But God Has Sent Us Children!

Where I work with the Lord’s church, is a very difficult work. I know it is hard everywhere, but here is a small town on the edge of a reservation, with drunks wondering our streets like zombies day and night, and our biggest job creators is the prison and the railroad  — both tend to draw men who are into hard living and not much caring about their souls.

People also move a lot from this town. I cannot tell you how many times the church here has been built up in numbers, only to fall in numbers again when so many move away. The one’s who stay are mostly older and white (lately that has been changing some). Like so many of our churches in small towns, it is a great struggle here in so many ways. But God has sent us children! Even though the workers are few and never get a break from teaching and working, we have done all we can to reach and teach and care about the children in this town, and they are coming.

And what is so wonderful, is that the makeup of the Lord’s church here in Winslow, is no longer just white — most of the kids are native American and black and brown. It is often very difficult having that many kids in a small church with older people — there is a lot of whispering going on in the service, they run and drop trash, and talk when they should not — and when you get one issue taken care of, five more break out. I often wonder how we will deal with so many kids, but they keep coming.

But this much I know, God has sent them here, and we will do our best to teach them the ways of God, for they are the future of the church, and I’m thankful that God has entrusted us with them. If you are a small church (or any size church), do not give up, but reach out and keep reaching out to everyone. You might not understand children or teens today, but one thing you and they both have in common, is they know when someone cares about them and loves them and will go out of their way to work for them and serve them so that they also may know the love of God.

Far too often, we just look for people who look and act like we do to bring into the church, but we need to stop looking in that way, and look as Jesus would look (Matthew 22:8-10), and that might mean looking down at that smiling face looking back up, or that teen with the tats and piercing, or that man with a different color skin or different language. Jesus came to save all of those who are lost (Luke 19:9-10). Are you ready to work with our Savior toward this same end? —Dave Hart, preacher for the Winslow, AZ church of Christ

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets