Author: Gary Hardy, BEYOND team
“…to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:21 NIV).
The words “throughout all generations” in this concluding sentence of the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers resonate with me as I think about going “beyond”. They help explain why my involvement in KidzView, Valley View’s children’s ministry, is so important to me. Every Sunday I am in town, you can find me teaching elementary aged children in the 9:30am KidzView service.
Why am I there? Well, I confess that I sometimes ask myself that question... but not often. It really is fun, and that certainly helps to keep me motivated. But more than that, I see it as an opportunity to extend my influence for Christ beyond my own lifetime and generation. As has often been said, “Christianity [or any religion, for that matter] is always just one generation away from extinction.” That is to say, if one generation fails to share the faith with the next, Christianity ceases to exist. Personally, I do not want to be party to that. So I teach the children, trusting that they will one day teach the generation that follows them, that will teach the generation that follows them, and so on.
For me, it’s about seeing beyond the here and the now to the future. It’s why I left a ministry I loved in Chicago to accept a teaching position at Dallas Christian College sixteen years ago. I saw it as an opportunity to influence a new generation of leaders for the cause of Christ, especially those who would be entering vocational ministries.
It’s why I show up on Wednesday nights to meet with a group of guys who are now Juniors in high school. They were sixth graders when I became their small group leader and we began our journey together, and Lord willing, I’ll only stop being their leader when they graduate from high school about a year and a half from now. I’m so proud of them and the men they’re becoming, and I’m pleased to think that I played at least some small part in the growth I’ve seen in all of them.
And it’s why I still show up in KidzView at 9:30am on Sundays. Paul’s prayer is my prayer: That God would receive glory “throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”.
Maybe that’s your prayer, too. And if it is, may I suggest you look into serving in our children’s or student ministries as a way of extending your influence BEYOND.
Guest Author: Gary Hardy. Member of Valley View for 16 years. Married to Cindy and father to Meagan, Caleb, and Ethan. Former missionary and vocational minister.
We will be regularly featuring guest blogs by different authors around Valley View throughout the BEYOND Campaign. If you would like to contribute, send your finished blog post to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.