How many of you have taken a long trip? Personally I love road trips – let me take that back; I love going places. The process of getting somewhere is not always the best – you can get lost, run out of gas, hit traffic, etc. It can be very hectic.
I’ll never forget one particular road trip that I took with a friend of mine in High School. My friend and I were 16 & 17; our parents in a bold display of faith had decided to allow us to drive from Kettering, OH to Quincy, IL to visit a former Children’s Pastor of ours. (It was an exciting trip – the first time I ever drove over 100 MPH…ummm.) My friend’s grandpa had AAA so he got us one of those “trip tiks” where AAA walks you through the whole trip (very helpful – this was before GoogleMaps and Mapquest). They include everything on those – construction, mile markers, slow times to travel – EVERYTHING! Well almost everything. Being the young men that we were we didn’t pay attention to all of the details needed for a long trip – i.e. planning your gas stops so that you don’t run out between stations. We were dangerously close to running out of gas near Springfield, IL. Fortunately we came to an area that had 4 gas stations…but it was a funky cloverleaf looking thing that we couldn’t figure out. I tried to get off at what look like an exit, but it was actually an entrance fora different highway, so we turned around and tried again, and then again, and then one more time for good luck. All I was thinking was that we were going to ran out of gas within 1/2 mile of 3 gas stations because we couldn’t figure out how to get to them. God rescued us and we found out how to get to the Shell station – crisis avoided and the trip continued.
My road trip story is a funny anecdote now…but at the time it was a true crisis to me. I had the directions of how to get to my ultimate destination, but I had not idea how to get to some of the points in between that I would need. I believe that this is something our kids face in church and in life in general today. Any kid who grows up in church has an idea of what the general destination for their life should be – they need to grow up to be like the adult Christians around them. They need to learn how to be bold and strong in faith…but are they shown how to get there? Are they shown how to deal with the “gas crisis” they come across?
Discipleship has been a word thrown around for years – but what does it really look like? Do we have a plan? Do we have a “Trip-Tik” for getting kids from Beginning Believer to Mature Christian? It doesn’t matter what denomination you are; there are core values that all Christian Churches hold to be true. Why as a community of believers haven’t we come together like the public school system and come up with something that moves children along this road? This has been something I have struggled with for a couple of years now and I haven’t come up with an answer. The question I ask myself continually and the one I’m trying to work out for my ministry is: What’s the scope and sequence that I need to put in place for my kids to grow them up?
I think I have come up with a portion of the answer – I can’t develop one single plan that will move all my kids down the same path, but it is through Discipleship that I truly believe that this will be answered. And to me Discipleship is about relationship…how better to help map something for someone than to see where they are and help them find their way to where they need to be.