Last week I attended the visitation for a friend that I wish I would have gotten to know more before Alzheimers did the awful things that it does to a person over the process of many years. I can tell you that he served others, and he served his church for the long haul. Over the last six years, I’ve gotten to know many members of his family, and I can see the generational impact. He served as a Sunday School teacher for 52 years. When I read that in the obituary, I thanked God that he allowed him to serve in one church for that length of time.
Whether you are teaching children or adults, you are still impacting multiple generations if you teach for 52 years. This impact was not limited to church, but also made an impact at home. In the almost six years I served as a youth pastor in Indiana, at least one of this mans sons was following in his steps and serving our church as a deacon at any given time. All three have taught Sunday School classes or small groups. They have served on various committees, their wives have taught and served our church, and been part of missions teams sent out of our church. This one man’s impact does not stop there.
I have had the honor of getting to know some of his grandchildren. As young adults, they are making a Christ-shaped impact on this world. Several have been involved in collegiate ministries while in college. One is currently serving in as a student volunteer the college ministries at Purdue University. Several have been part of various short term missions efforts. Many of them are serving in their local church, married to dedicated Christian spouses.
The point is this: Do you want your children to serve in their local church when they are adults? What about your grandkids? If the answer to those questions is yes, a good way to help that happen would be for you as a parent to serve in ministry now. This parental foundation is what holds the context to the “shema” or Deuteronomy 6:4-9. It makes a clear distinction that the parent will greatly impact the faith (or lack of) in their children.
I challenge you to start serving in your church. If not for your faith, for that of your children and grandchildren. Even if your kids are young, serve. That gives you time to set a foundation in your family. If your kids are older, or adults, serve. You may impact the families of so many others in your community.