Hello Hope Des Moines!
This past Wednesday, I had the honor of attending Faith Statement Night for our Junior High “PowerLife” Ministry. Gathered with friends and family, five of our eighth-grade students shared their statement of faith based on their favorite verse of Scripture. Now, you might think my reaction would be “that’s neat,” or “good for those young kids,” or “someday they’ll really understand what they’re saying.” Nothing could be further from the truth—I was absolutely blown away by their faith!
In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul writes to the younger leader Timothy: Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. It’s almost like this verse came to life for me in a new way last week. These students were not just going through the motions of faith, they were taking a courageous stand for what they believe and setting an example not just for those in attendance that night, but during this entire year.
The truth is, there are two sides to Paul’s challenge to Timothy. First, that those who are “younger” should speak out, be an example, and not be discouraged because they are young. But second, and just as important—we as a church are called to not “look down” on them, but actually learn from them! Yes, that’s right—I believe God wants to speak to all of us through the children and students in our church! In just a few minutes last Wednesday, here’s what I learned from them: 1. I don’t need to carry my worries and anxiety around with me, I can let God carry it. 2. Face to face relationships are so much more powerful that anything you can manufacture online, and 3. When we find a place to belong and be loved, it changes everything. And that’s just a few.
What about you? Are you carrying around unnecessary burdens today? Are you intentionally investing in deep relationships? Have you found a place to belong in the church? We have much to learn from the “youth” around us! We’ll continue to do that this weekend as we highlight our confirmation students, as well as kick off a brand-new sermon series called “#ScriptureAndAMovie” based on the book of Proverbs. This week we’ll look at the powerful film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” based on the life and work of Mr. Rogers. You won’t want to miss it!
Bring a friend, come prepared to be challenged, and we’ll see you Saturday at 5:00 pm or Sunday at 9:15 or 11:00 am!
P.S. Next Friday, May 10, I want to invite all dads with kids age 3-grade 5 to an awesome event called Project Mother’s Day! I can’t think of a dad who wouldn’t want to spend a fun night with his kids, give mom a few hours free, and create an awesome Mother’s Day gift, all at the same time! Childcare is provided, as well as a great meal! Sign up today HERE!