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A Web of Faith

19October2011

Katie wanted to sing.  And she picked “Amazing Grace” as her debut song.  She was in grade school at the time and hadn’t done much singing.  But, when you’re in grade school a little thing like experience or ability isn’t going to stop you—and it didn’t stop Katie either.

Susan can sing.  She has a beautiful voice and an even more beautiful heart.  She has a divinely given ability to help others to sing their song of creation.  I hope you know a Susan: the type of person that exudes Jesus out of every pore and has a passion for helping others to love Jesus too.  Susan meet Katie.  Katie meet Susan.

The two would meet regularly to practice.  A middle aged woman and this grade school girl.  No ostensible connection was visible other than Katie’s desire and Susan’s heart.  But there they were—connected.  Practice, practice, practice…  Until, finally, Katie was ready.  And then her debut came.  Thanksgiving Day worship—standing on the third step—a beautiful little girl with a heart of gold.  “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound…”  and oh how sweet the sound was.  Not because her song would have gotten her to Hollywood week on American Idol—far from it.  Instead, it was the sweet sound of a soul praising God with genuine love.  It was a cute moment—a tender moment.  It was a moment when the tangible nature of Jesus’ teaching was real.  “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” Matthew 19:14

A short while later, Katie found herself in that same place.  Singing, once again.  You see, her grandfather had died.  He was a pillar of our church community and there wasn’t an empty seat in the sanctuary.  And, again, Katie stood on that step and sang her heart out loud… “I once was lost but now I’m found; was blind but now I see.”  There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.  There wasn’t a more powerful sermon spoken.  There wasn’t a more profound truth shared.  There wasn’t a grander hope conveyed.

As pastors and as servants of Christ, we don’t do enough of matching the Susans up with the Katies!  We can’t afford not to do this.  We can’t afford not to foster relationships that deepen connections to Jesus, cross over generational lines, and expand our webs of faith.

The church I serve had over 250 youth and adults involved in a camp trip, mission trip, or service trip this summer.  That’s a lot.  And the fruit from these trips is wonderful.  But, far and away the best 4 hour span of all our 8 summer trips was when our OWLs (older, wiser Lutherans) spent the morning with our leadership camp.  The OWLs were paired with our high school students for interviews and conversation.  Before we rotated the pairings we had them hold hands and the youth prayed for the senior citizens.  I’m still hearing stories about the impact this short, simple time has and is having our relationships within the congregation.

So here’s the application.  Who is your Katie?  Who are you going to be intentional about entering into their life so that their song of creation will praise the Living God?  How can you tear down the generational silos that exist within your place of worship?  And who is your Susan?  Who can you ask to enter into an intentional relationship with that helps you both to be better followers of Jesus Christ?  As we read in yesterday’s fine post about intentionality, I’m a firm believer that we need to develop intentionality in our relationships as well.  As you are intentional about worship—will you be intentional about engaging in life-on-life discipleship with someone else?  All so that you can sing a selfless song of praise to the God of heaven and earth.

SMN @CCD

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