Vonda Christenberry. That was the name of the lady who led our children’s ministry when I was in elementary school. I remember the plaque on the wall that celebrated her extraordinary volunteer efforts.
Her husband Terry taught my Sunday night class when I was in 4th–6th grades. We played dodgeball every week. And we learned a whole lot of Bible.
It would be impossible to total the hours that couple invested in my life. But each hour mattered. Each conversation mattered. Each tough question they explored with me mattered. They laid a foundation of Christ and Scripture that can’t be undone.
You know what’s crazy? They are still there serving to this day. Hundreds of kids have been taught and loved on by the Christenberrys.
Today, I am grateful to be a part of a church that God has called to multiply the local church through making disciples, raising up leaders, and sending out church planting teams. We just want to encourage each other toward the mission of loving God, loving people, and loving our community. Going outside to seek the city that is to come by serving the city we have here on earth is what we do.
God has been faithful to send leaders to us that we can send back out. However, to continue to be faithful stewards, we must be focused on developing and discipling the little ones in our midst toward the mission God has called us all to.
It hit me one day when I was having a conversation with a prospective church planter. We could, and will, continue to look for people that God is calling to plant a church and unite our efforts. But more critical to the long-term vision was that we begin discipling our young people toward playing their roles in God’s kingdom. These words spilled out of my mouth:
“We believe our best planters are in the 5th grade.”
It wasn’t a statement about how awesome our 5th graders were (although they are!). It was the realization that God has the opportunity to sculpt young lives to begin thinking about their lives as crucial roles in God’s kingdom. We, as parents and church family, then had an awesome responsibility to begin discipling them toward their kingdom purpose. Knowing that many of them could be used as doctors, teachers, lawyers, business people, government workers, non-profit leaders, pastors, and more to plant new churches to reach people far from Christ.
Andy Stanley once said, “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom may not be something you do, but someone you raise.” We need more adults in our church family raising up the church planters in 5th grade and under.
In fact, as of last count, we needed 26 more people—26 opportunities to spend a couple hours a month loving on our best church planters.
Get off the sidelines. Get outside yourself. Be a part of raising up the best church planters Christ Community has.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what opportunities there are to invest in our Community Kids today.