Thank you. Thank you for the halfhearted applause. I love you, too.
No, stop it. Stop it. Now, it just feels forced. All right.
Well, I am very fired up to be here this morning and to share with you something that’s really big my heart and my role here in Orlando, but also, it’s something that’s very deep into God’s heart and very close to God. This morning, we’re gonna talk about the concept of generational faith. Essentially, this means for all of us here is just passing down faith to the next generation. That what it actually is about is that God doesn’t just care about the adults here in this room. God cares about Kingdom Kids over here and even all the ones that have yet to be born.
Several that are sitting here in this room right now that he is deeply invested in how we light the torches of faith for the little ones in this room. And I’m really grateful just for me personally, I have three generations of my family here in this room right now. Yeah, I’ve got my parents here. They’re out in the southwest region, but they came in to be with us here this morning. And if you haven’t met him yet, my brother is actually visiting from Indiana.
I know many of you were shared with when he was in the hospital last month. And thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Were two months ago.
Now, thank you for those of you that prayed for him. He’s alive. He’s there. He’s breathing.
And then, of course, I’ve got my kids and my wife. It’s a very special thing for me to be preaching about generational faith. And now I’ve got several generations of my family here with us today. And as Khalid already shared today’s, gonna be a little bit different. There’s gonna be about half sermon and half presentation, which was very uncomfortable for me to get ready for.
I’ve never done something like this before, and I was stressing and praying and anxious about this for weeks. Getting ready for this sermon. I got a lot of advice, a lot of prayer, a lot of Bible study just going into man, how do we communicate something that is so deep and personal to God and really has to do with so many of our families and where we’re going forward here in Orlando. And so if you have kids, you definitely need to pay attention. If you’re about to have kids, pay attention if you’re a teen or younger, guess what this is for you, too.
If you don’t have kids or your kids are already growing up out of your house, guess what this is for you, too. So we’re going to go ahead and get into the lesson part of the day here. The title for my sermon Building Up the Kingdom. So we’re gonna bounce around the Old Testament here a little bit. I don’t usually like saying this, but you can probably put your Bibles down.
I’m gonna have the scriptures up on the screen. And this is outside of normally even how I like to preach. Normally, I like to just sit in one story or one chapter and just chew on it for a while. What we’re gonna do here this morning is we’re gonna explore a theme through the Old Testament that goes into the New Testament as well. And I want to go all the way back to Noah and begin this conversation about generational faith.
All right. In Genesis chapter nine, in verse seven, it reads, as for you be fruitful and increase in number, multiply on the Earth and increase upon it. Then God said to Noah and his sons with him, I now establish my Covenant with you and your descendants after you. Alright. We’re going to pause here.
So this is God’s first promise he ever made to mankind. Okay. So I think thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago, before there was a written law, before there was anything, this was his first promise to us. That he wouldn’t flood the Earth again.
And he said and this promise isn’t just for you, Noah. It’s not just for the adults of your family. This goes for your kids and their kids and their kids. That from the very, very beginning, the very first promise. God had generational faith in mind that God had what was coming next, who was coming next in his heart.
Then we jump forward to Genesis chapter 17, where God makes his third promise with Abraham. You know, in chapter twelve, he said, you know, you’re gonna take your family. Go, I have a land waiting for you. He’s talking about the promised land. And then in chapter 15, he gave him the promise that you’re gonna have descendants. There’s the whole cool passage where he takes them out of the tent and tells him to look up and try to count the stars, if you can count them all, that’s how many descendants you’re gonna have. Okay. So I already made some pretty amazing promises to Abraham. And then in chapter 17, at the very beginning of this, he promised him a son. And he said, look, if you walk faithfully and blameless with me, in verse six, it says, I will make you very fruitful. I will make nations of you and Kings will come from you. I will establish my Covenant as an everlasting Covenant between me and you and your descendants after you to come. To be your God and the God of your descendants after you. Now this promise is so cool.
Like imagine for a moment that you’re having a conversation with God and he’s like, look, I’ve got a promise for you and for your kids and their kids and their kids. How special. How powerful is that? And part of what makes this interaction so interesting for us to think about is that this was way before the written law before there was the Levitical law, there was Exodus and Deuteronomy and Leviticus where God said, this is how I want you to live and worship with me as my people.
