Rustlings (December 11, 2017)

Growing pains. It’s a real thing. Infants can grow as much as an inch-a- month in the first year of their life. They can double in size and weight within the first five months! What is it like to have bones, nerves, vessels, and skin expanding at such a rate? Then, when the teeth start ‘growing in,’ children are old enough to let out a scream or whimper to indicate the ‘growing pains.’ These are, however, good pains. They convey the presence of health and life. They are necessary for our children to become what and who they were intended to be.

Churches experience growing pains, and yes, they are good pains. The addition of new members, new ministries and new directions can stretch us in ways that are not always comfortable. They often require additional energies, resources and insights. In the end, however, they are necessary for our becoming what and who we are intended to be.

Our Youth Ministry at First Baptist has been growing at a wonderful rate. It is reflective of the overall growth within the church’s life. The addition of members and ministries in this area has made it difficult for one minister to have enough energy and resources for the work, so our 2018 budget provides for the hiring of an Associate Youth Minister. This will be a full-time position with benefits. The salary and benefit structure is conducive to a seminary or divinity school graduate seeking their first experience in a large full-time youth ministry setting. A search committee will be established in early January. Applications and resumes may be submitted to our present Minister of Youth and Recreation – Rev. Mary Carol Anderson.

Growing pains are good pains! They are much better than the pains that accompany atrophy and conflict. Growing pains convey the presence of health and life within the church. Growing pains are indicators that we are continuing to become what and who we are intended to be.

— Jim