Footsteps pounding across the asphalt. Voices rehearsing cheers and songs. Hands holding spoons, basketballs, arrows, and every other imaginable recreational tool. Minds absorbing biblical passages and themes. Such is the scene this week at Temple Baptist Church as WinShape Camp takes place. Some 390 students from around the community have participated in our WinShape Camp; and as you can imagine, they have been full of energy!
No doubt, it has been an active, wonderful week for all those who have been involved. As I heard the WinShape campers pass my office one day, a thought occurred to me: “How blessed we are to have children in our congregation!” I mean that. There are so many churches today who are struggling to reach the next generation. In many instances, the halls of the children’s areas remain relatively quiet with only an occasional interruption by the cleaning crew. I am so grateful that we continue to see children and youth not only gather with our faith family but also take active roles in God’s mission.
I am also reminded of the great responsibility we have to invest in the younger generations God gives us. We are to declare the truth to them and challenge them to live holy lives before the Lord. Indeed, we are to help them grow in Christ so that they might proclaim Him to the world! And what a wonderful blessing to be a part of that process!
Of course, our investment is not limited to children and youth. Temple is committed to discipling individuals from across the generational spectrum. No matter what the age of the person, we want to encourage one another toward greater work for the Lord . . . even if that means “sending” them out. This past Sunday, I received a message from my friend and former Templite, Jeff Roberts, who underscored this reality. Many of you will remember Jeff and Susan as they both were so active in our congregation. Jeff sang in the Sanctuary Choir and often did solos in our Blended Worship Service while Susan served faithfully on church committees and brightened our path with her smile. In any case, Jeff visited with me several months ago about God calling him and Susan back to his previous church where he would take part in the ministry. My heart sank as I realized that we would be losing them as a part of the Temple family; but deep down, I knew the Lord had other plans for them. Well, as I said, Jeff texted me this past Sunday. The message? He wrote, “Because the wonderful people at Temple are a part of this—God taught us so much from you all—I was licensed to preach today at Pine Grove; and last Sunday, Sharon Baptist Church called me as Interim Pastor.” Isn’t that awesome! We had a part in God’s plan for Jeff and Susan . . . and for Sharon Baptist Church. Join me in praying for the Roberts as God moves them forward.
Just as we have had a part in God’s plan for 390 WinShape students, Jeff and Susan Roberts, and Sharon Baptist Church, we are reminded that our efforts are not really about Temple Baptist Church. Our goal is to seek “wins” for the Kingdom! And my friends, these are victories for the King and His Kingdom! Join with me in celebrating the Lord’s work. And oh yeah, let’s keep investing in people of all ages . . . because we all have a part to play . . . and a King to serve! Love you Temple family! See you Sunday!