Blessings from Butner PC
May 9, 2017
“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Ps 100:5)
June and I went to the Small Church Gathering at Oxford Presbyterian last Saturday. It was primarily for churches in Granville, Orange, Person, Vance, and Warren counties, but there were people there from churches as far away as Kenly and Rocky Mount. There were eight different workshops in the morning and afternoon. June and I chose to attend the one called “Where Have Our Children Gone?” led by Alan Koeneke, pastor of Oxford Presbyterian, and it was excellent.
One of his key points was that God loves our kids and the Holy Spirit is in their lives. That may seem obvious and yet I think it can get lost in our frustration and disappointment over our kids not attending church. He noted that many of the things we come to church to find – encouragement, fellowship, community, support, and inspiration – are things kids find today on their phones, through Facebook and Twitter and other social media.
Alan told the story of one pastor who started up a group that met in a coffee shop. No sermon, just a safe place for people to talk about their faith experiences. Sessions might start with a question like, “What would Jesus think about …” The size of the group grew from 5 to over 120 in less than a year, with several people ultimately joining a more traditional “church.”
There was much more to Alan’s workshop, which will likely find its way into a future sermon, but his overarching theme was that if we want to reach the kids – and adults – who are not currently attending church, it may require us to “break some rules”, meeting people wherever they are, with a focus not on filling pews, but on saving lives.