It was a true pleasure to spend last week with the youth at Passport Missions Camp. Despite the heat and long days, our young people impressed me greatly with their good attitudes and willingness to work hard at their mission sites. I saw God at work in a variety of ways and was pleased to see our young people reflecting on their faith. A couple of them have made significant commitments during camp and after our return, and I was so blessed and inspired by the testimonies shared by Hope and Emma during worship on Sunday. We owe much gratitude to Frances Smith and Lucy Woodell for their willingness to be chaperones and for the wonderful ways they interacted with and supported our kids. Thanks also to all of you who prayed for us during the week, who served as Camp Buddies, and who have shown an ongoing commitment to and support for these young people.
Now that we are back home, however, I want to ask for your continuing prayers as well as your participation in the vital ministry to our youth as well as to our children. During my sermon on Sunday, I focused on the message of Paul in 1 Corinthians 1 and the various resources God makes available to the church. In 1 Corinthians 1:7, Paul assures his readers that “you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” Even though the Corinthian church was struggling with divisions and difficulties, Paul believed that God had provided them with every gift and resource necessary to fulfill their calling.
I am convinced that this statement is true of our congregation as well, but I also believe that living into our calling as a church requires that ALL of us willingly offer the gifts and talents God has given us. We had a lengthy conversation in Church Council this week about the challenges we are facing, and one of the things that was emphasized was our need for more workers in our youth and children’s areas. We need more volunteers with children in Extended Session, with youth and children in Sunday School, with our youth on Sunday evenings, and with AWANA this fall. It is wonderful to talk about being a church that will welcome and grow with young families, but such growth can only occur if we are willing to step forward and invest our time and talents in these important areas of ministry.
As we continue to pray for our church – and I hope you are using the 100 Days of Prayer Devotional Guide – I ask that you pray that God will raise up the leaders we need and pray specifically about whether you might get involved in our youth and children’s ministries. If you want to know more about opportunities and possibilities for service, please contact Amy or me to ask questions or to share your thoughts and ideas.