Lastnight my teenage son had invited a friend of his from school to spend the night at our house. Being that my son is the only male in our household (pets included), I usually have a soft spot in my heart for him to have bonding time with his guy friends. It’s his chance to escape the females and do what boys do best. I snicker at the thought of the armpit farts blown through straws and the laughter that comes with it. It’s got to be something only a mother can appreciate!
I got home from work and picked up my son, so we could head on over to his friend’s house. While out on the road, I decided to stop and pick up pizzas on the way home. Any mom with a son knows that a late night snack will be needed! We ran by a local pizza place and bought just about one of each type of pizza. On the way, my son points out our church to his friend, when usually it’s not something of conversation when we pass by. But for whatever reason, my son was inclined to say, “Hey, that’s where we go to church. That’s our church.” His friend immediately said, “Oh, dude! You’re so lucky! I’ve always wanted to go to that church!”
Instead of jumping in right away to ask if my son’s friend goes to a church or anything to gather a little more information, he responded on his own, “Usually, my mom says we can go to that church, but then she is tired, sleeps late, and I never get to go.”
I was excited! Here this young man was in my car, and he is wanting to attend church. I told him he could go with us anytime to church! Sometimes I have been seen at church with no kids (when mine are out of town visiting their father), and sometimes I have been seen with my kids plus their friends. One woman, many kids, and I have to on occassion make two trips because my car only holds a few passengers. But, on those days when I have to make multiple trips to church and back to get my kids’ friends to and from church with us, it is worth the extra time.
When I got home and started thinking about the conversation in my car, I wondered if maybe there are other teens in our area who desire to go to church, but don’t because their parents don’t go. Could this just be a transportation issue? Like my son and his friend, they are not old enough to get a drivers license yet. Some teens may not have access to a car. And, in our town the public transportation buses don’t run on Sundays. And to think about it a little deeper, would the teens attend the youth groups if they only had transportation to get back and forth?
In my house, we used to have all sleep-overs on Friday nights instead of Saturday nights, because we have church on Sunday mornings. And now, we have sleep overs on Saturday nights, BECAUSE we have church on Sunday mornings. Those friends of my kids who want to go to church with us can spend the night at my house and go. And those who don’t want to, aren’t forced to. One teen in particular has been raised as an athiest who doesn’t believe there is a god. And that teen chooses to attend church with us once in awhile.
Maybe I need more than just a building to build HOPE. Maybe I also need a bus! I’m going to need to sell a lot of books to raise a lot of capital! And, I’m smiling. With God, ALL things are possible.
I hope that this young man will someday pass by a church with a friend of his and say, “Hey, that’s MY church!” You never know! It could be that teenagers want to be part of a church family, but don’t have a way to get there or have never been invited. I believe that God is working through our kids to reach even the youngest of His children. My son’s pointing out our church through the car window turned into my knowledge of a need for this kiddo.
And as a child of God myself, I will see to it that the invitation stands, the transportation is available, and that he feels he is part of our church family. He’s not just a guest. In the house of God, He is family.