Bring the Kids. In the first month we recognized the need for a fit church body, and month two we discussed gathering motivation. Step three was rest, four began the workout with prayer lunges, and step five emphasized the importance of making your church workout a routine. Step six reminds us that our church fitness is not just about ourselves.
Proverbs 22: 6 says: “Train up a child in the way he/she should go, and when he/she is older they will not depart from it.” Many of us teach our kids how to work hard, how to succeed in school and life, and how to clean their room and do their laundry. They need these skills to survive in the world. Let us not forget that the younger generations are also the ones who will lead the church when we have lost the ability and capacity.
They will be the business owners, bosses, workers, home owners, parents - and they will face the same harsh realities, severe challenges, and need for hope and faith that we have had. Rather than taking a child to the gym to say watch me work out so one day you will know how, we can teach them how to work out with us.
If you got to witness the youth lead service last month, you got to see that they want to not just follow us to the spiritual gym - they are willing and able to work out with us. We are not the church for ourselves, but for God. And when the disciples (like many church leaders) wanted to push the younger aside, Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” -Matthew 19:14
Teach the kids the need for church, and look for ways to involve them. Let them know that spiritual motivation comes hard sometimes, share how you overcome it, and invite them to be beside you through it. Make an intentional effort to make habit of saying hello to the younger generation calling them by name, and asking about their lives. You may just be surprised when you do these things, that you find their energy, hope, and seeking nature becomes contagious.
It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes each of those children to carry on the overall mission of the church body, the body of Christ: to move in this world, to act for justice and peace, to claim the kingdom of God with God and for God - not just in this generation, but through the generations. We have a torch to pass, and we are doing our best at getting fit to carry it and endure. Let us not pass that torch to a racer we have not prepared for the task. See you at the water fountain.
Sean King is the Pastor for First Christian Church of Cisco.