by Brent Sinclair, Associate Pastor – Adult Ministry
It is a blessing to have kids and most certainly a double blessing to have grandkids. For the last ten days I have been in Oklahoma spending time with our four grandchildren, one of which is our newest new arrival, Lucy Kay. Skyping and zooming are great connection tools which we use often however, they are nothing like an in-person visit.
It may not seem like much of a blessing to have to travel 1500 miles to actually see the grandchildren, but I do enjoy the drive as I get to explore strange new worlds not seen through the window of an airplane. In some instances, time has stood still along sections of Interstate 40, where billboards-not blogs rule. There is something special about traveling though the desert, both beauty and calamity, old and new. Driving this stretch allows ample time to ponder what’s important in one’s life.
What is important in one’s life? In my previous blog I emphasized the importance of finishing well. Here I will focus on how to gets others started well in life – namely our children and grandchildren.
My mom and dad were good at modeling the Christian life and reading Bible stories to me when I was a kid. Likewise, my wife and I continued that legacy modeling our faith and sharing Bible stories with our two daughters. That said, people who were, perhaps, most influential in pointing my young mind to Jesus and the Word of God were my Sunday school teachers. I remember distinctly, Mrs. Leoda Shive, who at the time I thought was probably about 100 years old; in reality she was probably no older than what I am now. Teaching me Bible stories and how to memorize Bible verses was fundamental to building good habits and character in my life. Her teaching tools included felt-backed storyboards and stick-figure Bible characters. One of the first Bible verses I remember memorizing was Psalm 119:11; “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” Another translation of “hid” is treasured. I also distinctly remember Psalms 122:1 “I was glad when they said to me, let us go into the House of the Lord.” Worldview theology, doctrine and practice all wrapped up within these two verses. Even today I reflect on them often. Why? Because I treasure them in my heart. What would happen if you starting reciting and reflecting on the Psalms and Proverbs daily in your life? What if we all started the practice of introducing bible verses in the lives of our children or grandchildren daily?
These things are on my heart because I think they are on the heart of God. Principally, how do we pass on the Name of God and His Word to our children and grandchildren. Some have the unique opportunity and blessing to do this every Sunday with kids in our church. That same blessing and opportunity is offered to each of us at home with our own kids or perhaps grandkids.
So, why is an associate pastor of adult ministry tooting the horn of Kids Ministry? I am finding that many of the adults I minister to and do life with, do not have a firm childhood foundation built on the Bible and principles in the Bible. While it is never too late to learn, I am told it comes much easier in the formative years of life. We are in fact seeing the effect of a generation of unchurched children and grandchildren where Jesus’ name is an expletive rather than a person. Where is the gladness in going to the “House of the Lord” to worship? Does this dilemma explain why our generation has no “word treasured in their heart” to not sin against God?
Our generation, like every generation before it, is called to teach and live out the Name of the Lord to our children. In reality, we are not just raising kids in the 21st century. We are, in fact, raising parents and grandparents for the 22nd century. What kind of parents and grandparents are we raising? You see, it’s not too late to start building a firm foundation for our future grandparents. Let’s start right now, today, this evening!