Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring E-Update

From the Director's Chair

This past weekend we celebrated my daughter’s 4th birthday.  As a parent it was a little traumatic for me in that I allowed myself to get caught up in thinking that Ella is a quarter of the way to driving age, proms, and worst of all… dating.  In my emotional state that evening, I looked at her and said “Ella, promise me that you won’t grow up.” A pretty reasonable request I felt.  But without any concern for her traumatized father she grabbed my face, looked me in the eyes, and said “Dad, I have to grow up, I can’t be little forever.” 

After I pulled myself back together I started thinking, as often as I’ve wished for my children to stay young forever, realistically, all parents want proper development for their children.  That’s why we are constantly worrying about things like motor skills, speech and language, and cognitive function as they are growing up.  Bottom line, as parents we want our kids to grow up healthy and happy.  Ella nailed it when she said she “couldn’t be little forever.” And although it pains me to admit it, I don’t want that either. 

Ella’s revelation started me thinking about Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus.  “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his peoples for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  Then we will no longer be infants tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.   Instead speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12-15)

It would seem that our heavenly father is also concerned with our development, specifically our spiritual growth.  Actually as I read this passage it seems to me that our involvement in this process doesn’t end when someone new comes to Christ, it is actually just beginning.  Ultimately, spiritual growth is vital.  Not just on a personal level, but rather on a kingdom level.  In order for the body of Christ to be its best, we have to mature into the one that is the head of the body, Christ.

I am continually amazed at the way God equips and empowers us to grow as a body.  I am blessed with a front row seat to see this played out within our community at ROC.  We see older students in the ministry mentoring younger students, peers working with each other in our Discovery Workshop (new believer / Biblical foundations class), student leaders serving as spiritual leaders in the community, and of course the ROC staff leading and encouraging students to continue to grow in their faith.  Spiritual growth really is at the heart of all we do.  Why? Because our goal is to send students out into communities around the country, and in some cases the world, equipped to disciple others and encourage others to grow as well.  Spiritual growth -- it’s vital for us personally and it’s vital to the body as a whole.  Thank you for your continued prayers and support of ROC as we strive to build up the kingdom.