Growing With The Lords People!

Read: 1 Peter 4:8-10

I have had many opportunities recently to reflect back on my days of growing up in the church.  I grew up in a medium sized (80-90 people) Mennonite church in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  When the church doors were open you could pretty much be sure that our family was going to be walking through them.  As a child I didn’t get the impression that it was seen as a legalistic obligation to go to church; but as an opportunity to worship the Lord and grow with God’s people together.  This is an opportunity that many people in our world could cherish and benefit from as well if they would give it a try.  In a world that becomes busier by the week it takes a conscious effort and desire to make the church family a part of our lives.

Many people have heard the African Proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  Susan Allison-Jones reminded me of that concept of the village in an article I read and I realized how well it relates to the church. She shared her own experiences of how important the church family was in forming her children and their outlook on life.  She shared stories in which the church friends would support them, care for them, encourage them, and help them as a family.  She writes, “The village gives us perspective, relief, and peace of heart and mind.  The village gives our children an intergenerational group of people not found in many other settings in our busy, complex world.”

Relationships can sometimes be challenging and difficult in any setting, but by placing ourselves around God’s people we allow our families to bless others and be blessed by others in so many ways.  I realize now how valuable that was in my growing up years and how valuable that was for my own children as they grew up in the church.  I am very thankful that my parents made our church family a part of the village that helped me along the way. I know that our church today did the same for our children as they grew up.

Make It Personal:  May the Lord continue to help all of us grow together as his people and for his purposes!  I agree with Susan when she ends her article by saying, “It does take a village to raise a child.  And we are thankful for those who have been and are a part of our village.”  “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”  1 Peter 4:8-10

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes