My son, who is a senior at The University of Alabama called me yesterday to share about his weekend. He traveled to Mobile, Alabama to spend the weekend with a fraternity brother. Will was sharing about going to the beach, hanging out with his fraternity brother's family and friends as well as their going to church on Sunday morning. I asked how church was and my son said, "It was.... different." When I pressed him to share about what made it different, Will said the music was about the same as our contemporary service, the preacher preached about like what I did, but it was just different. I wanted to know what made it different so I asked him to tell me more. He went on to say they served communion, and while it was done about the same as we do it here in our church, it was different because, "I realized Dad, that this was probably the first time I've taken communion when you didn't serve it, somebody else did." A sizable lump developed in my throat as I recounted the number of times I've offered the body and blood of Jesus Christ to my son, and for his noticing there was something "different" when someone else stood in that role.
This weekend, we honored several people in one of our services. One of them is a young man headed off to college. His mother shared later with me of how they came to Trinity. As a family, they had not been attending church. Their 10 year old son came to his parents and said, "We need to go to church." So they came... and they stayed... and they have been an important part of our lives together as a community of faith.
I'm not sure how many parents of children read this blog... maybe none. But let me share with you one of the greatest life lessons we as parents can ever give to our children: "95% of life, is in just showing up." Moms and Dads, don't drop your children off at church, take them and worship with them. Engage your children in conversation about matters of faith, about the songs, or about the corny jokes the preacher told. One day, when you are gone, your children will be faced with challenges and opportunities they may be well-equipped, or ill-equipped to tackle. Show up at ball games, show up at dance recitals, show up at school functions, and show up in church with them. You never know what may take place when you do... your teenage child may even begin to talk with you. Don't get your hopes up too high, they will always think we are old school, but they will know we cared enough to show up.