Friday, October 22, 2010

Do you want to be great?

Lately, our pastor has been preaching some pretty awesome sermons.  You know, the kind that make my husband come home and say, "Man.  He BROUGHT IT!"  Stepping on people's toes, saying things to challenge people's thinking.  Not making it all sweet and sugary and wrapped with a beautiful bow.  Making some people mad, probably.  "Oh, that's not very good for church," you might think.  "Saying controversial things?  That's not a very good idea.  We shouldn't upset people."  Welllll.... Jesus did.  He was controversial.  He upset people.  And He most definitely stepped on people's toes.  He wasn't super popular because of the things he had to say.

Back to a recent sermon... The title was "Let the Children Come."  You can guess where that came from (Luke 18:15-17).  And in this particular sermon, he BROUGHT IT.  As a youth ministry volunteer for over 10 years now, and as a youth pastor's wife for 6 1/2, one particular statement made me laugh out loud.  I had to force myself to remain seated and not cheer and wave my arms in the air.  And if you are in ministry (or are married to someone who is), you will totally get it.  Bert said, "It is not our job to fix your children.  If you messed them up the rest of the week, don't bring them to us expecting us to fix them."  I can't tell you how many parents have actually requested that we "fix their children."  As hilarious and painfully true as that statement is, Bert's challenge was such a great reminder for parents that day and it has really resonated in my soul.

My moms' group is currently reading a book called Raising Kids for True Greatness.  It's a very counter-cultural book, but is challenging us to take a close look at how we are raising our kids.  Are we raising them to be successful or are we raising them to be truly great?  It's our job to discipline, love, and raise our children.  The work HAS to occur at home.  Church is a great place for them to grow, but it's just an extra measure of support.  It's up to parents to teach their children to be like Jesus.  One of the unpopular things that Jesus had to say dealt with this very situation of being "great."  He said that if we want to be great, we must be servants of one another.  Pardon me?  In this culture where everything is about me?  Yup.  Serve one another.  That's just one step in raising kids for true greatness.

This is a pretty major theme in my life right now, so expect more posts on this topic as we work through the book and I wrestle with how to make it a reality in my life and in my children's lives.  Serving others isn't so popular in our culture.  We say that it is, but mostly we want to look out for ourselves.  Can you think of any practical ways to work on this?

How are you teaching your children to be truly great?  Or how are YOU trying to be truly great?

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