By Jon Kalvig
Sunday was a monumental day. In many ways it was a decisive change of direction for our future.
Those who showed up weren’t forced to be there. With the exception of a few, most had never engaged in this type of vision in their entire lives. And yet nearly everyone arrived with eagerness, excitement and such positive attitudes. Yes, this Sunday dawned a new day for our church.
Oh, no, this has nothing to do with the building or a meeting held to vote. In fact this group doesn’t have the right to vote, but they have a voice and they vote with their feet. And they made a declaration last Sunday that should motivate the rest of our church. This is our high school students. A group of teenagers who have no interest in staying rooted in the former ways but are ready to embark on a process of cultivating a ministry that reflects our vision of Loving God, Loving Others, Making Disciples.
Our senior high students pioneered new ground, not once but twice, on Sunday. During the morning they were sent out into nearly every ministry of the church and served during the 9am hour. It was hard to miss them. If you came on Sunday you were likely greeted at one of the doors by one of these students. These students helped in the cafe, the children’s ministry, the tech booth, worship team and even an usher assistant. How did they end up in all those areas?
They came to that conclusion following a couple sessions of spiritual gift assessment and identifying for themselves a “sweet spot” to serve. The choice was theirs. And with some general oversight and direction, they leaned into the process. And while their unchurched friends were likely sleeping at 8:30am, they were arriving at the church ready to own the ministry of our church. They came ready to serve you. And they aren’t stopping there. Twice a month these young leaders will be found in areas throughout the church giving their time and abilities toward carrying the weight of their church. And in the process setting a bar for us adults of what it means to belong to the family of God.
You’ll recall I said there were TWO game changers that took place on Sunday. The first Serving Sunday was followed up with our first Senior High Life Groups that night. That’s right, our students broke ground in an area we believe is vitally important for true relationships in the Body and progressive disciple making. Just as we see is critical for our adults. These ninth through twelfth graders met in homes on Sunday night to digest life and faith, through the lens of Scripture. And they did so face to face. Life on life. Heart to heart.
Perhaps September 18 will be known as reformation Sunday for our Student Ministries. A day when a group of teenagers stepped out in faith to pursue a new future. Not because it was easier or more familiar. The exact opposite was true. They could have voiced frustration or declared their disinterest by not showing up to either. I actually expected it to happen. Shame on me for underestimating them. Perhaps their hearts are more pure than mine. Maybe there are a few lessons to be gained from the example of these young ones.
Will we refuse new vision based on our own lack of having walked that path? Will we commit to giving our time and abilities to the building up of the Body through its various ministries? Are we teachable? Responsive? Available? Are we too old to have the faith of a child?
I’d like to make a request; or maybe it’s a plea. Would you fan the flame in our students? Would you encourage them next time you see them. And would you display the same attitude of mind as Christ Jesus (Phil 2) so that our students have a great example to pursue here at our church. We have a generation looking up to us. May we take the command of God (Titus 2) to instruct through our teaching and our example how to live unashamed, unafraid and unleashed for the Lord.