Sunday, June 02, 2013

youth.

When we were looking for a new church for our family, one of the things I prayed for was that we would find a church with a youth group that would take good care of my kids.  After a rough exit from the only church they had ever known, I feared they would be soured on Sunday worship forever if we jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.  The good news is that our prayers were answered.  My kids willingly go to church/youth group each week, interact well with the volunteers there, and even invite their friends to come with us.  whew.

We're at a satellite campus which meets in a pretty middle school in a town that's a little closer to our home than the main campus. The congregation is a little smaller, which really worked out well for my socially awkward discerning children. One  thing that happens at this campus is that the kids and youth learn on their own their during the adult sermon. That way, the teens are able to have more discussion and interaction with the youth leaders and one another, and learn how to really live the lessons they're learning instead of hear and forget.  But in the beginning of service, we all worship together. Selfishly, I am especially thankful for this tradition because listening to my children sing with their whole hearts to Jesus makes me all squishy and happified inside, you know?

Today, the youth stayed in main service the whole time because our youth pastor, Tim, was teaching from the pulpit. It's the the final week of the sermon series about investing in children. We've talked about investing in children with prayer, time, and this week we covered that uncomfortable subject-- money.  It's true, that where our treasure is, our heart will be also.  (Matthew 6:21) We always care about the things we put our hard in dollars more than the things that we don't.  The rest of that story is that things we invest our money in are a great indicator of what's important to us, too. 

A glance through my 'checkbook' (though I don't really have one of those anymore) will show you that I really like me a lot.  I spend money on things to make me pretty and happy and entertained. All those things, however, are temporary.  My beauty is rapidly declining on a daily basis fading, my happiness is terribly fickle, my attention span is insatiable. 

That's why my husband and I made the decision all those years ago to invest more in our kids than we do in stuff.  The bulk of our paychecks are spent to feed, house, transport, educate, entertain, and equip our children. It's our hope that this investment will pay out into the future. We hope that not only will our children care for US in the future, but also, that they will care for their families well, the people in their lives, that they will invest in the generation that follows theirs. It's pay-it-forward in a spiritual sense, and I can't think of another, better way to spend our moneys. 

If money spent on our crazy three is a good investment, and is considered to be so well spent, how much more is investing in the youth at our church? My husband this year is taking a week of his vacation pay to be a camp counselor for the school age kids even though our own children are too old to attend. His logic? We can't afford to sponsor a kid to go this year, but he has well over 10 years experience going to camp with the kids, this is something he can do. I'm so humbled by his act of generosity (which Pastor Tim so correctly distinguished from giving- which anyone can do for any reason. True generosity comes from the heart) that I am inspired to take some action too.

Tonight, I'm going to talk to my kids about the possibility of collecting our recyclables to be put in a fund so we can sponsor a kid to go to church camp next year.  I love the effects of church camp on kids, and I love the idea of how that kind of eternal investment can keep on giving to generation after generation, and I triple love the idea of teaching my children how important it is that the church works together to care for it's kids. I'm thankful to be part of a church who inspires this kind of action in me and in my husband... and I'm glad to see that the youth staff is investing in my children this way. It's good junk, indeed.

Blessings,
His Girl


Don't store up treasure here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal
Matthew 6:19-20 (NLT)
________________________
Reflections on the other sermons from this series:

Week 1: Kids

Week 2: One
Week 2b: Risk
Other sermon reflections:
In which I let go of hatred: Release
In which I let the sermon do work in my heart: Weeds
In which the pastor rudely singles me out in church: Refugee
In which I admitted I was not okay: Fine


1 comment:

Gretchen said...

Love that idea. For kids to be invested in their peers. Rocks.

Interestingly, and so very cool (I love teenagers)...our little town's food bank was started by a student from my dtrs very public and secular high school. Can't think that s/he's not a believer.

Every morning that my dtr leaves, we pray for us both to have the hands and feet of Jesus, and to see people how He sees them.

Love your thoughts, girly.