Hi Five Oakers, The weekend's coming and there are a few things I want to share with you:
Family worship this weekend!
Your kids need to experience "big church" worship from time to time. I believe in age appropriate worship and education so that kids learn at their level and can worship in their way. So that they connect with God. But I worry about children and youth whose entire church experience is experienced in an age-segregated environment focused on their needs. I really think this is one of those both/and things. And some families make it a both/and thing every week.
But as a church family we cancel 1st through 6th grade Sunday school a few times a year and bring the kids in to join us in worship. We don't do anything differently than other weeks. But what a great opportunity to expose your kids to a multigenerational experience of worship that's not focused on them and to talk about that experience afterward.
By the way, I'm really enjoying seeing all those Mother's Day photos popping up all over the place on Facebook.
The Barna Group on "Global Poverty Is on the Decline, But Almost No One Believes It"
Did you know that, in the past 30 years, the percentage of people in the world who live in extreme poverty has decreased by more than half?
Anthony Bradley on "The New Legalism: Missional, Radical, Narcissistic, and Shamed"
I continue to be amazed by the number of youth and young adults who are stressed and burnt out from the regular shaming and feelings of inadequacy if they happen to not be doing something unique and special. Today’s Millennial generation is being fed the message that if they don’t do something extraordinary in this life they are wasting their gifts and potential. The sad result is that many young adults feel ashamed if they “settle” into ordinary jobs, get married early and start families, live in small towns, or as 1 Thess 4:11 says, “aspire to live quietly, and to mind [their] affairs, and to work with [their] hands.” For too many Millennials their greatest fear in this life is being an ordinary person with a non-glamorous job, living in the suburbs, and having nothing spectacular to boast about.
One More Thing
I've been using Paul Miller's idea of prayer cards for some time now. Here's what I have written on the one for Five Oaks:
- Growing and spiritually relevant
- Biblical worldview and literacy within three years of attending
- Impact take hold in our lives
- Bold witnesses for the gospel
Listed below these global concerns are other more focused or temporal items. Among them are some questions about ministries others or I have thought our church should pursue so I can pray for God to move someone or leaders in that direction if he sees fit.
Please pray for me and for our church's mission in our community and in the world. Our efforts are truly and utterly nothing if they are not empowered by the Spirit, lead by the Spirit and carried out in cooperation with the Spirit.