The craziest thing happened the other day. If you don’t work in Family Ministry, you might not understand how “crazy”… how “incredible” … how “awesome” it actually was. And, to be honest, if I just lived in a bubble, I wouldn’t realize how unique it was. But the truth is I don’t live in a bubble. I talk to youth folks from other churches all the time. I hear what many of them deal with and I’m aware that I work in a unique place.
I’ll save you the details, but it basically comes down to this:
In our 2012 calendaring meeting, the ideal weekend for Walking Wisely Weekend (our version of a Disciple-Now-type weekend) landed head to head with a major event for the married adults in our church. There was no way for these events to happen at the same time. One of us was going to have to give. And one of us did:
The leadership of the married adult ministry felt it was more important for the students to have that weekend… so they moved their event!
Some of you don’t think that is a big deal… some of you – those who have been in these meetings at other churches – just fell out of their chair!
At our church, there is simply a STRONG desire by the whole staff to reach the next generation. Now, this is not totally unique to North Point Ministries. I’ve seen this play out in a few other other churches. They are just few and far between.
I was asked the other day just what it is that drives that sort of attitude. I think I’ve figured out the thing these churches with this attitude all have in common:
They are churches led by groups of people passionate about REACHING people… not KEEPING people.
You might ask, “What does that have to do with student ministry?” and I would respond with this:
At the end of the day, these churches know this truth – a truth that eludes many people, I think -
The largest group of “unreached” people in our church every Sunday are the children that look at us from our own back seats.
Did you ever think of it that way?
I don’t want to get into a theological debate on the “age of accountability” or any of that.
BUT, no matter where you stand on that, this belief remains for most of us evangelicals. We believe there must come a time when a child, knowingly and purposefully, must make the choice themselves to become a follower of Jesus Christ. And many of our kids have not crossed that line. As a guy who works with middle schoolers, I’m often amazed by stories of kids who have been in church all their lives and just now decided to make their faith their own.
And yet… in most churches across the country… a student or children’s event would never push an adult event to another weekend… or out of a space for that matter. (“That’s where the ladies’ Sunday School group has been meeting for 25 years, for goodness sake!”)
Why do you think that is? How do we lose touch? Why don’t we see our own kids as those who need to be reached?