Our church kids and youth ministries had a Back to School event this past weekend. There were many activities involved, including water slides and bouncy houses, pizza and worship karaoke. Most of the students stayed at the church overnight, so they were able to make it to our Sunday school classes and corporate worship, after a hearty breakfast cooked by some dedicated church members. Several of the youth leaders stayed with the kids all day and night (brave souls!) Our church building was full of tired, young faces, many new to our worship mornings. There were some kids in attendance that no one even knew, not even the other kids! All kids were welcomed. As far as I could tell, all the students left the event knowing that God loves them, and His people do too.
Our youth leaders stood up to the challenge of ministering to all youth ages (5-18 years old), and to several kids they did not know. Several parents willingly signed the permission slips for their children to learn more about Jesus, and to have a fun time. I had the privilege of teaching about 15 young students in my Sunday school class. As I reworked the lesson for the larger class (I usually only have four students), several of the kids worked on drawing whatever they wanted on long pieces of blank paper. Some of them created wall hangings with sayings like "God loves us!" and "God is good!" Some drew colorful crosses, and some just scribbled on the paper to show chaos. During my little lesson about Ruth and Naomi, the kids asked me questions about Jesus, especially His death and resurrection.
At the corporate worship service, all of the kids were again in attendance. Brother Brian had the privilege of talking to all of them before his main sermon. They had interesting answers, and were not afraid to speak up. During his main sermon, the students were surprised when he told them they could continue to say "Amen!", if the Spirit moved them to it.
The karaoke activity was livestreamed on the internet. I was notified by the chidren's director that my kids were online. We "tuned in" and watched as some of our children, along with several others, stood on the stage, singing worship songs. Many of the students were not sure if their microphones were working, but I can assure you that their voices were amplified. I watched the livestream, looking for my own children, but l could not help noticing some of the other kids. Several of them seemed to be familiar with the songs being played, all Christian songs. The song, "Way Maker", written by Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu (also known as Sinach), was requested several times to sing. I really think that song means more to some of us than to others. When I see kids I know who do not have the best home life singing that song , it encourages me to continue doing what I do. We are not here just to continue a 100 year congregation, but we are here as a church to teach everyone about the love of Jesus, and how He can make a difference in all of our lives. HE is my Savior, and HE can be your Savior too.
You are here moving in our midst I worship You I worship You You are here working in this place I worship You I worship You
(You are) Way Maker Miracle Worker Promise Keeper Light in the darkness my God that is who You are
You are here touching ev'ry heart I worship You I worship You You are here healing ev'ry heart I worship You I worship You
You are here turning lives around I worship You I worship You You are here mending ev'ry heart I worship You yeah I worship You Lord
That is who You are That is who You are That is who You are That is who You are
Even when I don't see it You're working Even when I don't feel it You're working You never stop You never stop working You never stop You never stop working
CCLI Song # 7115744 Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu
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John 14:6 (English Standard Version)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.