You have not experienced controlled chaos until you have experienced a week of VBS here at Zion. It was in the middle of VBS week that the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” was spinning in my head over and over again. It sure did take a village to make VBS happen. The building was filled with over 500 children, youth, and adults. Volunteers were playing games, making snacks, teaching Bible stories, singing songs, making crafts and woodworking projects, putting on band aids, hugging little ones, teaching about kids around the world, making schedules, putting up and taking down decorations. Through all of this, you heard the sounds of giggles and excitement, a few tears and apprehension, praying and playing. It truly takes a village.
How amazing it is that we have surrounded our children with a village of people who love, care and pray for them. This idea of it takes a village to raise a child is so important when we think about passing on the faith. We were created for community and God so desires for all of us to be surrounded by the cloud of witnesses, or as I would say, the village. We are all needed in this village. Each person has a gift that is needed to make our village complete.
What role do you play in our village that we call Zion?
In 2012 a study came out that tracked a group of youth from age 5 to 25. This study was a comprehensive study that included people from all demographics, including race, economic status, and denomination. Over the 20 years the youth did multiple surveys and focus groups. At the end of the study, there was one (yes, only one) factor that connected all the youth who were still active in their faith. The one factor was those youth had 5 or more adults, other than parents, who played an active role in their faith journey growing up. This is solid proof that it takes a village to pass on the faith.
We are working to surround each of our youth with a village, a village that is made up of adults of every generation, gender, work experience, and faith background. The village needs to have people who have raised their kids, who are in the midst of raising kids, who do not have kids, and who are yet to start a family. The village needs to include people who have passions and experience in a variety of hobbies and employment. The village needs people to simply be the person they were created to be, with all of our joys and brokenness.
In creating this village to surround each child, it also means we are creating a village to surround each child of God regardless of age.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.Hebrews 12:1