From Steve’s Desk:
4-H was a big part of my childhood. I was a 9-year member and always wished I would have started a year earlier in order to have attained my 10 year pin. I also enjoyed being a Jr. Leader and attending 4-H Round Up at Purdue. My favorite projects were Gardening, Weather, Forestry, Photography and Strawberries. I did well in all of the categories and even qualified for the state fair a couple of times, but my biggest 4-H accomplishment was the year that I was awarded Grand Champion Strawberry Grower of Vermillion County! I was 18 and in my final year in 4-H. I received a trophy, a ribbon and a savings bond. My picture was even in the paper. Soon, though, the fame faded and a new champion was crowned the following year. Well, I have to confess that in Vermillion County that year there were only two of us who exhibited in the Strawberry project. As an 18 year old, I beat out a 10 year-old first member for the top slot. It all seems funny now, but at the time, I was proud of my accomplishment and cherished my trophy and ribbon up until recently. I finally parted with the trophy, but kept the ribbon. Sometimes you have to let go of the past.
I support 4-H and think that it teaches our children important lessons about our world and all that there is to enjoy in it. The projects that I took then have remained hobbies and interests of mine today. I know others who found their careers from their involvement in 4-H. I think that 4-H also teaches commitment, dedication and completion. Looking back, I think that those important lessons of 4-H are more important than the competition. As an adult, I willingly volunteered for our local 4-H program and served for 8 years on the Vermillion County Board of the Purdue Extension program. I was even lobbied at the statehouse in support of 4-H and other extension programs.
4-H, and other organizations like it are important tools that can be used to teach so much to our children. I applaud their leaders and volunteers.
As you know, in May and June, we spent 7 weeks in a sermon series about the family and in that time I spent a lot of time talking about training our children in the ways of the Lord as charged in Proverbs 22:6. I just wanted to take one more opportunity to underscore the importance of a child’s participation in church. Obviously, it is important that a child learn God’s word, but it is also important that the child witness what it means to worship God as a congregation of believers, as brothers and sisters in Christ. Going to church stresses the importance of
commitment to the development of our faith in God and our need of fellowship with each other. Sunday morning services can be such a respite in our lives and it should be one that we long for and eager to participate in. Our efforts are to present spiritual education on the child’s level so that they can learn, understand and then transform their belief into faith. Without hearing and learning God’s word, one cannot truly develop faith.
A child’s participation in youth group and other fun church sponsored activities are great opportunities that are structured to inspire friendships and fellowship as we journey in this world and long for the next.
Our hope as a church is that we present all the right information in the right way, so that each child can make their right decision in their right time. I have used the word “right” a lot in this sentence, but we need to underscore what is right and not what is wrong in our confusing world.
In order for a child to correctly develop their faith, they must be given all they need and be guided in making this decision. Though we can’t make it for them, we can lead them toward it.
If we do our part, then God can do His and draw His children to Him.
Participating in church is an important tool in helping your child find God. Do you part! Eternity is greater than any trophy and it lasts longer!