There’s just this promise. And God in this interaction basically just says, Look, Abraham, I want you to live with me, your life, whatever, whatever you do in your years here on Earth, I want it to be with me, you to be my people, me to be your God and not just your God, but your kids’ God. This goes to even the core of who we are in our existence here on Earth. You and I were put on this Earth to live with God as our God in all of its facets. I want your children. I want their children and their children after that, I want to bless you for generations to come. And if you’ve listened to BEMA podcast, you’ve heard this a lot that we’re going to be partners together, putting the Earth back together.
But this is also where Abraham gets the Covenant of circumcision. And we’re not gonna get into the depths of this for many different reasons. But I want to explore this for a minute because part of the reason why God set up this Covenant was to be a permanent reminder at the source of Abraham’s descendants that he would be engaged in this promise that your descendants, you are going to lead them to God. You’re gonna have this. This is going to set you apart from the rest of the people around you that you are committed.
There’s gonna be a reminder for you that whatever comes after you, your job is to lead them to me. In verse 13, he actually says that this is gonna be an everlasting Covenant. This is actually something that we get to share in and participate in now, even in the New Testament. It’s not the same practical side of it, but that Paul talks a lot about this idea that we are a circumcision spiritually with God, that we carry on this promise to invest in our next generations. And then in Genesis chapter 22, this is right after Abraham is tested with ISAC, you know where he’s raising the knife to kill his son.
And God says, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, stop. And some of the most powerful words that God says to a human being. Now, I know. Now, I know that I’m your God.
But after this whole thing, as maybe Abraham’s untying his son from the altar, God introduces maybe in some ways, for the first time, this very rudimentary version of Kingdom. Let’s take a look at this. And verse 17, God says, I surely I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and in the sand on the sea shore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies. And through your offspring, all nations on Earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me.
So the first thing God does is he reinforces this promise, the one that you’ve done in chapter twelve, chapter 15. He just kind of keeps reminding Abraham over the years, the look I’m invested in your family and in your future generations. But he also says another thing that’s really powerful here, that God isn’t just interested in his people being a nation or a race or some kind of close in thing that’s only consumed with ourselves. So that God wants his people to be a nation that would honor him and then through honoring him would be a blessing to all nations. This is not a new concept for us talking about this in Church today.
This existed thousands of years ago that God said, look, my Kingdom, which really is about us living on Earth the way that we’re going to live one day in heaven with God. And he says, My intention for you guys is not to shut the doors of the Church and only be consumed with each other. But that for you guys to walk with me so that all the people around you will know me.
But there’s two questions we need to ask in this conversation about generational faith. Okay. You ready? Number one, how do we instill this faith in the next generation? Right.
We should be asking that, especially for the parents in the room right now. How do we do this? But then a better question that is maybe for all of us to or not, maybe it is for all of us to chew on who’s responsible for this? Who does God say participates in this concept of generational faith? In the Book of Deuteronomy, it’s one of my favorite books of the Bible because you think about writings of somebody on their deathbed.
Okay, somebody that’s at the end of their life. This is the Book of Philippians, for Paul is very similar. Somebody that has looked back on their life on their walk with God and is saying, look, these are the things that are most valuable for you to know. The Book of Deuteronomy is that it’s Moses’s Swan song to God’s people.
But in this book, God’s people already have, they now have the tablets. They have the law, they have Leviticus, all these things of how now they’re supposed to live as God’s people on Earth. Lots and Lots. 613. And they’re leaving Egypt to go to the promise land, right.
We know the story. And they’re really having to learn how to be a people together for the first time.
And in Deuteronomy six, God gives maybe what I could argue is one of the most important commands in the Bible. All right, let’s read this together. Says Hear, O Israel, the Lord, our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. These Commandments that I give you today are to be on your heart, impress them upon your children, talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up, tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
I don’t even know exactly what that means.
Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. Make sure to alert your HOA. With this passage carries tremendous weight in the Bible. Tremendous weight back then thousands of years ago, but tremendous weight for us now. Let’s think about those two questions I post. How we install faith and who is responsible for this because this is actually built into these passages here.
