I am going to break from the normal blog posts of what we have been studying in the children's wing, to tell you about what I (Rhiannon) have been studying.
A few weeks ago, some of our Family and Discipleship team had to privilege to attend the Orange Conference in Atlanta. We had the opportunity to spend time together as a team and talk vision, as well as time to laugh well together and share stories. Our guest list of speakers included, only to name a few, Andy Stanley, Bob Goff, Reggie Joiner, and none other than Bernice King (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter) herself. The speakers were amazing and break out sessions were great, but there was one speaker and breakout session that tugged at my heart, and something that God has been stirring in my heart already, received a big old push!
The speakers name was Kara Powell. She is a co-author of the books Sticky Faith and Growing Young. The breakout was a quick brain download of the book Growing Young. The very quick gist of the book is that it helps pastors and ministry leaders to position their churches to engage younger generations in a way that brings life to the whole church.
When I first started my job here at Five Oaks, I began as the nursery coordinator. I asked God many times, why this position, after all, Children's Ministry was never a title I thought that I would see attached to my name. It was months before God whispered to me, "Faith is heavy. Adults have a lot of burdens within their faith, and I wanted you to see the refreshment of faith like a child!"
Weekend after weekend I stand at my hostess stand and watch the child like faith of your kids here at Five Oaks and it inspires me to love my faith in a whole new way. It's a breath of fresh air every weekend.
Recently I asked God if this is still where He wanted me. I want to strive to always be in the place that He leads. I have a passions for healthy marriages, leading and coming alongside families, but is this the still the place that God wants me to be? The answer came during that workshop with Kara Powell.
She made a statement that has haunted my heart and thoughts since the minute she spoke it; "We should want for all kids, as if they were our own. It doesn't just change them. It changes us!"
It changes us! I haven't fully decompressed how or why, but that statement makes my heart so excited that my face can't help but smile. What refreshing breath we breathe when we reach our and truly love kids as if they were our own. Not just a face in the classroom, or just a student teach, but truly hope for them what I would hope for my own children.
I want to spend a few weeks writing and sharing with you a bit of what God has unpacked in my heart through this statement. I hope it will be as exciting for you as it is for me. In wrapping up this blog, I wanted to share the prayer card that I received from her breakout.
Dear Jesus. Help me see young people with your eyes. I pray that they would find IDENTITY in you, BELONGING in your church & PURPOSE in your mission. Amen!