church. He said in Psalm 78:5-7, We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments. The mandate from the time that God called a people to Himself was to pass on His testimonies, His Word, His grace, His wonderful works to our children so that they will continue to love and serve Him.

I want to suggest that it is our collective responsibility to be acutely aware that the children and teens in our church need our example, direction, wisdom, and instruction. The world is relentless in attracting and appealing to base human nature and has succeeded in stealing the hearts of many more Christian young people than we like to admit. We are on the front lines of a great spiritual battle and we all need to be engaged.

That means that some of us who are mature really need to think about our responsibility to the next generations. Often older Christians choose to partake of classes that appeal to their desire to learn more about the Scripture or expose them to well known teachers when they should be mentoring, teaching, guiding, and pouring themselves into the young people.

The writer to the Hebrews said that after we learn the basics of Christianity (Hebrews 6:1-2) we should be out there teaching others. He mentioned that in a negative way, chastising the Hebrew Christians because they weren’t in a position to teach: though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. (Hebrews 5:12). I don’t think this is the case in many of our situations today.

Guiding and teaching young people is not always easy and so many Christians choose to take the easy route and sit in a class for them. That eliminates the mess of having to prepare and study and then deal with the kinds of things that kids do. But if we don’t step up and do that, what will happen to our children?

I guess I’m laying out a challenge here. If someone reading this thought is grounded in the faith, has a modest understanding of the Scripture, and is not connected in a way that passes that down to younger believers (either new believers or children), what’s holding you back? We have room right now for people to help with the rotation in children’s church. We also have need of a couple of people who could teach a Growth Group for ages 3-5 and 6-7.

These are our children. I say ours, whether they are our flesh and blood or not. They are in our church and we are responsible. Is anyone future-minded enough to say, “Here I am, use me to guide our precious future.”? Just a thought.

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