Monday, July 20, 2009

Celebrating Our Daughter's New Birth

Our children are not only preacher’s kids, but church planter’s kids. (As anyone who has planted a church knows, it’s a completely different adventure.) Our oldest daughter was born three weeks after we launched our first church, followed 21 months later by our younger daughter (who, for the purposes of this blog, I’ll call J.J.). After a brief hiatus where Brett served on staff at another church plant, we followed God’s call to launch The Church at Sendera Ranch—expanded to a family of five, with our then one-year-old son in tow.

In other words, our kids have no idea what an established church looks like. They’ve never been part of a church that has its own building, much less activities such as children’s choir, AWANA, and the like. Instead, our kids have only known churches that meet in such unusual places as movie theaters, elementary schools, and now a preschool. And none of these church plants (so far) has offered traditional children’s church activities outside of Sunday morning classes.

On the other end of the church spectrum, I was brought up in a traditional Baptist church, where I attended Sunday school, GA’s, children’s choir, and Vacation Bible School. We put on well-practiced, extravagantly costumed musicals for the church, as well as eagerly competed in “sword drills” (finding Bible verses) and memorized large sections of Scripture for such prizes as a new KJV Bible with our name embossed on the cover. I learned how to read music--and follow the alto part--by singing out a pew hymnal, and I knew the first, second, and last stanza of almost every hymn.

To be very honest, during the past eight years, on occasion I have lamented that our children weren’t having the same kinds of church experiences I had. And (I’m embarrassed to even admit this) sometimes I worried that they would be somehow spiritually stunted from the lack of such organized, Bible-based activities as AWANA or sword drills. Still, God had called us to a life of church planting, and we’ve always understood that call to be for our entire family.

So every Sunday, our kids help set up chairs, greet visitors, and show other children where the classrooms are. And they not only participate in both services at TCASR, but they also stay to help us break down the tables, straighten the kids’ rooms, and pack everything away. They've helped us distribute door hangers, hand out brochures about our church, stuff Easter eggs, and serve popcorn and snow cones at community events.

And they have watched us host small groups, invite people to dinner, pray with and for people in our church, and share Christ as we have opportunity to do so. And since our church doesn’t have a building, Brett offices from home, where they have a front-row seat to watch him pray daily for our church, faithfully study his Bible to write each week's sermon, contact church members and visitors to pray for them, meet weekly with the men he disciples, and lead people to Christ.

Come to think of it, all the time I had spent fretting about our children not participating in traditional church activities, they were seeing God at work in ways I could never have imagined as a child.

And in answer to our earnest prayers, God has called not only our older daughter, but now our younger daughter to Himself at a young age. The details of J.J.’s conversion are precious and sweet, but for the purpose of this blog, suffice it to say that she came to know Christ with the same zeal that she has for all of life.
And on June 28, 2009, Brett had the honor and privilege of baptizing our own daughter, now our sister in Christ.

So I’m going on record: I take back all those worries about our kids not being part of traditional church programs.

The truth is, as a child, I experienced a lot of church—but our children are experiencing a lot of Christ.

What else could a mother possibly hope for?

1 comment:

  1. wow Jen.......very well put. I can totally relate to you on a lot of this. And how amazing it is that they are part of your ministry team :) thanks so much for this post!