Ministry Feature: Children

FB Family,

As most of you are aware, I am entering into a new season of parenting.  My daughter will begin her college career in less than two weeks, and I will be moving her out of our constant supervision and into early adulthood (a.k.a. dorm life!)  I can’t begin to explain all the simultaneous emotions I’m having (yes, including crying).  However, the one thing that matters most to me is: did I raise her to stay in the faith?

In 2017, Lifeway research showed that 70 percent of young adults will drop out of church, with only two-thirds of those returning sometime in their life.  This is not okay with me!  Have I done everything I could do as a parent to prevent my daughter from becoming part of this statistic?  This has been and will continue to be my constant prayer for both of my children: that they do not become a statistic.  
In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Paul writes:

Although I am free from all and not anyone’s slave, I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law - though I myself am not under the law - to win those under the law. To those who are without the law, like one without the law - though I am not without God’s law but under the law of Christ - to win those without the law. To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some. Now I do all this because of the gospel, so that I may share in the blessings.

Paul understood the importance and was willing to do WHATEVER it took to win the hearts of people for Christ.  Failing to do so was not an option for Paul.  With God on his side, nothing was too daunting for him. Paul was ready to face any challenge along the way.  This is the attitude we must assume as we minister to our own children and to the children that God has called us to serve.

Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that it has been over four months since we last met together as a Children’s ministry.  I miss your children!!!  As we begin to look to the future and to the day that we will be together again, I would like to ask you to be in prayer and think about Paul’s example.  Let’s continue to build a church community that is willing to go above and beyond, to do whatever it takes to win the hearts of our children for Christ.  

We have heard it said, “You only have a short time with your children, so make it count.” I will be honest, I’m not sure I took that statement seriously when mine were younger.  I was just trying to make it to the next day without losing my mind!  But here I am, with no idea how I got here and knowing that my time as an “influencer” is almost up.  I pray that the time I had to influence my children with the love and grace that only Jesus can offer them was enough to sustain them in life.  I am praying that no matter what this life throws at them, their hearts would be so full of the Holy Spirit that they will not be shaken.

As you continue to pour Christ into the lives of your own children, I am so excited to come along side you in ministry as the Preschool and Children’s Ministry Director.  I pray that you would feel like you are a partner in ministry, both with your own children and with the children and families that we are called to serve at First Baptist Gulfport. THERE IS A PLACE FOR YOU TO SERVE!!  Just give me a call or send me an e-mail!

Elizabeth Dollar,
Preschool & Children's Director

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