Worship, in many ways, is like a family meal. Individuals in a family can, and sometimes do, eat separately. However, there is deep enjoyment in sharing a meal with loved ones. Likewise, we sometimes worship independently and spontaneously, enjoying moments of beauty, peace, and joy as they occur. But if we never worshiped together as a church family, then we would miss an important element—the love present among the members of God’s family.
The Church is not so much a place as a People, and young and old, we are called by God to be children of God. Young and old, we are called to gather with the community of believers in Jesus Christ, to listen to God, and to seek and serve God. Young and old, we offer our gifts to God and seek to leave our places of worship renewed in our faith and strengthened to serve the world.
According to theologian and educator, Marva Dawn, “in the midst of an ambiguous, sometimes chaotic, never settled, ungrounded society,” the gathered community of the Church at worship is a place where children and youth can find “roots”— a place to belong. As this past spring’s study of
the book Growing Young attests, young people have three ultimate questions: “Who am I?”, “Where do I fit?”, and “What difference do I make?” By helping them see “the beauty and truth, the meaning and purpose of what we do in worship” and providing them with the opportunity to “become more involved” in corporate worship, we can help answer these questions.
Beginning in October the youth and older elementary children at Hope Valley will have the opportunity to take part in a new discipleship program: Worship Apprenticeship. Designed to help our young people both learn about and practice the many different jobs/roles that contribute to our corporate worship experience, the primary purpose of the program is to not only help our youth and children feel “more at home in the Church,” but also help them to see Church as a place where their presence and their contributions are valued. Please join me in praying for and encouraging these younger members of our church family as they develop and share their gifts and talents in worship leadership.