(Matthew 19:13-15)

I have been paying attention to preparation lately. Ever since Spoke Folk and VBS finished, I have been thinking ahead to September and all of the education ministries that will kick off: First communion instruction (for 5th grade), confirmation classes (junior high), and Sunday school (2-year-olds through high school). What’s really cool is that I’ve been compiling lists of names & addresses to send out information, and I did a count: over the past 12 months our congregation reached 87 children and youth through Sunday school and VBS. That’s not counting those who only attended church, which is probably another dozen or two. It’s hard to imagine that we really did reach that many, when we averaged 30 kids a week at Sunday school, and less than that per night of VBS.

The coolest thing is the reactions of our congregation to some of this. See, we do a hot dog ministry for the community on Wednesday nights, including during our evening VBS. We got a bunch of kids who signed up for VBS when they came for hot dogs (they are free). One family with six boys (God bless them!) came for hot dogs, then stayed for VBS and has been to church at every service we have held since then! One of our members asked about that, was told the story, and replied, “this mission stuff really works!” Yes, it does!

As I continue with my busy work of putting together mailings, I am praying for the young people who will come and be touched by the gospel this year. Yes, I am nervous about finding enough teachers for them, but I know that God has the right people in mind for it. Me getting anxious will solve nothing. I am determined to put my faith in God, not in my own abilities. That would be a foolish place to place my faith, believe me. But knowing my limitations is a good thing.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).