Thursday, September 3, 2015

It all starts with volunteers

   Football players, cheerleaders, kids in the Band, parents in the stands, and even folks behind the counter at the concession stands: everyone knows that football season is upon us. High Schools and Middle Schools have been playing for a couple of weeks now and college teams start in full force this weekend. All of it to the delight of a hundred million fans watching from the bleachers, in their living rooms, or even on some tablet with their toes in the sand.
   To think that it all started with a volunteer somewhere: recreation sports coaches, a mom or a dad in the backyard, or even an older sibling or family member. Whatever passion a young person puts on display, it almost always finds its genesis with the encouragement and supervision of someone who wasn't paid.
   Our church is blessed by children of all ages who run through our halls, sit in our classrooms, and travel with our groups. But, none of it happens without the adults who show up to encourage and supervise. We teach them right from wrong and show them the love of Jesus. We listen to their silly stories, knowing that they are watching how we live out our own life-stories. We have fun with them and give them room to be serious, too. Each of those moments happens best when adults, in groups of two, are working with small groups of children.
   Every church says they believe in children. Every church proclaims that children are our future. The idea is not original to us: think about the place Jesus gave them in Mark 10:14. I love the church who puts their words into actions. Bonaire does that. We're offering two different opportunities for committed adults to receive training in one of the linchpin parts of how we protect children and youth and provide great places for them to learn and grow. Youth parents and volunteers are invited on Sunday, September 13 at 5:30 PM to a Youth Parent's Night that will feature a look ahead to great stuff being planned. Parents and volunteers with children are invited to the Celebrate and Update Event on Sunday, September 20 at 5:00 PM. Both events will include a component of training around the best methods for protecting children and our church.
   We are blessed to have children show up. It is a stewardship of the most important degree. I am thankful to every adult who is willing to be present with them in these early years in order to shape their later years for the good. Grace and Peace, Scott

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