And CRCC is doing just fine! Actually, better than fine! Praise God!
- Marriages are getting stronger as husbands and wives study the Word together.
- Singles are getting stronger as their accountability now has some Bible-based direction, and are connecting and growing with other families regardless of marital status!
- Children are being taught by their parents (who have to grow to do all this teaching), learning fundamental doctrine through the catechism, learning to pray with their family, and realizing the importance of daily Bible reading and memorization.
- Children are now a part of the corporate worship of God and are incredibly...LEARNING! (People said children don't learn in the main service.)
- Attitudes towards the presence of children are shifting. Parents and children are even serving God together!
- Seniors feel valued as we look to them for guidance in young families and Care Groups.
- Single moms are encouraged as men of integrity around them are challenged to lead their families to serve others.
- Parents are considering the massive effects of education (who does it, and what "it" is) on the worldviews of their children.
- As homes strengthen, ministry to the lost has strengthened as well.
- Our church is looking and feeling more biblical. There is no pressure to build a rock-climbing wall, game room, movie theater, skate park, or coffee stand.
- And perhaps the best thing: The Sufficiency of Scripture is sought after vigorously!
The Sufficiency of Scripture
Ultimately, that is what family integration, or getting out of debt, or raising up fathers, or expository preaching, or preaching that Jesus is Enough, or insisting on integrity, or sharing our faith locally and abroad, or supporting an orphanage, or discipling others, or any of our core distinctives are all about: Our desire to please God through fidelity to Scripture.
I didn't always think this way. Good old American pragmatism had me too. I used to think "if it works, do it." But after nearly 14 years of ministry, I know now that God knows what he's doing and needs no help from me. LOL! The ends do not justify the means. Our ongoing attempts to "regulate" what we do based on the clear didactic teachings and patterns of the Word are paying huge dividends.
Now I don't mean to give the impression that it's been easy this year. I remember one visiting couple who emailed me and said they loved the teaching but would not attend because we "didn't have anything for their children." (I replied "we sure do....parents!") Or the long-term member who left so her son could play with toys during service somewhere else. Or the problems that crop up as parents who began teaching and engaging their children suddenly realize their children might not be saved.
But the benefits of turning back to the Word instead of man-made ideas have been so much greater!! New families have come into the church and embraced this call. Newly saved folks are starting their journey with Christ more biblically. Folks that have been around awhile are doing things in their home (and as a result, outside the house too...like witnessing!) they haven't done before!
Jesus...to You alone be all this glory!
And I can tell you from a father's perspective, I ain't delegating the responsibility for these two to nobody else... :) :)