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.