In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul describes three kinds of builders. Well, one is a destroyer. Another builds casually and carelessly, with wood, hay, and straw. The other builds with valuable materials: gold, silver, and precious stones. When it comes to building His church, I knew I didn’t want to be a destroyer. And I knew I didn’t want to build casually with cheap materials. I wanted to fit in the last group but I didn’t really understand what that meant.
This year, God challenged me with that verse by asking, “Are you willing to build my church, my kingdom with what is most valuable to you?” I said, “Yes,” before I even thought about what it meant. Then I stopped and said, “What is most valuable to me?” Well, it’s my wife and kids. Am I willing to build the church with them? What does that even look like? But I decided that was what God was asking of me.
What do we see when we look at the younger people in our church? Do we see people that drain the budget, that distract the focus in services, that are often too loud at most events? Or do we see the building blocks of the church, both of the future and of now? We are instructed to build, not just prepare to build. The children and students in our churches are valuable members, in addition to being our future leaders.
I remember a day in my early 20’s when I finally asked my dad a question. I had grown up in church. I was in the nursery as soon as possible, I was in VBS and Bible Drill, I was on the student council. And one day I asked my dad what deacons do. I knew they took up the offering but that was about
it. I was definitely not prepared to lead the church, I hadn’t even been educated on some of the basics. And I was one of the guys they thought would be a leader.
I was at a church this weekend that the last Sunday of each month, they have a deacon come in and teach the youth Sunday School. I thought that was awesome. They were building a link between the younger and older generations as well as investing in the future of the church. The students not only knew the leadership of the church, but they knew their names, what they thought, and what their lives were like. Every once in a while a deacon has all the students over to his house. So they see him as a normal person, as a father, as a husband.
To me, that looks like a church that is building the kingdom with precious stones. I hope to learn how to do that as well. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can do this in our churches.
4 thoughts on “BUILDING WITH PRECIOUS STONES”
I love hearing about churches that treasure and build up its members–young and old. One thing I’ve seen that is really effective in bridging the generation gap is a prayer partner arrangement where each young person in the church is paired up with an adult. They meet at a luncheon and have their pictures taken together. They each receive a profile printout containing their photo and vital information. In various ways throughout the year, they spend time together with both families, celebrate birthdays, share prayer requests, and enjoy fun activities as a means of getting to know each other on a deeper, more meaningful level.
Another way for a church to invest into the lives of young people is to include them in planning for and leading worship and Bible study–making them a part of the church NOW instead of waiting until they become adults. Even young children can occasionally contribute to the Sunday service if church leaders and teachers take time to collaborate with each other instead of always having separate worship services.
When Sunday School lessons are synchronized for the whole family, parents and children can talk about their insights afterwards, perhaps over lunch, and share in their understanding of the Scriptures. Adults can learn a lot from the simple faith of children and the lively passion of teens.
I am a member of that church and we were blessed to have Todd come and lead worship during our Driven to be different youth retreat.
Our church is trying to bridge the generation gap one step of a time.
Yes, we do have deacon interaction at our church, but that is not all we doing.
We are also having a Senior Adult-Student mentorship program that is designed to bridge the gap and allow each person to see that there is something to be valued by both the young and the old.
Our church is not about pleasing each other, but rather to build the Kingdom. We believe that an united church is a glorifiying church!
It’s not about us….It’s about Jesus!
I want to be a part of this church!
This made me think…The church is not a building but the people of God worshipping together. What is most valuable? The youth? YES! To be Biblicly sound but culturely relavent. God never changes but we do.