Hello Brothers & Sisters,
The weather has been great today. I hope you’re able to find a reason to be outside and enjoy the sunshine.
We had a wonderful time in worship this past Sunday. Bishop Ken Hoke brought the message, Learning to Listen. We also recognized our first graders and all of our graduates. And if you missed it, or would like to see it again, we watched a brief video of Dave Perry introducing himself. As you know, Dave is our new Worship Arts Pastor who will be installed on Sunday, July 9.
This Sunday we begin a 3-week sermon series called, Train ‘Em Up: Raising Children to Love Jesus & the Church. In this short series, I would like for us to think about the important role that we have, as parents and as a church family, in welcoming children and rooting them into Christ. I will be bringing to our attention what the Bible has to say about how we are to “train up” (Proverbs 22:6) children in the home and raise them to love Jesus and his Body, the church.
Here are the sermon titles and a few things we will be addressing in each of the next three sermons:
Sunday, June 11 – Let the Children Come
In the ancient world, children were viewed as property and mostly in the way. What was Jesus’ attitude toward children? How should we view them in the home and in the church? What can we learn from our children about our faith?
Sunday, June 18 – Get Jesus Inside Your Children
There is a biblical precedent in the Old and New Testaments for teaching our faith to children. What does this look like for parents today? What does this look like in the church? And why is it so critical that we do this and get Jesus inside our children?
Sunday, June 25 – They’re Watching You
What we say and teach is important, but more than that it’s how we live out our faith to our children that has the greatest impact. What do your actions and attitude teach them about God? What are you revealing to them by the way you prioritize your money and time?
Since this is a short series, and this is being presented in our worship services instead of a class or workshop, I will simply be inviting us to reflect on our thinking and practices, more than telling parents what to do with every challenge we face today. Plus, I’m still fairly new to parenting and my wife and I are in the process of figuring out how to raise two young boys. So, I want to present what I believe to be a biblical perspective regarding the rearing of children, and offer some guiding principles to lead our children to love Jesus and the church.
If you’re interested in going deeper as a parent, and you’re thinking about things like child development, discipline, boundaries with technology, etc., we will have recommended reading out on the bookshelf in the lobby. Also, Dave and Lori Warren will be leading a Learning Community this fall that is primarily geared toward parenting. Stay tuned for more information about this opportunity.
Why are we doing this series? Three major reasons: (1) We are responding to the needs and challenges of young families in our church; (2) we are an intergenerational church that wants to show that we care about children and their families; (3) Vacation Bible School is the week of June 12-16 at Grantham Church, so this is a perfect time for this series.
I’m praying that this series will accomplish a couple of things: (1) encourage and give some direction to parents and our church about our responsibility to raise children up to love Jesus and his people; (2) that our influence as a church will reach new children and their families through VBS. Please join me in praying for the Kingdom to come in this way.
Finally, the new issue of Connections was released this past Sunday. If you missed it, there are printed copies in church mailboxes and at the welcome tables throughout our building. If you would like to read the online version, you can now do that as well by going here. Thank you for taking the time to read our church’s reflections on what the Spirit has been doing among us. I’m confident that you will be edified and inspired by reading all of the contributions from your church family.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday in worship. Our service will include a child dedication on top of what is already sure to be a meaningful worship experience. Until then, I’m praying for you. Please pray for each other as we continue to be sensitive to how God is moving in our congregation. And let’s rejoice together at the good things he is giving us in this season.
Grace & Peace,
P.S. Do you know Lindsey Armstrong? She is the Messiah student who is usually playing the red keyboard in worship. I wanted to let you know that Lindsey will be taking Matt Fahnestock’s place through the summer, offering part-time assistance to Doug Curry, our Interim Worship Arts Pastor. We’re grateful for Lindsey’s servant heart and her faithfulness at Grantham Church. Her services will help us out in the final weeks leading up to our transition to Dave Perry, our new full-time Worship Arts Pastor. Please let Lindsey know how much you appreciate her being with us.
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