Discipleship, not Programming

Posted: August 5, 2012 by Ty in Musings, Spirituality
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ahhh… Many may fail to realize in the church that in Canada the reason the church year is September-May/June is that it falls into the public school year, which was designed to aid in the agriculture routine.

But with the majority of Canadians living in cities is this still a relevant model to use? Shall we continue to perpetuate it because it is simply tradition.  Look around your congregations, how many young families are in the sanctuary after Sunday School/Church School/Children’s ministry ends for the year? Is it possible all these people in an era where 2 weeks vacation time for parents is an abnormality are actually all on holidays? When in Alberta you need to book your campground ahead of time?

So what is keeping children out of church during the summer?

My theory, and it was proven through research at many churches I served in, is that it is simply a lack of ongoing spiritual development in the churches.

Worship is the beginning of the kernels of faith, it is what we do with this that matters and grows our souls.

So why do we follow the school year so closely? When breaks happen, we given breaks. Yet this is the time families need support, structures, free activities  to engage all family members.

The BEM document I have referred to before challenges all believers to take seriously the Great Commission and build disciples.

So this is my reflection for today:

Let the church truly become the soul of their communities, and the heart of their members. As the living body of Christ, Jesus of Nazareth doesn’t take summers off.

So why not develop a discipleship ministry focus that has a year round flavour, where breaks happen on long weekends, but during the summer continually run. Where formation and outreach opportunities continue regardless of the time of year?

The question is, are we willing to take our vows and promises seriously at the time of Baptism, conversion, birth, dedication, eucharist, communion, confirmation, and membership.. to support and aid one another in discovering, growing in and living the Gospel life?

Are we willing to take the year round challenge? Or stay with a tradition that leaves many families…ney… members struggling with the fact that for 8-12 weeks every year there is a huge segment left out in our disciple making process…

IS this what Jesus reflected in the Gospel when he said come the little children?

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