Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Go and Be

Often it is children and youth who lead the way, forging pathways toward a missional culture. Perhaps B.J. Thomas had it right when he sang, “God bless the children everywhere, for they haven’t yet learned not to care.” Caring for the needs of others is a reflection of the heart of God. Allowing His heart to guide actions is basic to authentic Christianity.

I am encouraged when I hear stories of children and youth being pacesetters in pursuit of God’s mission. I thank God for the Christ following adults who are encouraging those children and youth. As an example of how children and youth are showing compassion, consider what is happening at South Memorial Drive Church of God. The congregation’s children recently spent a day putting together gift baskets and delivering them to shut-in and elderly persons in their community. Their ministry has taken the name Servanthood Unwrapped. I love it! I am pretty sure those receiving baskets loved having children in their homes for a brief visit. I am also sure that the actions of these children brought joy to God’s heart.

Not to be left out, the church’s youth commissioned themselves as the Blue Crew. Once a month they are impacting the community in tangible ways; visiting nursing homes, raking leaves, removing trash, etc. Once again, the focus is on meeting needs of others in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Another phrase of Thomas’ song captures my imagination every time I hear it. “We must not let time age the soul, may the child stay in us all.” I believe children can be carriers of caring, preventing the soul-aging of adults in their world. Interestingly enough, in the same town where these children and youth are seeking to live out the mission of God in concrete ways, the Four-Square Church recently closed their morning worship service so that their congregation could complete community projects on Sunday morning. “You mean they didn’t have church?” someone might ask. No, these churches are learning a valuable lesson. It is more important to “BE church” than to “HAVE church.” Think about it…Go and Be!

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