“You know, my kids don’t care if we have a cool place to meet, they just want to know they are loved.” There’s a lot of truth to this statement that I recently heard from a parent in our community. It reminds me of the Maya Angelou quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Or, to fit our situation, “I’ve learned that kids will forget the color of the walls, they will forget meeting in a cool space, but they will never forget how we made them feel.” I do agree with that, but to be honest, I look at some churches and feel, as the song says, “so uninspired.” Our auditorium is so cool! I will miss our buxom Egyptian goddess, the gold filigree that meanders across the top of the stage (clearly from a bygone era) and the funky feel you get walking in.
But, I recently met a new parent with a high-schooler. She wanted to know where her son should go for youth group. So I told her, “the high schoolers meet around the corner in an apartment.” A faint look of confusion crossed her face, along with a slight eye brow raise. I quickly added, “I promise, it’s not creepy.”
If you ever have to say to a parent, “I promise, it’s not creepy,” it’s creepy!
As many of you know, we do not have summer programming for our kids. One of the big reasons for this is we want to give our dedicated and lovely volunteers a summer break. But, you might also notice that fewer families attend in the summer. A number of parents have told me that it is just too hard to be present in the service with their little ones vying for their attention. So, how do I give our volunteers some time off and serve our kids and families well? My solution would be to have a large space for our kids to gather during the summer months, to play, connect and have fun all together, (supervised by a couple adults), while their parents engage in the service. That’s impossible in our current situation.
Can we raise kids to be kind, justice oriented, loving human beings in any building we have? Of course we can. Can we potentially do it better in a building that more fully suits our needs? I think so, and being confident of this makes me willing to leave our bare-breasted Egyptian beauty.