This weekend I will have the privilege of joining in marriage two wonderful young people from our church, Julia Howard and Mitch Grew. This past week on Facebook and Instagram I have seen dozens of pictures of our children and youth starting out a new school year. Often there have been side by side comparison pictures of these great kids “then and now.” In the photos, we get to see how they’ve grown as they have gone from kindergarten to grade school, middle school, high school, and in many cases on to college.
I never cease to be blown away by how quickly our kids grow up. Mitch and Julia are getting married! Chloe is starting kindergarten! Damian and Alicia are seniors? What? How did that happen? Adolescence can seem very long at times. But the reality is, the years fly by. It struck me this week that the time we have to invest in our young people during their formative years is really so brief. And yet, these are the years that will often set their path for a lifetime. And these are also the years that people are most receptive to the good news of Christ.
We’ve made a commitment as a church to pour significant time, energy and resources into our NextGen children’s ministry. That doesn’t mean that other ages and stages of life are not important. They certainly are. But it is during childhood, and through the teenage years, that most people are establishing patterns, priorities, values and beliefs that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. As a church, we don’t want to squander the opportunity we have to help our young people build a great foundation on their relationship with Christ.
I want to ask you to pray for our kids, and our Children’s ministry team as we prepared to launch an all new NextGen ministry on September 10. I would also ask you to register your kids today. We are putting together an amazing program. We want every child and youth in our church to experience it. And some of you may have time and gifts that could be shared in this ministry area. If that is you, please speak with one of our pastor’s or ministry leaders. You could also email Chrissy at this link and she will help you get connected. If God is calling you to ’Serve One Another’ through the NextGen Ministry, don’t miss this opportunity to impact a young person’s life. The impact is eternal.
On another note, I am sure you are already praying for the people of Texas and Louisiana in the wake of disastrous storm. This Sunday we will have special offering baskets at each location to assist with relief efforts. I will also tell you that we are already talking with our friends in Texas about returning there with a mission team in February. If you think that is something you might like to participate in, please set aside the dates of the NH February school vacation week.
We have some awesome events coming up! Next weekend, September 9- 10 is a big weekend for us. Saturday is the Sandown Old Home Day. We will be doing a free breakfast and have a community outreach booth. If you would like to help in any way, please email Pastor Beth. Then on Sunday is our really big Fall kick off. We will open the doors to our new NextGen program. We will be starting a great new teaching series entitled “Real Hope.” And in the afternoon we will have our all church Beach, BBQ and Baptism outing at Camp Tasker. This is a day you will not want to miss!
I look forward to seeing you all in worship this Sunday. If you are traveling for the holiday, I invite you to worship with us online through Facebook live or at www.RockChurchAir.tv.