This Sunday I found myself in a place I’ve never been before. I wasn’t preaching at 1101 S. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach, Florida, like I have for the last seven years. I wasn’t preaching at one of our other Family Church campuses. I wasn’t at a conference. I wasn’t out of town. I wasn’t homesick.
I was at Family Church West participating in one of our church’s five High School Senior Recognition Services. I was there as a husband to my wife, Kristin, and dad to our oldest son, James. James is graduating from high school and heading off to West Point.
I personally couldn’t be more proud—both as a dad and a pastor—of what happened yesterday. We recognized, celebrated and launched 43 students into the world as missionaries to the places they’re going to live, study, work and play.
Some of these young men and women and their families have celebrated every milestone on our milestones path. We celebrated Parent/Child Dedication with them, committing to do all we could as a church to help them raise their children to know and love Jesus. We recognized them when they completed our Kids New Believers Class and learned about what we believe and practice as a church family. From that class, they were obedient to Jesus’ command to get baptized. At every age and stage, we have taught them the Bible here at church and given them tools to study the Bible at home. Now they’re graduating. We’ve done what we can as parents and as a church to build our families.
We aren’t a perfect church and we haven’t been perfect parents. We haven’t raised perfect kids. And believe me; I’m including myself in those statements. But I do believe that together we’ve done our best to train up our children in the way they should go. We’re confident they aren’t going to depart from it.
One down (almost) and seven to go. 43 down and hundreds more to go. We’ve done our part and now we’ll trust God to finish the work He’s started in each one of these future servant leaders.