For the past three years our son and daughter have been leading SOTA for Park church kids. It stands for School Of The Arts, and consists of weekly classes in guitar, keyboard, bass, trumpet, percussion, voice, leading worship, and new this year, preaching. The emphasis is on leading worship, not just learning an instrument, and the kids have learned their lessons well. From these classes three different worship bands have formed, elementary, middle school, and high school, each of which has led worship on Sunday morning.
Spring Fling, our Vacation Bible School, began tonight. For the past few years, our son Nate has led the music for it. Each year he instructs the kids to be quiet when he waves his hand like a fan and says, "Hey, kids!" to which they respond, "Hey, Nate!" Tonight, grandson Ian headed a team of middle school kids as they led worship. I walked in just in time to hear him say, "Hey, kids!" to which they responded, "Hey, Ian!" The torch is passed.
I remember the days when my generation led the Bible Schools. A few of us were there tonight in the background as the next two generations capably took the reins. Retirement is good when you see the fruit of your labors and see your successors taking things to a whole new level. First night attendance was the most we've ever had: 103 kids and nearly half that many staff. The latter were decked out in orange shirts. They could have directed traffic for miles around. Yes, retirement is good, and I am thankful tonight for all those young adults, many of them new Christians who are taking seriously the gospel imperative to go into the world with the Good News.