I'm pretty sure I've written before about how faith is formed through personal, trusted relationships. Well...I'm going to write about it again because it's so true.
When personal connections are made and when relationships are built, faith in young people and adults alike is formed. Through these connections, our images of God and what God is capable of are expanded, and together we feel a sense of community and love in our lives.
Here's another thing I know I've written about recently: here at church we are in serious need of volunteers to serve in worship.
Now, I'm going to take a moment to be really honest here: as the Associate Pastor for Youth here at CtK, one of the phrases I've come to loathe is "just get the youth to do it," and I've heard it a lot lately.
Now...I'm ALL FOR young people utilizing their gifts to serve in ways that fit them and their interests and strengths, but I'm not okay with exploiting their time and their labor. I'm also not okay with young people carrying the weight and responsibilities of a church community on their backs. As their faith community, we are here to walk with them and help build their faith through mentorship and relationship, not rely on them to do everything for us before they can drive a car or vote.
Whew. That got intense for a second. Let's all take a deep breath and look at these photos of some of the youth we're talking about here.
So how does all this "faith is formed through personal, trusted relationships" and the need for volunteers fit together?
Well...it turns out that we DO have youth who are willing to serve in worship, but what we really need right now are ADULTS to mentor them and show them how to love and serve together. We need ADULTS who can serve as models of passionate faith. How can we expect to be growing passionate, faithful, servant-centered youth when we adults are not willing to show them what that looks like?
When I think of all the places we have youth actively serving right now (1 each on the RIC, Innovation, and Good Neighbor Teams; 5 who have stepped into advance Powerpoint slides for worship during Lent; 1 who regularly song leads; and 2 who are leaders within the youth group), what's going really, really well are the RELATIONSHIPS being built! In each and every single one of those roles, students who are serving are engaging and interacting with adults who are showing them what it is to serve and be community together. FAITH IS BEING FORMED! YAAAY!
So here's my plea this week: ADULTS...please come be part of serving and mentoring the young people of our congregation. Through serving with them, you'll get to be in relationship with them. YOU will get to be part of building their faith. Show them what it means to care about an entire community. Show them how they can use their gifts to worship the God we all love so dearly. Show them that serving and being the church matters in a world that's becoming increasingly secular. Show them. Build relationships with them through serving together. Mentor them. LOVE them.
Faith Development is one of our core values here at CtK -- and right now, our youth could use some models and mentors to help their faith blossom into a passionate faith and love for Jesus Christ. We need you!
If you are interested in serving and modeling for our young people, please sign up to serve using Sign-Up Genius. And as always...if you have ideas in how we can be growing young, passionate disciples of Christ, feel free to connect with me!
Peace be the journey,