Our church’s VBS was last week. (Camp Kilimanjaro by Answers In Genesis. I love AIG…they have such great material!) It was a blessing to watch so many kids come into the church and hear the gospel. It is always so gratifying to watch the teamwork as the church body works together to accomplish a big and challenging goal. But we were blessed in particular this year by watching several families troop in each night and get to work. As a family. They each had different skills and talents, and ranged in age from 2 to 52. (Approximately!) They helped with the art, with putting up the signs and props, with the drama, the snacks, the setup and the teardown. They welcomed kids, taught kids, and loved kids. It was beautiful to watch these families in action.
No More Fences
We live in a world of fences. It is difficult not to compartmentalize our lives – family here, work over there, church on this side, politics in this box, faith in that one.
We drop our kids off at Sunday School and then go and talk about God with other adults.
We drop the kids off at a babysitter’s and go to a small group to discuss faith and life with other adults.
We drop the kids off and serve at church or in our community.
This separation robs our kids of the opportunity to watch us living life. They hear us talking about our priorities, but they do not get to see it.
A Picture of the Talk
Life is service. Life is work. Life is ministry. When we ‘do life’ with our kids, it paints an illustration for them of what life is like. When they hear us talking about God with our friends, we are proving that our faith is something real and valuable to us. Perhaps just as important, by participating with us in this kind of life, our kids are creating their own identity.
Most of us don’t take much time to think about our identity, maybe because it is so core to who we are. But for that very reason our self-identity shapes our path in this life. We make decisions and choose our path in large part because of who we think we are. By allowing our kids to work hard this week of VBS we are helping them shape their own identity.
“We are the kind of people who show up an hour and a half before VBS to set up, and who stay an hour late to clean up. Every night.”
“We are the kind of people who help scared little kids find their teacher and feel welcome.”
“Sure, it’s 10 o’clock on Friday night and we are still at church – that’s just what we do!”
This is not about bragging or feeling superior. Servant leadership involves humility and sacrifice, without any need to get recognition. The best gift you could give your kids is to live out the servant leader lifestyle with them. With them. Together! They will form an understanding of life that will guide their steps and create their future.
Power In Numbers
God made families when he made Adam and Eve. The family is the fundamental building block of His Kingdom, and this Kingdom will overcome the world! When Dana and I are united with our four kids, our power is multiplied. That unity of purpose and spirit is a beautiful thing, and I know that it puts a smile on God’s face. Then when you join with other families with the same mindset, like we did during our VBS, we were able to do more than what any one of us could do alone. We were unstoppable!
Bring It Home: Grab the calendar hanging on your fridge and look through the week’s activities. How many of them involve activities that you are doing with your kids? Of those, how many are ‘kids activities’ that you are doing with them, and how many are ‘adult activities’ that they are doing with you? Both are important, but the point of this post is that you are bringing your kids along as you live and serve and fellowship.