Pause with Pastor Joel – March 20, 2023

Last Monday, I had the joy of spending the day at the Goodrich High School being an adult participant in a program called Challenge Day. I encourage you to follow the link to find out more about this great program, but simply put they say that they, “We help build empathy and compassion in our communities.” They do this by hosting programs with youth where they seek to combat bullying by encouraging us to realize that everyone has a story of struggle of some sort or another.
The program, to put it simply, was awesome. There was connection through conversation, there were tears of vulnerability, there was a lot of laughter and fun and I believe there was some transformation that happened that day that will mean that there is a better culture at Goodrich High School.
Goodrich High School brought this program to Goodrich because it’s been happening in the Brandon Schools and they had reported really positive results.
They were right. I think it was really positive. In fact, as I participated (by the way, they called the adults not facilitators, but Participants Plus, because we were there to participate and model behavior, but not really to lead anything exactly) – as I participated, I thought, “This is what church should be.” It was vulnerable, fun, caring, uplifting and encouraged us to break out of bad habits and be the kind people we really want to see in the world.
The church should be a place that builds people up and encourages them to be who God created them to be. Instead, we are too often a place of complaints and pandering to behavior that is less than holy. I wish it wasn’t so.
Challenge Day challenged me to have the church be what God has called it to be. A place of growth, building others up and of connecting to one another in meaningful ways. If you’d like to take the challenge too, I invite you to join me in being the kind of church we want to see in the world.

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