And the first thing that God really says, some of these highlighted areas here is that it starts with us. We set the example, Church. It starts with us loving God with everything we have, all your heart, all your soul, all your mind. And again, if you’ve listened to BEMA podcast, he says, all you’re very, every little piece of you you can give it’s gotta start there. We walk with God in a way that can be seen by the next generation beyond the doors of Church, that if this is where Church ends, we’re not doing it.
But then he goes on in this to basically say, look, you also need to immerse your children in who I am.
You live it out but then you teach it. Says, impress these commands on your children. You talk about them, you talk about them when you’re walking, you talk about them at the table. You talk about them in the car, you talk about them, you talk about them, you talk about them. You write them weirdly on your forehead so that they can see it.
What that says to me is parent, we teach the Commandments. We have the family devotionals. We sing songs at bedtime, we bring God into our homes as much as possible through our voices and maybe from Bob and Larry, it doesn’t matter. We bring God into our homes as much as possible.
This was something that growing up, I’m very grateful for the example that my parents set for us in this, that they were big on family devotionals. That Monday nights was family night. That was sacred time. We knew every Monday night, even as adults, that was family time.
You know that nowadays, as we think about my own life and the people that have helped us with our parenting and the things that they’ve taught us to to really put this Deuteronomy six passage into practice with our kids, teaching our kids memory scriptures, going through that with them at a very young age, learning how to do family devotional so a two year old can swallow it. We do good way, bad way. I was somebody in California taught us that family devotional style. That we are trying as flawed as we are to try to put this thing into practice with our own kids.
That but the other side of this too, Church. And this is what we’re gonna get into it for the rest of this time is that we got surround our children with Godly people to teach them and show them who he is.
And that goes into that second question, who’s responsible? What do you think, church? Who’s responsible? We are. All of us are the primary responsibility will always, always, always be with the parents.
Now, there have been studies done in contemporary Christian world and even in our own Church that suggest that at least 80% of who an adult is was influenced by their parents. 80% at least for 18 years and then on that parents, you will always have the greatest influence on your children. You know what’s the main reason why therapy exists? You guys got that joke? I took a little bit in the Southwest.
I think maybe it was a little too personal.
But parents, which you teach, how you live at home, how you talk about people, how you talk about Church, how you talk about politics will always carry more weight than what’s said up here. But this is also written, this passage that spoken here was spoken. Not just if you notice there the beginning doesn’t say hear, O parents. It says hear O Israel. This was written to a community that there was an understanding of this. That generational faith is a communal effort. Church. It takes a village to raise a child, right.
We’ve heard that for years and years and years. Well, it takes a Kingdom to inspire faith in the next generation. It takes Kingdom Kid teachers. It takes mentors. It takes teen workers.
It takes interns. It takes extended family, the Kingdom, aunties and uncles to impact a generation. And if you’re single and empty nesters, you are a huge part of this community. Make no mistake. These little eyes and ears over here are are watching.
It’s one of the first things you learn as a parent like Dang, they can actually hear everything that we say. And they repeat everything that we say. They’re watching. They’re listening. They’re learning. They’re absorbing, whether you realize it or not.
You know, when I think about my own life and my own journey of faith, there’s a huge list of people that have had an impact on me outside of my family. I’m going to share about that for a second. Goes back to my very first official mentor, Daniel Bakuman. I don’t remember how old that was. Mom, dad, do you remember nine, eight, maybe.
Okay. This brother out in Orange County, California. He would have me over to his house. We’d go swimming, we’d play bootleg copies of PlayStation games. We did all kinds of stuff.
He showed me movies he really shouldn’t have showed me at a young age. But I remember this. You know, it was cool. As in 2016, my family got to go to the Middle East together to go visit our churches out there. And he’s out in Dubai now.
He’s a teacher out there. 20 years later, I got to see him. I got a picture of it somewhere. I couldn’t find it for this. But, man, I still remember the impact he had on my life back then.
And then I think about the guys that studied the Bible with me, Chad, Troy, Burl, all these teen boys that were like big brothers to me. Think about my discipling partners, Jamie, Marcus, Angelo San Marco. I think about teen workers Anthony Lucas and John. And then there’s a special brother to me personally. You guys, as many of you probably know him.
