Just Get Them Started

CE@TUMC

by Pastor Jacki

The presence of young people leading and serving in worship has become the norm at Trinity. Three-year-olds in the Strings ensemble and Cherub choir offer praises to God through music. Students in fourth grade and older serve Communion, usher, acolyte and read scripture. Trinity youth planned and led an entire worship service on February 12th, as they have in recent years.

Trinity children and youth are regular pray-ers, too. Young people lift up their prayers of joy and concern during worship. Students offer prayers before eating meals together at church. They pray at Youth Group and before and after Sunday school and Confirmation classes. At the end of Bible Lab last week I stopped the “popcorn prayer” requests before the students were finished because I knew parents were waiting outside in the pick-up line.

Regular prayer and corporate worship are essential for the full faith formation of Christians – young and old. John Wesley called these practices of regular prayer and worship “means of grace.” They are ways we can open our hearts and minds to be transformed by the Holy Spirit into the whole persons God intends us to be.

Beginning with Ash Wednesday, the forty days of Lent are recognized by Christians as a time to examine our calendars and our priorities. Thank you to all of the parents and other leaders who make a priority of inviting and encouraging young people to worship and to pray.

Whenever we take time to pray with a young person, we are declaring that time sacred. I believe that God wants to join us in those sacred moments as often as possible. Such moments can be life changing. We don’t know what will happen next.

In my experience, young people seize these moments with genuine enthusiasm, trust and faith. Often they are just waiting for an adult to say, “let us pray.”

So, in future Bible Labs we will continue our popcorn prayer until all of the students have finished. And, as we pray with children at other times in other places, be advised: once the praying starts, it may be difficult to stop!

 

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