They say that kids grow up fast, and they are definitely right about that. It feels like it’s going by fast to me. When we came to St. Nicholas 3 1/2 years ago, Tai hadn’t started school, Bronwyn could barely talk, Liam was in the womb, and Grey had’t even been imagined!
I always assumed that eventually our kids’ Christian formation would be handled by the Church. Someone else would say, “Hey, let’s do something new and different for our kids!” Sure, we do Sunday School, Kid’s Club, and Vacation Bible School and those have been important to our kids. Sure, we talk about God, sing songs, play games, and say prayers frequently in our house. Sure, my kids love sitting in church and hearing the music and experiencing worship.
But is there more we can be doing for them?
In a minute, they’ll be grown. In a minute, they’ll be driving, texting, and scheduling practices and rehearsals. In a minute, they’ll be gone and my time as their father and primary guide to their faith will be over.
It was during one of our nightly sing-along and prayer times that it occurred to me that we could widen this circle to include all the children of St. Nicholas and the surrounding community. We could play, dance, pray, laugh, theologize, and really equip these kids with tools they can use to grow into the people God made them to be. I realized I was waiting for “the Church” to do this for them, forgetting that I am the Church as much as you all are the Church, and I can’t wait for more to just “happen.” If I do, they’ll be gone.
So all of that is a lead-in to SNICK, a groovy acronym for St. NICholas’ Kids, which we hope to launch on the Wednesday after Labor Day, September 5. We want to gather children and parents (and anyone else who thinks forming these kids into disciples is important) together for a weekly evening of learning a Bible story or Christian tradition or faith practice through games, drama, music, worship, and whatever other way we can engage our children. We want them to build community so that they develop lifelong friendships of Christian support.
• If you’re a parent, I hope you’ll make the commitment to getting your kids there every week.
• If you’re a teenager, I hope you’ll consider applying to be a mentor for the kids who will come after you, to lead them, teach them, and share your gifts and energy with them.
• If you’re a regular church member, I hope you’ll consider offering a simple, healthy meal or your gift of teaching, playing, or leading to those who participate.
If you are interested in any of these, please contact me!
I don’t know what God will do with this, or how God will form my kids, but I know I don’t want to miss it.