It was one of those “I wish Mr. Doe had been able to see this” moments. I was in the foyer talking with a man who was involved 25 years ago in setting a vision and making decisions that led to Sunday’s service. He had tears in his eyes as he reflected on the days of 2 or 3 students in youth group. Those visionary leaders could see something most others can not see–the future. They made decisions based on what they believed God could do, not what God had done.
For over 20 years this congregation has poured resources into student ministry. We have good facilities from the nursery to college. We have fine staff and incredible volunteers for every age group. We spend $1,000s scholarshiping children to camp and teens to Local Sweat and Element. We invest in Madison Park people doing interns and making mission trips. We pray for, encourage, and hold accountable our “kids.”
Sunday was not the first (and it will not be the last), but it may have been the finest display of how that investment has paid kingdom dividends. I watched and listened as students and sponsors led us in worship, opened up Acts 7, revealed their hearts, and pointed us to Jesus. It was amazing, moving, motivating, challenging, and gratifying. God is indeed moving and we want to shout it from the mountaintops.
But beyond affirming decisions made in the 1980s, it reinforces the need for ongoing vision and decisions that reach into a yet-unknown future. I hope I live long enough to see the repercussions of the decisions being made today that will propel us into a 2nd site (and who knows about beyond that). What an incredible privilege to be part of a body of people who cares about broken, hurting people. May God multiply their kind among us.