Mike Ashcraft, as always, gave an awesome message on Sunday. He reminded us that “what matters in the future, needs to matter now”. Now – that could apply to anything. But he focused on the next generation. What are we (as a church) doing to ensure that our next generation will be awesome?
First thought: I haven’t had kids yet, I AM the next generation. Well yeah, maybe. But really no. What am I doing for the kids not too far behind me? High schoolers, even middle schoolers?
When I was in middle school, I was lucky enough to fall into the hands of some pretty awesome youth group leaders. These were adults that wanted to lead me in the same direction a parent would, but they weren’t my parents: AKA cool people. The truth is, every kid needs someone, in addition to their parents, that they can confide in and trust with their life. These people lead me all the way to college, and are still at home waiting, any time I visit. They are still cooler than parents, but still wiser than me. Still friends, but still know where to lead me.
So wait a minute – I got that lucky when I was a kid, and never thought about paying that forward? I’m a jerk. Mike reminded me that even at 22, I can be an example for someone else. Some 12 year old might not listen to a word their parents say, or worse – what if they don’t have parents? Or any role model? But that 12 year old might think I’m the coolest person on the planet. So maybe I can have an impact.
My first thought is Laura. She’s already done this – saw kids with a need, and helped them.
Laura goes to Nicaragua every year, and leads children. Orphans. Not her kids, but she’s taken them on as her responsibility.
No, you don’t have to fly to another country and bring them shoes (although kudos to Laura for bringing thousands of pairs of shoes to Nicaragua 2 years ago = happy kids). I can do this right here in Wilmington. I can help with Tsunami. I can help at overflow. I can join the elementary mentor program with PC3 (having lunch with an elementary school student each week (at their school, with their friends) just to make sure they’re doing alright.
I can do it. I can help. Why haven’t I been doing it all along? Someone paid it forward to me, it’s time I do the same.
“If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”