When our children were little, we loved to go to family functions at my in-laws' house. Between older cousins to play with them and show them the ropes, aunts and uncles to watch them, a grandma and grandpa to love them, and even an Italian great-grandma who everyone called, Granny, and who made each child feel like theirs was her favorite faccia bella, we felt the burdens and worries of parenthood lifted off us for that time.
I like to think that Trinity is like that. Parents are responsible to guide their own children spiritually by worshiping with them, reading the Bible with them, praying with them and living out their faith in front of them. The rest of us are called to extend the life-giving love of Jesus to the children and parents of our church by supporting them and walking alongside them in this journey of faith.
Our Children's Ministry Team has been working since last spring to identify how best to do that. Our Children's Church and Sunday School programs do a great job of providing foundational Bible and doctrinal principles, but we wanted to make sure we are being intentional about helping parents with faith formation. The first step was determining our discipleship objectives. We identified these four abilities as indicative of mature faith:
- See God's Story - know the Bible and see God at work in our lives
- Know God as Father - develop a reliance on God and a prayer life that reflects it
- Live as Children of God - live in a way that reflects our membership in God's household
- Belong to God's Family - look to our church family for fellowship and community
The next step is figuring out how to be intentional about nurturing these abilities within our students while also attending to lesson plans, supplies, rosters, attendance, discipline and all the less visionary things that Sunday School teachers regularly do. This is a challenge, but a challenge worth taking. It is said that "the most common actions of life, its every day and every hour, are invested with the highest grandeur when we think how they extend their issues into eternity." We are striving to be cognizant of that.
This Sunday, we are having a teacher training meeting for the Sunday School teachers. Our goal is to help parents show children the love of Jesus Christ and equip them so that, when the Holy Spirit reaches out to them, they are ready to reach back. Please be in prayer for our teachers, teacher's aides, substitute teachers and high school helpers as we begin the journey of a new school year together.
On September 10, we will kick-off the Sunday School Year. At the beginning of the Sunday School hour, we will all meet in Kettering Hall - teachers, students, parents and everyone who can play an instrumental role in the faith formation of these children. That means YOU! Trinity is a family, so what role will you play in the lives of our kids in this season of life? Each role is important. Are you called to walk alongside them and instruct them? To care for them? Maybe you are called to love them by working behind-the-scenes on their behalf or devoting consistent prayer time to them. Or maybe you are that special someone who only sees them on Sunday morning but whose face lights up with the love of Jesus when you see their beautiful faces, and they see yours.
Please join us on the 10th!
On the journey with you,