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Follow Me: Lessons from the 165

This week I got an answer to a question I wasn't even asking: "What is it like to have 165 children running around the church all week?"

(That's right: 165 children.)

165 souls that can understand God in mighty ways now and can grow to understand Him in even mightier ways as they grow and mature.

It is so fun and uplifting to see them singing praise songs and dancing around at a young age in our sanctuary, but at the same time, I am reminded that the world is not our sanctuary.

We want them so badly to declare a love for Christ now and when they are older and living outside the sanctuary in the unfriendly world. When the attacks come. When all of a sudden, their best friend reveals that he thinks differently. When their faith is truly challenged. When their boss comes and asks them to compromise and they have to make a choice. When they have a chance to volunteer at a VBS someday (like my oldest one is doing this week!). Which path will they take? Will they follow Jesus when it is tough? When they are called to sacrifice and take a stand?

The test of faith is not just how it performs in the church, but how it does in the real world.

How about us, adults? Is our faith fine as long as we are at our version of our own "grown-up VBS"? Our worship services, our church, our small groups? Are we ready - really ready - for the challenges of the world? Unfortunately, this is a skill we need to learn more and more it seems as our work becomes less and less "Christian" and more universalist and polytheistic.

This Sunday you can see a slideshow in the first service and second hour hear the kids sing live and ask yourself this: do you want them to be great just in church or in the world, too?

What about us? Are we good if we are safe and fragile if we are not?

The great news is that the God who made us can also equip us to live in the world no matter how dire the circumstances are. He is that big, powerful, loving and amazing.

See you Sunday!
-Jim