This Sunday, we congratulate the high school class of 2014 and their families. They graduate from five schools over the next two weeks and will attend eight different colleges this fall. What they have received from their church family is a degree that will last an eternity.
First Baptist unites people across our community through children’s and youth ministries that shape their faith, a youth choir that serves through music, and families that love the Lord. These families have given their lives to serve downtown and to share together. There is something special about being able to eat in the Snack Rack on Wednesday nights with Sharon, rehearse music with Pam Cooke, and study the Bible with Todd Smith. You have enjoyed dessert theaters, baptized children into the family of God, and sent them out to camps and mission trips in Jesus’ name. They enjoy the company of college students who care about their lives and senior adults who speak to them by name, taking them under wing. It takes a multi-generational church family to nurture the faith in students. I am so grateful that we have all of those elements here at First Baptist.
Thank you, church family, for pouring into the lives of these students. From nursery workers to camp counselors, you have changed diapers, clothed, fed, evangelized, and given financially so that these teenagers can mature into followers of Christ. It’s not easy work, but it’s one of the highest callings we have. I am so grateful to our staff for their tireless efforts behind the scenes to minister to these families.
Because of your work, they are equipped for the next chapter of life. We don’t know where God will call them to serve and worship. We do know that you have shared the story of Jesus and prepared them for the great adventure of faith that lies ahead. As I read the book of Acts, this is precisely what John Mark’s family did for him in Acts 12. Long before he went out on mission with Paul and Barnabas, John Mark overheard a prayer meeting when Peter was imprisoned. The people around him explained faith through word and deed.
Church family, don’t miss out on your role in this process. Join us Sunday as we celebrate together the next step for these lives. We still have work to do.