Back to School

Dear Rose Park,

If you read the title of this letter you might be wondering, “why is Pastor Mark writing a letter to the church about the 1986 Rodney Dangerfield movie?” Though that’s a good question, and a pretty funny movie, don’t worry I’m not. As many of you know, our local students are officially back to school. The buses are out early in the morning. Recess is filled with basketball and laughter. Week nights are packed with activities and games. But going back to school, isn’t just limited to our young people.

The Church needs to go back to school as well. I don’t mean this in the sense of starting over or even to insinuate that our history, leaders, or experiences are incorrect in any way. What I mean is this: for some reason, the Church historically has put a premium on educating our young people. We take great pride in our history of Sunday School. We strive for greatness in vacation bible school. We put time, energy, and resources into youth groups, camps, and trips. These are not bad things in any way, shape or form. In fact, some of my most fond memories are from youth group and trips to camp. However, it seems as if our value on education decreases post high school graduation. It’s as if we assume once our young people turn eighteen and graduate high school they have Christianity all figured out. We assume because they have been baptized, made profession of faith, and gone to Camp Geneva or Cran-Hill their faith must be fine.

We even take these assumptions beyond young people. We assume if you’re married, have children, or have been an elder or deacon that your faith in Christ must be rock solid and you don’t need to learn anymore. But friends, this is simply not true. Just because we’ve reached a certain age-milestone doesn’t mean we don’t need to continue our faith journey. Just because we’ve been called to certain positions of leadership within the church doesn’t mean that our maturation process is over. In fact, it’s just the beginning. In other words, the Church needs go back to school every year to continue the growth and discipleship process.

Here at Rose Park, we want to continue growing in our knowledge and awareness of God regardless of age. We desire to grow in our maturity regardless of our marital status or whether we have children still in the home. We desire to grow closer to Jesus throughout all stages of life. We do this through communal worship, preaching, discipleship, prayer, bible studies, early morning coffee and donuts, late night phone calls, softball games in the summer, church picnics, and yes, even trips to Camp Geneva.

Whether you just started kindergarten, just sneaked by High School Statistics, or even graduated with honors…it’s time to come back to school and grow closer to Jesus.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Mark