Living in New England has definitely been an adjustment for this Mid-Western/Southern boy! I have made the adjustment on most major fronts. Haddock chowder is one of my favorites (www.capecodteashop.com). I love the weather––only 3 months of “hot” and 3 months of “cold.” I love the sports culture in New England and the relationships that I have built in the “sports world” have overcome the fact that my socks are Pinstripes––not RED! LOL! The people of New England are great people and very loyal once you build a relationship and get through surface disagreements.
However, one of the things I have fought with is how we struggle to give our students (Elementary and Secondary), a runway of Spiritual Opportunity, verses just a diving board. In the church culture, we have got to change that tune. I was reading some old files in my computer this week, and found the following line that I had written in a document…
“Currently we have on staff 5 F/T pastors. Out of those 5, we have 4 working with the adults in our church. We have 1 F/T pastor working with youth and a host of other ministries. We have no F/T pastor for our children’s ministry. We have lost our young adult ministry, numbers in children’s ministry and youth ministry have decreased, and there is still not a picture of being a church that truly is concerned with the Next Generation.”
I am asking you to join with me for the next 3 months in committing yourself to doing the following things for the next generation…
- Fast and pray for them! They face things in their schools that you and I never even dreamed about. In our wildest imaginations, we could not see the things they see in a regular day!
- Think about joining the Children’s Ministry or Youth Ministry of your church. If you go to Heritage Christian Church, please see Mark Shrauger firstname.lastname@example.org or James Penswick email@example.com.
- Find a student and reach out into their world. Love them and show them Jesus in all that you do. You can pray for them, talk to them, encourage them, show up in their world (Little League game, concert, recital, etc…), and just be there for them. I promise their mom and dad will not mind!
We have to take back the next generation! They are counting on us! They have to have us! They need us! Remember the Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way they should go, and the will not depart from it!” Let train them up by loving them, and being there for them! Let’s win this next generation!