Elliot Qinones. They were out here in Orlando for years. Elliot is a very special brother to me because nobody asked him. Nobody told him. He just out of the goodness of his heart as a College student said, hey, I’m going to start hanging out with Jake. Took me to my first concert, had me over to his apartment, played video games, talked about Power Rangers, took me on my first double date with a College girl. It was awesome.
That brother played a huge role, and I took himself for granted. I complained that nobody was being my friend and all the while here’s Elliot pouring himself out to me. All those names I just mentioned that was just to get me through middle school and high school. That’s how much of the Kingdom I needed to just survive to 18.
Think about. I could go on and on about all the people that have got me to hear. What that message says to me is without community, there can’t be generational faith. It doesn’t exist. Now, judges chapter two is probably one of the Scariest scriptures, top five scary scriptures in the Bible to me.
I’m going to show it to you here for a second because it paints a very scary picture of a lost generation. So after that whole generation being gathered, this is Joshua’s generation. Once they died and left, it says another generation grew up who neither knew the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. And it goes on to paint a very grim picture of what ended up happening to that generation. But I want you to think for a moment Church about what it takes for an entire generation to lose God.
This is one generation removed from the Exodus to the Promised Land. Just one. That should terrify us a little bit.
This is an extreme, colossal failure of parenting after just being told a couple decades earlier to pass this on. But this is also a failure of community.
And before I get into the vision and the presentation here, I don’t want to close on this on this grim picture because I don’t think that’s where Orlando is, and I don’t think that’s where we’re headed. I have been so grateful to be a part of this Church for the last year and just see, I love we have so many generations already in this Church. It’s amazing historical. It’s awesome. What we already have is a foundation here in Orlando, but we want to keep going.
In Psalm 78, starting in verse one says, my people hear my teaching, listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable. I will utter hidden things, things from old things we have heard and known things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from our descendants. We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power and the wonder he has done.
I love these verses. They’re so faithful, they’re so declarative. They’re so determined. He doesn’t say we should. He says we will.
I will. There will never be another judges two again. We will tell the next generation. You know, this is written by Asaph, who is a priest serving in David’s time. And later on, you think about this, this is actually a great chapter. I would encourage you to read Psalm 78 at some point in your life. It’s 72 verses. Okay. It’s very long because it’s a historical song.
Right after this. He basically tells the entire history of God’s people from Moses to David and all the significant pieces of generational faith that went into where they are at that time. And part of what he shares is so encouraging. Later on in this Psalm is that God’s people had badly messed up. You know, he kind of references judges too, a little bit. But beyond that, we know. God’s people, we just we mess up. We don’t do what we’re supposed to. We don’t do this generational faith the way that we ought to sometimes. But he reminds us but in spite of that, God was merciful and faithful to his people.
And it’s really in that spirit. It’s out of that spirit that Asaph declares, we will tell the next generation. Part of why I want to close on the sermon portion of this with this scripture is because I’m determined this is gonna be us here in Orlando. This is gonna be our clarion call for generational faith. We will tell the next generation. Thank you, baby. Now we’re going to transition into the presentation portion of this.
This is youth and family Ministry. It’s not just teens. It’s Kingdom kids. It’s preteens. It’s young teens.
It’s all of it. Cradle to campus and womb to tomb.
The youth and family Ministry is the family. It’s the youth. It’s all pieces of this. This is my job. This is my heart.
This is our heart as a Church, if we’re going to have generational faith. Now, what is the purpose of this Ministry, though? And we see this up there, what’s it all for? Well, like we’ve been talking about, the big picture is generational faith, right? Which when I say that it means parents passing down faith to their kids.
Psalm 78 versus Judges Two The The main goal of youth and family Ministry is to reinforce parenting. It’s not to take your kids away from you. It’s to reinforce what you’re already doing at home. It’s parenting classes. It’s mentoring each other’s kids.
It’s teaching Bible studies. It’s helping to give us as parents, tools and strength to be able to do the role that God set out for us to do. Now, this is something that’s very important to me. To clarify that when these ministries teen Ministry, middle school Kingdom kids, it doesn’t matter a word that we should keep in our heads is these are supplemental ministries, and you’ve been on a diet before. You know, there’s the things that you do on your own, but then there’s supplements you take to help you get what you need, right?
