I was with my 2 year old nephew yesterday. Getting down to the level of a toddler is such great therapy. No matter what stressors my week entails, my weekly playdate helps my sanity on so many levels. Being able to hear his vocabulary grow as we discuss hot button topics like who is more awesome, Thomas the train or Percy? The magnetic force of a mudpit drawing us to land palm-first in squeals of laughter. The connection between a dog and his boy as they romp in said mudpit. These are great times. But I would not do any good if I do not continue to challenge my sweet newphew’s vocabulary, introducing him to new words, creating new worlds with full sentences. If I did not teach him to wash his hands or rinse out the filthy jeans after letting him play in the mud, he would grow up thinking it is absolutely fine to be Charlie Brown’s friend “Pigpen.” And as cute as a dirty 2 year old is, a filthy 40 year old man…not so much. Sure, it is easier to just do it all myself, takes less time too…but, if I didn’t teach him to clean himself, feed himself, talk himself, I would be too busy cleaning up after him, feeding him and interpreting baby language to help him build a foundation for life. I would be stunting his growth and development.
In the local church, I think many get stuck in the basement foundation that keeps sinking in quicksand, instead of moving believer’s further up their spiritual path, higher to the skies of their true purpose. We get stuck in the distraction of each other’s problems instead of pointing to Christ as the solution.
“No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up to know the whole truth and tell it in love- like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.”-Ephesians 4:14-16
At EVERGREEN we keep it simply about Jesus. We do a few things and we aspire to do them well. We study the gospel. We serve each other. We invite others to know Christ too. We do this by creating a creative distraction free environment on sunday mornings, learning and teaching how to serve others. By investing in young leaders in our leadership structure, kids and student programming. By encouraging personal growth by attending our newest experiment Evergreen Recovery, where we learn to break down life in manageable chunks in large group teaching and small group sharing. We give generously to organizations that are better equipped than us to help locally and globally in like minded missions.
No one is perfect. Not one person on earth has all the answers. But we can all have an influence that is positive in the lives of others.
When you do for others, do you also take the time to teach?