Last week in Kids Branch, we learned about an important question that Jesus asked Peter. A question that Jesus still asks each of us today: Who do you say I am? We told our kids that their answer to that question is the most important answer they will ever give. Helping kids get that question right is the entire reason we teach them about Jesus. Who will they say Jesus is?
Yesterday in Kids Branch, instead of asking a question, Jesus answered one. We explored the story from John 3 of Nicodemus, the Pharisee who went under cover of night to Jesus, and asked him important questions about who he was, and why he came. From Nicodemus’ desire to find out more about Jesus, we get the critical and beautiful verse of John 3:16, which tells us so much about God’s love, and His plan of reconciliation through His son. I am so glad Nicodemus had questions for Jesus.
Nicodemus isn’t alone. We all have questions about God, our faith, and our responsibilities. In Large Group, we gave our elementary kids a chance to ask theirs: questions about God, the Bible, Jesus . . . whatever was on their hearts, and whatever they wanted to understand more clearly. The questions ranged from the relatively easy “How many people helped write the Bible?” to the eternally deep “When did God start, and what was He doing before He created the world?” Opening up the floor to the questions of curious kids requires great courage!
At the Vista Ridge Campus, one anonymous child asked a simple, honest, five-word question that stopped me in my tracks. Here it is:
“I’m a Christian, what’s next?”
You want a moment of clarity? A question that slices to the heart of our mission at The Branch, and our responsibility to the young hearts that God has entrusted to us? “I’m a Christian, what’s next?” If your child asked you that question tonight at dinner, or from the back seat of the minivan after school, how would you answer? “I’m a Christian, what’s next?”
At The Branch, we exist to help people live in an intimate relationship with God. That begins in Kids Branch. We want to help kids realize the big life they have in Jesus, that the “what’s next” is an amazing journey of drawing closer to the great big God who made them and loves them, and wants them to live a life of service to others. This is why we ask everyone at The Branch to Live the Prayer
, to pursue what it means to have a passion to live the love, glory, will, care, forgiveness, transformation, and deliverance of God. This is why we encourage everyone to be engaged in a small group, and why we have formed Go! teams to better organize and focus our efforts in serving others. And this is why we are spending an entire calendar year teaching our kids about Jesus
, and what it means to answer “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” and to daily Live the Prayer.
I am placing this simple card on my wall above my desk. For clarity, for inspiration, and to remind me how important it is that we as parents and teachers never lose sight of our call to raise up the next generations of disciples of Jesus, and may their “what’s next” be an amazing life of service in His kingdom.
Live the Prayer.