What an amazing 3 days!
My team is encouraged, blown away and ready to tackle some issues. We have never been more passionate about seeing the faith of our children and youth deepen as they grow and are released into emerging adulthood.
As I'm trying to wrap my mind around all we heard and learned these are some realities we're facing.
We have a lot of work to do.
We're not leaving discouraged, but know this journey isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. To begin the process we're going to sit down with other staff members, parents and church leaders and take time to listen. So often we can make the mistake of moving ahead without fully understanding. So the question for us is simple, what can we learn from others that will help us develop and provide opportunities for the faith of our kids to flourish.
We must continue this journey.
As a team we're convinced that if we don't work to build authentic, grace driven faith in the lives of our kids and families, the church will continue to loose emerging adults. For far too long the church in general has taught a theology of sin management instead of a transformational gospel. As we invest in the younger generation we long to see fruit that remains. Not just fruit that lasts through high school but for a lifetime.
We (next gen team) cannot do this alone.
The responsibility of handing authentic faith to the next generation involves parents, youth workers, volunteers, senior citizens, all staff members and everyone who is a part of the church family. Sometimes we (youth workers) act as if we have to do this alone. When considering the work ahead there is no room for a "Lone Ranger" attitude. We need to see ourselves as ambassadors to the rest of our church family. Our message? Jesus has a special place in his heart for the younger generation and each of us who are older share the responsibility of loving, knowing and declaring God's greatness.
By the way, there is so much more we're thinking about. While we definitely feel like flies taking a sip from a fire hydrant, we're going to slowly process what we feel God would have us put in practice.
Here's the good news, God is already at work in our churches. What a privilege to be used by him to accomplish his heart and passion for kids.
Let's be faithful, creative, humble and patient as we work towards our calling to teach and model a faith that sticks.