There is something about September that always makes me think about kids. I guess it is the combination of the start of school, a new season of NextGen and the barrage of Back to School shopping ads. Even though my own boys are long since grown up, I am still forever mindful of the needs of our children and the importance of this ministry area. As a church, I believe our children are a sacred trust. These beautiful young lives have been entrusted to us by God to care for, watch over, protect and raise up in faith.
Those of you who, like me, are working your way into one of those older age brackets, please don’t misunderstand me. I love you all. But there is something about the vulnerability of a child at this most formative stage of life that I believe places a great onus upon us. And with the new challenges that this generation is facing, I’m convinced that the church has an even greater responsibility to pour into these young lives.
This Sunday we will be doing something new. For the first time, we will incorporate into worship a “blessing of the backpacks.” We are encouraging kids to bring their school backpacks with them on Sunday where during the service, they will be invited to come forward. This is really just a way for us to pray over our children, and to remind them as they head off to school every day that God is with them. We have a cross key chain that we will be attaching to every child’s backpack. My hope and prayer is that every day as they throw their back pack over their shoulder, they will be reminded that there is a God who loves them and a church that cares about them.
The blessing of the backpacks will only take a few minutes, but I believe it will be incredibly important. I hope that everyone will be able to be with us in worship this Sunday to share in praying God’s blessing, guidance and protection over our children. This is also a great opportunity to invite a “not yet churched” neighbor. Let them know we are going to be praying a blessing over the kids, and it is open to everyone. We’ve also got a little surprise gift for the parents.
This Sunday will also be the concluding message of our “Fight My Battle” series. This has been such a great and powerful series. You won’t want to miss this final message.