These ministries are not meant to replace the home. They are meant to reinforce the home.
Our goal is to create spaces that work alongside what’s going on at home, to build peer and mentoring relationships, but also to create spaces where the kids can ask questions to explore their faith, things that they’re wondering about, that they’re fearful about, that they don’t know things about God, about the Bible, whatever. But also, we want to create great memories. High school, middle school. We want that to be a time where they have fun memories. They do things that are great together.
And I want to go back to the four ministries up there for a second because something for us to grasp on to is that all of these ministries build off of each other. Okay. And I want to play this out for a minute. If we were to kind of arbitrarily grade each of these ministries in Orlando. Okay. I’m not saying this is what it is, but just go with me here, okay? So let’s imagine for a second that our Kingdom Kids Ministry for the young ones is a C+, and the pre teens is a B minus is a little better. But then the young teen Ministry is a C. What kind of teen Ministry are we going to have? You know, studies have shown that if kids are not engaged with Church by the time they’re in middle school, they don’t show up in high school. They don’t want to.
So all of these ministries, really, they build off of each other. They’re as good as the one before it. And really, what this doesn’t share is how these ministries affect the rest of the Church. Nothing affects a faithful parent like seeing their kids struggle. But then beyond high school Ministry, these kids graduate and they go into campus and they go into the singles and then guess what?
They get married sometimes, and sometimes they have kids. And then those kids go back into that. And then the cycle repeats itself all over again. That’s what Church is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be this Kingdom, this cyclical thing together, that these ministries are absolutely vital to the health of our Church overall.
Now, there’s something I want to introduce to you here as well. So this is championed by our Church in Chicago. And this is after years of prayer research, child psychology and development. But what are the things that we want to focus on for these age groups? Where do we really need to put our energy for Kingdom kids or for middle school high school?
All that stuff? So zero to fourth grade. The big focal point is family. That young ages, healthy family dynamics are everything. This is where what mom and dad says, that’s what goes right.
They care more about what mom and dad says than anybody else. So that means family devotionals are huge. Family devotionals are huge. Family devotionals are huge. Engagement by both sets of parents. Dads tend to maybe have a little bit of a harder time with the younger ages oftentimes.
But engagement matters Sunday Kingdom kids, man, where they get to see the extended family of the Church matters. Then moving on to fifth and 6th grade, the focus starts to change. The friends anybody with a middle schooler knows this, right. What mom and dad think about your outfit isn’t nearly as important as what Billy thinks at school, right? And Billy has a cell phone.
And why don’t I have a cell phone yet?
And so a lot of the emphasis within these ministries are fun events. It’s about building relationships, lifelong relationships within the Church. And this is not a we have somebody leading it from the staff, necessarily. This is a parent led that I’m very big at this age, especially this needs to be a parent led effort. We’ll get into that more.
But all the while, through each of these phases and stages, we’re teaching parenting principles. Okay, 7th and 8th grade, it starts to shift a little bit to faith, asking deeper questions. This is where mentors are huge, where you Church play a role in these kids lives that their parents can’t on some level. But where parents, you think about who are the people around my children, that I want to influence them.
So fun events are here to again, this is parent led, but we also do a lot of things with the teen Ministry here. Start getting into the Bible, studying it out together, character studies, all those things. And then 9th through 12th grade, the focal points become fruit and future. For some of our high school kids. They will make Jesus Lord of their lives, and they’re going to figure out how to decide to do this on their own, to own their own faith.
That was a lot of the same word. But beyond that, this is also about preparing them for the future. You know, we’re doing a Thursday night Bible talk series right now for our teen Ministry called About Maturity, about just growing up and how to think more like an adult. That a lot of our kids won’t make the decision to become disciples in high school. That’s okay. We want to at least help them to be thinking about their lives and their future going forward, you know.
But fellowship is a part of this deep Bible study, all this. And when these things are healthy, Church, it creates a cycle that feeds things in the Church we’re going to get into right now into the structure. I’m going to explains, first of all, within the teen Ministry, because this is where I’m going to be pouring a lot of my energy and effort. So I’m leading and overseeing the teen Ministry specifically for all of the Orlando Church. I’m actually going to be working in tandem in partnership with Mike and Cindy Morris, that they’re going to be helping with shepherding and pulling in parenting classes and teachers that it’s been so great working with them already.
