Sunday before last, we were on vacation. Missing a Sunday at our church. That is rare for our family, and typically when we miss meeting with our church family we have a plan for where we are going to attend church that Sunday. Not this time. This time we made a different plan.
It was our last morning of vacation. We woke up in our little cabin and prepared our last breakfast before packing up and moving to phase two of our trip – a denominational convention. But between breakfast and packing, we took the time to have “home church.”
The week before, we had laid out the plan. Olivia, our oldest, would be the Sunday school teacher. Angela would lead us in family worship. Finally, Steven, always wanting to be like Daddy, asked if he could preach the sermon.
The children picked their own passages and songs. Then they tackled the overwhelming task of trying to prepare for Sunday. We offered help when asked, but we also left them to discover just what challenges they faced in making the preparations.
Needless to say, home church was rather short, but it was precious as well. Precious to watch them try their best. Precious to see what they learned through the experience. Precious to observe their increased appreciation for those who pour their energy into those roles at our church.
I am struck with the realization of how quickly my children are growing. Even though all three of them are baptized members of our church, it’s easy to continually leave all of the work of the church to the adults. But before I know it, they will all three be grown. They will be upper high school students, perfectly capable of accomplishing many of the tasks in the church. They will be college students, needing to find their way in a church where Daddy is not the pastor. They will be young adults. Young marrieds. Young parents. Parents of older children. Empty-nesters. Yes, that will happen all too soon. At what point will they learn to be active members in their church – active beyond simply tagging along with Mommy and Daddy?
It’s easy to leave the tasks of the church to adults and long-standing members. We have our way of doing things, and we just do it. We often don’t think to train up the generation behind us, whether it is a generation based on physical age or spiritual age. Then one day, we realize we just can’t do it anymore. But we also don’t have anyone to pick up the reins.
Who is coming up behind you? To whom are you offering a training relationship – bringing them up beside you to participate in your role in the church body? Oh how I hunger to teach my children and the youth girls with whom I have the pleasure to work! My prayer is that God will show you someone who needs your investment of training. And may He grant you wisdom to train them up that they may become active, participating members of His body wherever they go!