Train up a child in the way to go: and when the child is old, the child will not depart from it.
Sunday night, as youth group was wrapping up, i went over to say thank you to some of our moms standing by the kitchen. They are moms that come for retreats and lock-ins and Sunday night programs and recent mission trips. They are irreplaceable and each have seniors graduating this year. I wanted them to know how amazing they are and say thank you for the baby shower that night. They each shook their heads and smiled and said, "Nope. We can't take credit. The kids did this."
They were wrong of course. Sort of. Their parents did this. Their church did this. If you've ever made a pledge to JCPC or donated to the youth ministry in time or treasure, look in the mirror. You did this. These young people have become people not just willing to do the work we set before them, but mature young people who see needs and have hearts to do what is both needed and kind supportive, to go above and beyond. They mostly kept the entire event a secret. They made decorations and games and got the word out to other youth to bring gifts and cards. There was food and a task for each person.
If you're wondering what it means to teach our young people to be disciples, it's more than a passing familiarity with scripture and doctrine. It's more than knowing what the Books of Order and Confession are or words like narthex and chancel. It's much more than serving on committees. It's more than just going to the shelter or on mission trips. It's when they take those lessons into their hearts and begin to look out for opportunities to show the love of Christ, grab the hand of a friend, and say, "let's get to work," while we watch from somewhere near the kitchen and smile, ready to pitch in with the work they have been called to do. Because what is Church but the recognition that God calls us to train our children and then to follow their example? Let's train them up and let's follow their lead. Join me.