And we’re going to continue in this working relationship. But then as well, our goal is to have two working interns in the teen Ministry with us. So we’ve got Khalid and he’s been here for a while. But we also desperately need a female. We need a female that teen girls don’t come running up to Khalid and I to tell us about their lives.
I don’t know why. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good ear and I’m warm and welcoming. Yeah, it must be right.
But then within that, I’ll explain for a second what this is. We’re going to have core parents, which what that means is that each region here in Orlando will have at least one set of parents that will help us with shepherding within the individual churches. That’s not going to every event or planning everything or anything like that. But you will help us with tapping shoulders. And, hey, this family has not been around for a while.
We haven’t seen this teen in a bit. Can you find out how they’re doing, how their family’s doing? And we need this is a huge part of this that parents will take responsibility for their kids and not just drop them off of the Ministry to somebody else to take care of it. But then as well, we desperately need volunteer teen leaders, and that’s specifically what I’m appealing to here. I’m going to talk about it here in just a little bit, but that our volunteer teen leaders would be basically small group leaders.
You would take four or five kids and just love up on them. Those are your kids to love up on to spend time with to invest in until they graduate. And within this, we’ve got twice a month fellowship events that are set up. They’re mostly fellowship on the weekends. We want parents or teens.
If you guys aren’t on the groupme our communication. Please make sure you can get that before we leave today, because we want you to know what’s coming up. But then as well, we got our Thursday night Bible discussions where we get into all kinds of deep topics together. They’re moving on here to the middle school Ministry and some of this stuff, the things that we’re working towards, that we’re going to get to here over the next year or so. So what’s different with the middle school versus high school ministries is that me and the Morrises are not going to be leading it.
We’re gonna be kind of overseeing it from the back row. That this Ministry is led by core parents. This is where parents, if you’ve got a middle schooler and you’re here, that maybe it’s on your heart. Man, I want to help help here in the University in east region to plan events for our middle school kids. And we will help you work with that and stuff. And there’s tandem relationships there. But this is mainly a parent led experience.
And then as well, like I mentioned, there’s mentors and that’s Church, if you don’t feel like you’ve got it in you, you’ve got the time ability to to give to being in the teen Ministry or volunteer leader. You can be a mentor. You can take a teenager or a middle schooler out for a cup of coffee once a month. Right? You can do that.
This is where the community comes in. Now I’m going to appeal to you guys right now. This is my ask to the Church kind of got like the framework and the plan as we go forward. And some of this stuff are things we’re going to start immediately and some of that we’re gonna be building towards over the next year or so. But these are my big asks to the Church.
All right. Like I said, we need a female leader for the teens. Khalid and I have been holding it down for a while, but we need help. So maybe that’s one of you in here. Maybe, you know, somebody maybe you want to Volun- tell on somebody that you think might be great at this.
But please come talk to us. We need parents who are willing to step up and own their Church and be a part of this core group with us. I’ll explain more. You don’t have to have all the details. I’ll explain more about that.
We’ll have some things set up for that in the future here to explain that. Next, like I said, we need volunteers. And I specifically want to appeal to the East and University group because this is where a lot of our young singles, our young married, our campus students are we need you guys. We need you guys. That if we’re going to invest in the Church for future generations, we need your help.
And I’ll even say here, I’ve been doing this for about ten years now. We’ve had volunteers that were College students that were young singles that were married without kids that were married with kids. We even had at one point in time, there was a family who had two boys in the Teen Ministry with us. And the mom said, you know what? I can lead a small group with girls.
And so she stepped in and said, hey, I’ll leave this group four or five girls. You know, if you’re an empty Nester and you think you got it in you to be a teen leader, come talk to me, baby. We’ll do it. We’ll make it happen. All right?
Like I said as well, if you don’t feel like you can give in these capacities, you can be a mentor. You can spend time with one kid. You can decide to pass your faith off to somebody else, a family in your family group, especially if there’s any single moms in your group have it on your heart to be praying to be thinking about men. How can I love up on this family? All right.
