It's no secret that the face of the post-modern church is changing. One of the trends I've read more and more about is the restructuring of Sunday morning bible study or the removing of it altogether in favor of small groups that meet at alternate times. Now, on this I have no word from the Lord, but I've got to give a shout out today to traditional church. To perfectly calculated roll books and offering envelopes. To SBC Literature and a basket of pencils in the center of the table. Call me irrelevant, but I love me some Old School Sunday School. Were it not for our age-graded classes, I wouldn't have the opportunity to do life with a group of people whose paths would typically not cross mine.
A couple of years ago, Luke and I encouraged some friends, Clay and Tammy, to consider teaching the College/Career class with the offer of my joining them as moral support until they were comfortable. They got comfortable quickly and apparently so did I since I never left. There's just something that speaks to me about experiencing life with 18-year olds to 20-somethings who are always on the brink of some huge Number Next. They are choosing careers, getting married, praying their way through term papers and state boards, and serving the military just to name a few. I'm pretty convinced there may even be some future ministers among us. Each one is making plans, but whether they realize it or not, God is taking the steps. (Prov. 16:1)
Perhaps what I love the most is being in a class where I'm the old one and have been in most of the places these are just now going. Of being able to laugh hysterically over spats of young marriage and relating 150%. Of being able to promise that if Luke McKay and I can make it twenty years, then anyone can. Of admiring fresh tattoos and gently (or sometimes not so gently, right B?:) reminding the one who continues to get them how distorted they'll appear when he is a senior citizen. Of celebrating when the mile is swam in the combat boots, the test is passed, the semester is over, the degree is finally in hand, and the job is landed. Of witnessing when the Lord has already or is in the process of answering the prayer. Of watching two people I love so much grow in ministry by seizing an opportunity that scared them to death and bonding with a hard-to-reach, transient age group.
I don't know why I waxed all sentimental today, but I just want you guys to know how much I love starting every Lord's Day with you - even if I do drag in a few minutes late and make you endure the fizzy, crunchy sacrifice of my drink (Diet Dr. P) and grain offering (Granola Bar). I won't try to make a list because I'll inevitably leave someone out, but you know who you are....
See you next Sunday. Or I'd better anyway. :)
Sunday, May 17, 2009