BLAST Parents Highlights
On July 1st, some of the parents of BLAST age kids came out to my home to talk about what Wednesday evenings would look like this next year. I have been contacted by some parents that were not able to attend and asked if they could get a run down of what was discussed, so I am writing this to provide some bullet points for what Wednesday evenings will look like for those who weren't able to make it.
- First important takeaway is that while we are adding adults into our Wednesday evening programming, we will still have age specific classes and activities. This came about from a desire to maximize Wednesday evenings toward two goals: 1) equipping to be able to grow in our faith and application of the gospel in our lives and 2) to promote unity and relationships within the body. This will be a great way for people who are new to get connected with others outside of Sunday morning as well as provide opportunities for us to grow together as a church.
- This is what a typical Wednesday evening will look like: Everyone (all ages) will gather together in the worship center at 6:30pm. We will spend about 10-15 minutes together as a church and sing a couple of songs as well as spend some time in prayer. After that, we will break up by ages. Adults will meet together, high school students will meet together, middle school students will meet together, and elementary school students will meet together. We will end at 7:30pm but feel free to hang out longer if you wish. Our aim is to have an hour commitment for families that need to get kids to bed.
- We have emphasized family discipleship here at Arbor Drive. We believe that parents have the primary responsibility for discipling their children. The church exists to help in that process. The BLAST kids will be following a family devotion model for the lesson time followed by an activity time. The resources we will be using are designed to be able to be used at home. We are viewing BLAST as a time to model family discipleship. This will be a great tool for you to build on in your homes as you disciple your children.
- As I have mentioned before, we have done a poor job as a church of caring for our volunteers. I am personally grateful for all those who volunteer but am also concerned that we care for them and not take advantage of them. We have designed this upcoming BLAST year with that in mind. To that end, we will be distributing the workload to make BLAST happen among parents who are willing to help. WE ARE NOT SAYING YOU HAVE TO HELP... WE ARE ASKING YOU TO HELP. This will give you the opportunity to invest in other's children, and for those who maybe struggle with family discipleship, give you a model and some confidence that might help you do it in you homes. If we all help, we will only need to take 2-4 Wednesday evenings a year to make it happen together. A pastor will be helping and leading with you for the first year so you won't be thrown in the deep end.
- We will be using The Gospel Story Bible for these devotions. Each story in it has a weeks worth of family devotion material that is excellent and usable. On the week you are teaching, you will get a packet with 5 devotions. You and the pastor will pick one and then will walk through that devotion with the children on Wednesday. We are working to try to provide these resources to each family and will be asking the body to use funds to purchase them for you at the semi-annual meeting. The total cost is about $50/family and that would allow you to work through the whole Bible and have about 2 years worth of material (if you were to do it 5 days/week). Carlee and I use these resources with our children and they are excellent.
- We will also have a number of games that are pre-planned so for the activity time, everything will be laid out for the volunteers. The way we envision it happening is the BLAST children will be divided up into two groups. One will start with the devotion while the other has snack and game time, then they will switch.
- Here is what we are asking of you... WE WOULD LIKE for all parents (and other adults at Arbor Drive) to prioritize Wednesday evenings. We are all busy. If we can prioritize Sunday morning gatherings and Wednesday evenings, we believe that it can simplify while helping us all grow together. Will you please prayerfully consider making Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings a priority for your family? Wednesday and Sundays are aimed at ministering to the body, but I believe this will open up opportunities for your family to invite other families in the future and be there with them and lead to greater opportunities for the church to help you in reaching your neighbors and friends.
- WE NEED for all parents to prayerfully commit to between 2-4 Wednesday evenings a year. I am not asking for an answer now. Pastor Jonathan will be reaching out to all families with BLAST age children in a couple of weeks and asking you to commit to just a few Wednesdays a year. Will you please be prayerfully considering committing to help make this successful over the next couple of weeks? If everyone commits to help, it will not become a burden on anyone.
- The bottom line is our aim is to simplify and maximize our Wednesday evenings. I believe God will use this in amazing ways to help us grow as individuals, as families, and as a church. We have made it so that those who live outside of York don't have to make multiple trips into town so your children and students can attend. We have also added time that we believe will be beneficial to you. This came at the suggestion of many of you who I have talked to. This will allow times for adults to be together, but also for men and women to spend time with other men and women. Our primary mid-week ministry (men's, women's, student's and children's) will all be happening at one time and place to allow for ease of planning and a set schedule to commit to. I am asking you to make this a priority for your family.
- If you have any questions about this, please don't hesitate to speak with a pastor. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have.