Monday, October 30, 2006

The Community Front Porch

If you're a Southern Hills member, then you know all about our new vision statement. It is pretty exciting - our staff seems VERY excited. I'm not making fun of anyone and I'm happy to be part of a church that cares about moving forward.

I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. Philippians 3:14

There's something to be said for having a goal. That being said - Donnie hit on the one thing that's been on my mind, yesterday, in our class. Our kids.

Kenny went to a birthday party on Saturday of one of his classmates - Jesus. Jesus (pronounced Hey-zeus) lives just around the corner from us and Kenny told me he was one of his good friends. So, off I went to get the Target gift card, and he and I walked to the party. Yep, it was different. There wasn't a cake or presents to open but there was a bounce house. I left him there worried about supervision. Kenny reported that he was glad he had gone to the party and had fun.

This is the heart of the missional church. Being in the community, being friends with our neighbors, being part of THEIR lives not waiting for them to walk in the big, beautiful building we've built. (Feel free to correct me if you know more than me - I know lots of you do.) For me, the grown-up, mature Christian, I can be Christ to the unchurched and still have a strong walk with Christ. But what about my children? They are babies in Christ, in maturity, in their emotions. I don't want to see them hurt or corrupted (Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." I Cor. 15:33.) I know that we all want to protect our children and I know that we want them to be God's people.

So, what do we do? How much is too much for our kids and how much isn't enough? How do I teach that unchurched isn't horrible just unchurched (maybe even seeking.) What happens when they get dirty?


Sarah said...

A)Blogger is both unchurched AND horrible. This comment will likely end up in the bowels of the blogosphere -- which is probably the best place for it!

B) Sure, our kids should be out there amongst the muck and the mire as much as we are (which, embarassingly, I'm not out there nearly enough). I would rather my children walk amongst the unchurched while they live at my house and -- for a few more brief years anyway -- will listen to what I have to say about it.

When we see people in a mess in their lives, we talk about that being the natural consequences of not following what God would have us do. We talk about that God has His Will for us because he loves us and knows that the other way makes a huge mess, generally. We talk about that some people CHOOSE not to follow God, but most people just don't know how awesome it is to follow him. We talk about that's WHY God wants us to be His light -- by not only choosing to do His Will, but letting others know His love and His Will.

I did have one mother almost screech at me when I mentioned my schooling choice was partly so that we could be exposed to the world: "I don't want to use my child as an evangelism tool!!!" Well, no, and I don't think that's what I'm doing (again, I might be if the entire school weren't Christians. But I am allowing my children to see choices others make for better or worse and examine why they choose what they choose while they still live under my roof to talk about it.

I don't think it's entirely necessary for me to go on record as saying that I screw this up a LOT. And, tomorrow a situation could explode in my home that would cause me to question my philosophy and/or decide that I have been dead wrong. I have certainly questioned it many times before.

As with any other parenting decision, I say that the bottom line is to make your decision prayerfully and carefully, and be willing to admit it when you realize you were wrong!

Tammy M. said...

Denise I appreciate your thoughts, and Sarah I think that your response is awesome. I am definately in agreement with what you said. We can not shelter our children from the world, it is everywhere, and anyone who thinks they can I think is fooling themselves, unless they are homeschooled with no television and no outreach to non-believers, and live with perfect parents. We must be involved in the lives of our children to interact with them and talk about what is around them. We need to teach our children about being intentional in their faith and give them opportunities to live that out even when they are little.... any suggestions on that one? These are formative years for our younglings and it is up to us to talk with them in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings about following Christ.

The brother said...

has the world changed in - well, since creation? Those same sins and problems that faced all those generations before us are facing us now, just in different forms. The sins of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are the tools used by Big Red to destroy us, and our children. Don't be fooled, who we are will be transfered to our children even if we don't want it to. The best way to teach our kids how to deal with the world is to tell them how we deal with the world. Oh, and by the way, I'm glad your congregation found a mission statement, but it sounds like the group is now saying what the individual should have been saying all along. Hey, do ya'll say that acapella?

Tammy M. said...

I have found my new favorite name for satan - Big Red.