Sunday was an interesting day. At our Sandown campus I had the opportunity to baptize a child whose mom grew up as a child in our church. There is always something special about seeing the next generation begin a journey of faith. But when it is the child of someone you helped raise in the faith from their childhood, that is particularly cool!
A short time later, at our Plaistow campus, our choir shared an anthem. I know I'm biased, but I think we have the best choir in New England. But what was especially moving to me was to see a young man, Colby, singing the solo part. Colby also leads our Rock@6 praise team. To see a new generation of musicians and worship leaders raised up in our church is awesome!
At the same time, at our Amesbury campus we have a host of young adults serving and providing leadership for this rapidly growing part of the Rock congregation. From hospitality to worship team to trustees, the next generation is being raised up in ministry, and they are doing an awesome job.
Then at the Rock@6 service, our Sunday night service in Plaistow, we consecrated Dan Elliott as the campus pastor for that service. As I mentioned last week, Dan has completed his CLM training, has been approved by the District Committee on Ministry and is now ready to service in a pastoral capacity. Dan also grew up in our church. Again we see the next generation responding to God's call to serve.
As I reflected on all of this, I suppose it could have made me feel old. But that is not at all what I felt. Instead I felt encouraged, and I felt proud of our church, that we are a place that invests in the next generation. I'm grateful that at the Rock we are a congregation making a priority of pouring into the lives of young people and giving them the opportunity to grow and serve.
I believe the church, at its best, is meant to be a place where all generations can work together to advance our mission and vision. We need to be constantly raising up the next generation. But to be fully effective, those of us a little further along in the journey also need to bring wisdom and experience to the work. Additionally, we need to be mentoring the next generation as it is raised up to serve and lead.
That won't always be easy. With new generations come new ideas and approaches that will inevitably require some measure of change. But when we see the next generation raising their children in faith, finding ways to serve and responding to God's call to ministry, it is all worth it.
I can't wait for this Sunday as we continue our series "One Heart and Mind."