I was at the wedding of Ryan West and Cassie Dignan on Friday. I’ve known them both well for years. Cassie practically grew up here. It struck me as I was watching the wedding party that the church is really being lead by little kids that grew up around me. There were “kids” in that group of friends that have also already married, like Josh and Lisa (Cawall) Nooner, my kids, and others. Little girls who grew up hanging out around my house (and then young men who started hanging around the young girls that were hanging out at my house).
And there were some of the slightly older group, like Kevin West, brother of the groom, and Sarah, who have kids already and lead worship at Lockport. And there were some of these other mentors in the group, like the Bretzlaffs and the Mitchells. And of course Brian and Cherie Hunt (the wedding was at Lockport), and performing the wedding was Sean (with Tarne) Mixson who has been pastoring these kids since 1996.
It really struck me that a) I’m old, and b) I’m so happy to see how God is working in the lives of the 20 somethings in our church and how proud I am to see them loving and living in Jesus Christ.
The church of tomorrow is not the young people in our congregation. The church of tomorrow isn’t born yet! The young people in our congregation are the church of TODAY. They are already reaching people for Jesus; and they are learning and growing and really are deeper in their faith than most of my generation. Especially those who have had a legacy of faith in a good church for a long time.
Honestly, as I think about the kids who have grown up here and gone on to do mission work and ministry and serve God – it makes me excited to grow older and get out of the way and see when the real “ripple effect” of a faithful church will happen.
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. 2 Timothy 2:1-2