Very shortly, we’re gonna need Kingdom kids, teachers, God willing, will be full force back to Kingdom Kids before you know it. And we’re gonna need Kingdom kids, teachers. And you guys play a huge role. My kids love their Kingdom kids, teachers. Alright.
And the last thing that I want to appeal to is specifically for the parents out there. We need you to show up. We have 56 kids on our roster in the Teen Ministry. I’ve counted it several times over the last several months. I know about 23 of them.
I’ve been here for a year and I know 23 out of 56 of our kids. And I know a lot has played into that. Covid has been a very strange thing for us on so many different levels, you know? And this isn’t the end all be all. But I can’t engage.
I can’t invest in your kids if I don’t know them and I don’t see them. And there’s two of us to 56 kids. So parents, I want to appeal to you whether you got middle schoolers, high schoolers, we need you to show up. We’re really trying to make this thing something awesome.
And our teen Ministry has been getting momentum. It’s been great this school year. But if you’re online, if you’re here with us, please, we need you guys to show up. All right. Long term vision.
I’ll share this really quickly. Is some of this is just personal to me and things that we’ve been talking about in Orlando as a staff, but we’re gonna have consistent parenting classes for all stages. That’s our goal. Starting it even at the beginning of next year that we’re going to invest in our parenting. We’re also the goal of these ministries is not to have a staff leader.
I don’t want to run everything. We want to have a PTA style leadership where the parents have skin in the game and we lead these ministries together. All right. But also, this is a big one for me. I want Orlando to be a training ground for future youth and family ministers.
What we have here is special. The generations of faith we have here is special. There’s no reason why this couldn’t be a place that we train people to go out and do youth and family Ministry in other parts of the world.
There’s my contact information you can’t really see in the blue, but Jake at Orlando Church. Com. Is there something that’s stirring in you right now? If there’s something you feel like, man, I want to help. I’m willing to be a teen worker.
I’m willing to whatever. Please take my number down. Get my email. It’s also on the Church website. There’s lots of ways to get a hold of me.
I want to encourage you to please consider where God wants you to be in this role of generational faith. Okay, because again, this isn’t just for the parents. This isn’t just for the volunteers. This is the whole Church is a part of this together. Amen? We’re going to move on.
I got one more scripture about for Communion. Okay. As we close out here, close in Matthew 19, verse 13 says in the people brought Jesus or brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and to pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, Let the little children come to me.
Do not hinder them for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. When he placed his hands on them, he went on from there. Now, this is a passage that we’re all pretty familiar with. Right? And if you’ve heard this top before, you’ve probably heard it in the context that we’re supposed to be like little children.
We’re supposed to have that childlike wonder and awe and that spirit, that love of God, all that stuff, which is true. But I think that’s probably about half of what Jesus was getting at here in this interaction. Jesus is trying to teach his disciples something about Kingdom.
That this is not just about, hey, you’ve got to become like little children. This is actually a different interaction and the other one that we know in the Bible. But I believe that he was trying to teach his disciples how they consider the next generation.
These were not kids of the disciples. And if you notice their interaction with these kids, they dismiss these kids is not important. When these kids ran up to Jesus said, no, no, no, no, no. You’re distracting from what Jesus is trying to do. Don’t interrupt what Jesus is trying to do for the adults and the Kingdom as a whole.
Get out of here, kids.
Part of what I believe Jesus was trying to teach these disciples when he says the Kingdom belongs to such as these is not just be a child like. He’s saying no, no, you’re not getting it, guys. These guys are gonna inherit from you what I’m giving to you now. and if you know that they’re going to inherit my Kingdom, then you need to love them and teach them as such.
Again, this is not this is not just for the parents of the audience. This is for the Church of the whole. The heart of Jesus is the exact same heart that we saw of God in Genesis. Not I am thinking about descendants and generations of people that will come to know me as their God, and we all play a part in it. And as we take even Communion together, Jesus died not just for us, but for them them for what was to come.
And I want to encourage us as we take our Communion together, to think about this, to pray about it. But I also want to encourage you to pray about your own heart, to pray about where God wants you to be in the story of generational faith, what role will you play in their lives and their faith going forward.