I love the part in the movie Apollo 13 when mission control is desperately trying to figure out a makeshift device for the stranded astronauts to construct that will filter out the dangerously increasing levels of CO₂ within their damaged spaceship. They dump out various items on the table and basically say, “This is what they have available to use, and this is what they need to make.” On the face of it, this seems impossible. The available parts weren’t designed for this, but “failure is not an option.” As we know, the Apollo 13 crew made it back to earth safely. The team worked tirelessly together to adapt to new circumstances—making do with what they had—to achieve their end goal.
Although not as intense or immediately life-threatening, I think many of us who are called to disciple children and youth feel a sense of uncertainty about how to successfully adapt and achieve our stated mission goals this coming school year. For many years, we have come to depend upon well-structured programs like Sunday school and midweek activities in order to give our children biblical instruction. But due to COVID-19, many of us are suddenly scrambling to adapt. It’s now mid-July, and we still don’t know what the fall may bring. Cancel everything? Press on as usual? Take the resources we have and configure them in a new way? Whatever the way forward for your church and family, now more than ever, it’s important to keep the ultimate goal front and center!
Our goal is that our children and youth will come to know, honor, and treasure God, setting their hope in Christ alone, so that they will live as faithful disciples for the glory of God.
Failure to pursue this goal for the next generations is not an option for our churches and homes. We have been given this sacred responsibility from the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Psalm 78:1-8; Matthew 28:19; 2 Timothy 3:14-17). Yes, resuming in-person Sunday school classes using solid Bible resources and well-trained teachers may be the main way churches have provided biblical instruction, but we may need to tweak this model for a while. Yet, the goal shouldn’t change, and keeping that front and center will help us adapt in a life-giving manner.
At Truth78, we want to help churches and families adjust to these new realities. Therefore, in the coming weeks, we plan to provide some streamlined and easily accessible vision-casting resources, practical training for using Truth78 resources in differing scenarios, and as well as a variety of other helps to encourage parents and teachers in discipling children and youth.
When those astronauts called in saying, “Houston, we have a problem,” mission control didn’t throw in the towel. They joined together with unified purpose, and unrelenting ingenuity and toil to get those men safely home. May we pursue the greater goal of discipling the next generation through these difficult days with even more zeal!
P.S. We would love to hear how you and your church are planning to move forward this fall. Send us a note!
See "Gearing Up for Fall" series:
Step 1—Embrace and Communicate a Compelling Vision
Most of us are entering a type of “road construction” season with regard to children’s and youth ministry. Challenges abound. That is why it is so important to begin this journey with a clear, compelling goal in mind.
Step 2—Develop Programs for the Comprehensive Discipleship of Children and Youth
With limited resources and/or drastically changed circumstances, what can we do to make sure we are serving our students and parents?
Step 3—Choosing Truth78 Resources for Church and Home (Questions and Answers)
Which particular Truth78 resources will be the best fit for your church and home? See a list of answers to common questions.
Step 4—Recruiting and Equipping Volunteers for Great Kingdom Work
Now, more than ever, children’s and youth ministry leaders need to earnestly remind the church of our sacred calling to disciple the next generation.
Step 5—Prepare Parents and Students for the Coming Year
As we anticipate the coming Sunday school year in our churches it’s important to start off the year by clearly communicating to parents and children what the year will entail—especially highlighting any changes that may be in store due to current events.