Who is Tomorrow’s Church?
I have spent the past 8 months or so working with children! That is right, Children! I love kids. I love what they represent, what they mean to God their church and families, I also love being able to invest in these kids. I love the fact that I can be radical, competitive, energetic, and tell them God loves them and wants to use them. I am amazed because these kids think that is normal. Why mention this? Because I did not have that growing up! I did not have a church where the emphasis was on kids. I would guess you did not either!
I have 2 passions:
• Invest in, and train leaders
• Purposefully invest in the future generation
Growing up I went to church. I was involved in kids ministries and youth ministry (when there was one to be involved in). I was often told (and believed for a long time) that children and youth were the church of tomorrow! As I have worked with teens, and now children, I find this to be false! YEP! I do NOT believe children and youth are the church of tomorrow. In fact, I believe that this is the exact mindset that has caused so many teens to leave the church. They are constantly told they are the church of “tomorrow.”
Honestly, I have struggled with this for a while. I do NOT believe they are the church of “tomorrow.” Actually, I believe they are the church of TODAY!!! I want to invest in them TODAY. I want them to know God loves them TODAY. I want them to fall in love with the savior TODAY! I want them to find a passion for the church TODAY! This is why I do what I do!! The church’s future relies on these children and youth. In 10-15 years from now, those kids and teens will be the church of today!
I am tired of telling kids and teens they are the “future.” They are the PRESENT! My challenge is that those of us who lead children’s or youth ministries would STOP preparing our kids for the future, and prepare them for today! I believe many students stop attending church after high school because they have been taught, and shown that they are good for tomorrow; NOT, today! I have decided to treat these kids like they really are. Special, God’s masterpiece, and useable in the hands of God today! Never underestimate the power of kids in their families, in their schools, or in your life. God will use them in soo many ways! Our elementary, middle and high schools are the biggest mission field we have today. We need to invest in that mission field. In order for this to happen, we have to believe that they are the church of TODAY! Maybe, just maybe, we can show kids and teens what the church and the Christian life is really all about by investing in them and showing them their value TODAY!