- Phone: (706) 548-2246
- Mailing Address: 2390 West Broad Street, Athens, GA 30606
We cherish kids at Beech Haven, and so does Jesus. They are the most vulnerable in spiritual matters. They are also vulnerable in other areas, too. A healthy church will pour out its life to reach kids outside the faith and build those inside it, too.
We have attempted to do this very thing. We have extended a call to Matt Bartlett as our Children and Family Minister. Tommy Fountain has been with us for three years as Student and Collegiate Minister and has done an excellent work. Years ago, we implemented specific and prudent child protection policies. With the ACT22 Project, we installed secure doors and more than 20 security cameras (more in our student ministry areas). The Student & Collegiate Ministries are upgrading their facilities, too. You expend considerable resources to make these things a reality, and I know you are happy to do it.
Kids who grow up into faithful young adults have needs beyond staff, programs, and facilities. They need adults to embrace them as friends. Age integrated friendships in churches give life and strength to all involved. Age segregated churches will fizzle, falter, and fail. This gives us good incentive to practice the 3/10/20 rules each time we gather on Sundays and Wednesdays. Before and after the services, spend 3 minutes with someone you do not know, greet anyone within 10 feet of you, and shake 20 hands. These are very simple measures to start friendships. Do these things especially with the kids and guests.
Kids also need us to point them to Christ and His gospel. Churches that exalt Christ and His gospel will meet needs long after life is over and the final prophecy is fulfilled. Churches that avoid eternity and salvation do not deserve kids and their families, and they will wilt, wither, and die.
Further, kids need churches to encourage them in worship. Worship must include elements that inspire all to worship,including kids. A church that bores kids with the most exciting God and news in the world is a contradiction of many biblical terms.
Finally, kids need churches to guard them as shepherds guard flocks. They must identify theological and moral error, and they should commend what is true and praiseworthy. To paraphrase G. Campbell Morgan, though the temptation is strong, churches must never conform to the age but correct it.
Children and students need adult friendships, Christ, the gospel, authentic worship, and truth. If we provide these things, we have a winning mix to reach and keep them into young adulthood. If we do not provide these items, very little that we do will make a difference.
These things are on our minds as we embark on our mission trip to Indiantown, Florida at the end of the month. We will address a few of these items in our final meeting with participants after worship Sunday, June 4, 2017.
Thank you for giving so much for the sake of children and students. You are investing in an exciting future.
I Stand Amazed,