Building Relationships: “I Know You!”

 In Children's Ministry, Sara Humphrey

Yesterday I got my second Covid-19 vaccine.  And to be honest, there was a little pep in my step and a smile under my mask as I left the clinic.  The last year has brought change to each of us, but as I look forward with enthusiasm and hope, I find myself focusing on the things that have remained the same through all the change.  God is still in control.  God still loves us every minute of every day.  God still desires to have a relationship with us.  God also wants us to be in relationship with one another.  We are designed to be part of a community of Jesus followers—and although we have had to gather differently over the last year—it is encouraging to see one another face to face (mask to mask?) again.  In fact, I think the number one thing said on Sunday mornings so far: “It’s so good to be back!”  Why?  Because God designed us to live and worship together and to build relationships with one another.

Building relationships is essential to passing on our faith from one generation to the next.  But building relationships takes time and effort; it requires time learning and growing and worshipping together.  Passing on our faith is not about finding the perfect program or curriculum—because they don’t exist!  Building relationships may start by meeting in a classroom or in the sanctuary on Sunday morning, but it goes beyond those meetings.  It is about learning each other’s names, sharing meals, learning about the things that we have in common, and what makes us unique.  That is how Jesus built relationships with his disciples.  Has anyone else been watching “The Chosen” –a free app that is now in a second season of shows about the ministry of Jesus?  It is so, so good, and I suggest you download it today and binge watch.  One of the greatest moments in each episode is watching how Jesus connects with his followers.  Many of his initial followers doubted he was the Messiah.  They couldn’t believe a man from Nazareth was the Son of God.  But in one brief statement, he simply says, “I know who you are,” and everything changes.  They suddenly see Jesus as the Savior, and this pivotal moment gets me every time!  They are ready to leave everything and follow the one who knows them.  Relationships are built by knowing one another.  Jesus knows our most intimate details—he wants a relationship with us, and he wants us to follow his example to build relationships with others.

As we begin coming back together as a church community, we can connect with one another again.  We do not have programs during the service on Sunday morning to allow families to worship together because it is an opportunity for generations to come together to learn and get to know one another.  Our students and adults have been building relationships during the pandemic through the Pray for Me Campaign.  As we come back together my hope is we can expand those connections.  My hope is that soon generations will be able to serve together again.  Building relationships through worship, learning, and service will have far greater and lasting impact in passing on the faith than any curriculum or program.  As I’ve been watching “The Chosen,” Jesus didn’t present his disciples with a polished curriculum or weekly program.  He simply knew them and chose to spend time with them.  It is my hope that we are a community that gets to know one another—it is so good to be back.  


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