In case you didn't hear, the Men's BBQ on Monday night was amazing. Great turnout. Great food. Great weather. But what was particularly exciting for me is that we got to hear from one of my childhood heroes; Rico Petrocelli. As a kid I loved baseball. I often watched, or listened to (on my transistor radio), the Red Sox play. As I grew into my teenage years, I loved to watch Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. But as a kid, it was all about Yaz and Rico! They were my heroes.
But these weren't my only heroes. There were others who were by no means famous, but nonetheless heroes to me. They were people who shaped my early life. People like Madge and Bill, George, Faith, Dan and Chris. These were a few of my Sunday School teachers, youth group leaders, camp counselors and other adults who sowed seeds of faith in my life. I am a pastor today because of adults who poured into my spiritual life as a child and a teen.
A lot of things have changed in the areas of children's and youth ministry since I was a kid. Terminology has changed. What we use to call Sunday School is now widely known as "NextGen" ministry. Methodology has change. Flannel graphs and filmstrip projectors have given way to ipads and video projection. Culture has changed. There was a time when the only thing to do on a Sunday morning was to go to Church and Sunday School. When it comes to how we reach the next generation for Christ, much has changed. But one thing that I am convinced has not changed is the potential impact that a loving and caring adult can have in the life of a child.
Would you like to be a hero? Consider getting involved in NextGen ministry. As we look towards the fall, we intend to relaunch our Children's ministry at all campuses with a fresh look, a renewed passion and an expanded team. We need heroes. We need people who are willing to pour into the spiritual lives of our children. We have some great folks who are already serving in this important way. But we want to expand the team.
If you think you might like to help or support this effort in any way, I would invite you to get connected. To find out more, you can speak with any of our pastors, or our Nextgen site leaders (Lisa Post in Sandown, Glenda Maglio in Plaistow, Chrissy Rupp/Kate Moyer in Amesbury). There will be an informational meeting for the Sandown campus on Sunday July 23 right after worship.
It seems to me that we are living in a time when the faith of our children and youth is being challenged and confronted more strongly than ever. Our kids need caring adults who want to invest in their lives in a way that helps them to grow in faith in spite of the cultural challenges. If you feel that God may be calling you to serve in this way, now is the time. Speak to one of us. Find a place to pitch in. Be a hero!
We look forward to seeing you all this Sunday as we continue our series on Biblical life hacks.