Reaching across generations and across miles
Fuller Youth Institute
Photo by ... Ju !.
Today’s guest post is from Danita Brick, who volunteers as the Sticky Faith Team Coordinator at Shiloh United Methodist Church in Jasper, Indiana. Danita was part of a Sticky Faith Cohort in 2013 while serving as Shiloh’s Director of Student Ministries. Danita hosts six high school girls at her house for cinnamon rolls, bacon, and chatter on Wednesday mornings, and blogs at After Dinner Conversations.
Sticky Faith emphasizes the importance of all ages in the church partnering with families to raise kids who have a healthy view of Jesus.
All ages. Every...
I agree, and it became even more urgent to me when I recently held my first grandchild for the first time. Holding Jude in my arms, I felt the mystery of life, heritage and...
Jude is the next generation of our family, which means our family’s next generation is now.
"There was a certain man...whose name was Elkanah, son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite." I Samuel 1:1
I’ve been reading I Samuel lately—probably for the third or fourth time. As much as I geek the Old Testament (weird, huh?) genealogy gives me brain fade. Every single time.
Until Jude came into my life.
This time, instead of brain fade, I wondered what this genealogy would look like in my family.
So I looked at I Samuel 1:1 again and put Jude in the place of Elkanah—Jude, the son of Andy, the son of Gary, the son of Floyd, the son of Peter. And suddenly, a new understanding opened up to me.
Jude will meet Floyd and the other great grandparents, and hopefully, time will allow relationships to build. But he will never meet Great-great-grandfather Peter this side of heaven. Yet, Peter will influence Jude because he influenced Floyd who influenced Gary who influenced Andy who is parenting Jude.
Gary and I are excited to be part of Jude’s faith development. We have stories to tell, blessings to give, and many, many memories to make.
Sadly, over 1,000 miles separate us from Jude. Technology makes communication easier, but it doesn't replace literally being with him. And while we will strive for quality time with him, a large quantity of quality time would be even better.
That’s where their church in Denver comes in. So here’s my plea to that community:
Dear people of all generations at Park Church,
You have many special, special children and youth among you. One of them is my grandson, Jude. Please notice Jude. Encourage him in the faith, and help him learn new skills as he grows. Please be involved in his life. Share your love and wisdom. Help him to “grow in stature and in favor with both God and men” like Samuel and Jesus. Please team with his parents and Gary and me.
And be assured, I will accept my responsibility to engage with kids of all ages in my home church. I will notice them, learn their names, encourage them, teach them about God and life. I will help them to "grow in stature and in favor with both God and men." I will team with their parents and their relatives (maybe you!) who would love to be here with them, but cannot.
We need each other within both the local church and the church at large. As I serve where I am, I will ask questions about and pray for the extended families of the kids I serve. And I will pray thanksgiving for those in Denver serving Jude.