Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Expansion of SPACE (2 of 4)

#2 - Mobilizing: 3rd to 5th graders

There are two demographics of GCC's next generation that we need to engage with more focus. The first demographic is 3rd - 5th graders. [We will talk about the second demographic tomorrow.] We have to help these kids be kids in light of the global cultures that surround them. I've got a bit of an inside track on this one, with a 10 and 7 year old in the house. So when I look at their childhood in their/our context, here are some things that come to mind:
- Since the future is urban, are we crippling their future by growing them up in the suburbs?
- Will their experience in a suburban mega-church prepare them to engage different expressions of the Church?
- How many of their peers in Sunday school have spent significant time in a different culture?
- Why does Sunday morning look so, uh, "white"?
- Kt routinely asks me about other cultures. Do our kids' friends see culture like our kids' do?
- How can we impress to these kids that they are living one of those most amazing times in human history?
- Our family is in the midst of a marathon of The Amazing Race on DVD. Do their friends think of us as a weird family? [I hope so. Weird is good - normal is bad.]

This expansion includes partnership and assistance with GCC's children ministries and extension ministries [like Girls Grace Adventure, for example], which may look like:
- Being an advocate and resource for summer family mission trips. [Our adult short term coordinator helps plan family trips.]
- Creating and capitalizing opportunities for SPACE teams to share with kidZone. These are stories we should tell and they will inspire and motivate. And we all know lots of people that first caught a passion for missions from Sunday school.
- Sharing about global cultures with this age group whenever we can, including in local schools, at church and informally.
- Being available to help out with kidZone summer teachings, where the program is much more flexible and off the cuff. [In the midst of writing this post, I found out that GCC is running a 4 week summer camp this summer. That could be another part of this expansion.]

English scones for breakfast, riding bikes with your neighbors from Sri Lanka, conversations with your Buddhist friends in the afternoon, Chinese food for dinner, falling asleep to a CD teaching you how to speak German - this is a 4th grader's life in suburban Howard County. We know 9 year olds can make a difference in the world and it's part of our job to inspire them.

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