Conner learning Final Cut Pro X

Conner learning Final Cut Pro X

When you walk in on a Sunday morning, you drop off your kids, talk to friends, grab your coffee & donut, sit through service, pick up your kids & head out for lunch, right? Seriously, run through a Sunday morning in your mind. Think about what you do from start to finish.

Keep that in mind.

A couple weeks ago, a team of us went to Belize. We were gone for 9 days and missed 2 Sunday services. Normally, I would blog about the trip, the ministry, what God accomplished through us, the message we can take away from that experience.

Not today. Today, I want to brag on someone a little bit.

Go back to that moment when you drove up to church. Someone put out all the traffic cones. Someone brewed that coffee. Someone picked up those donuts. Someone typed the song lyrics into the computer so you could follow along during worship. Someone is at work behind the scenes in every area.

When you walked into service on Sunday, April 6 & Sunday, April 13, the lights were on, the projectors were working, the song lyrics & sermon notes were available. Everything was recorded: Derek’s sermons, baby dedication, baptisms, the skit, the children’s dance. That afternoon, the sermons were captured, edited and posted to all our sites. Nothing was out of the ordinary.

But, why? Why was nothing out of the ordinary? 

Because one of those “someones” was a volunteer named Conner. Maybe you saw him running around one of those mornings, maybe you didn’t. The big picture is, he trained for a month & made it happen in the background. He wasn’t on stage. He didn’t ask to be recognized. No one thanked him. He just did what was asked of him. He served his church and he served God in a position that, when you know nothing about media, is kind of hard to learn.

Did I mention Conner is 11?

1 Timothy 4:12 – Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 

I think we (society) have a very big problem. We encourage kids and teens to do their best. We tell them they can do anything they set their mind to. We tell them they can be world-changers. But, when they want to be a part of something, we tell them no because they’re “too little” or “not mature enough.” (But, let’s be honest, it’s because we don’t trust them.) We create this gap in their minds. They stand on the “you’re too young” side of the canyon & stare at the “you can do anything” side & wonder, how do I get across? We tell them they’re the future, but what does “future” mean? I would dare to say these youth are not the future. They are the present! “The future” is NOW! 

I have been in journalism, both print & video, for a long time. One of the reasons I do what I do is because Johanna Burton, my high school newspaper class advisor, believed in us. I was taught pagination as a sophomore. That means, at age 15, I could design a newspaper, not some little newsletter, but a full-blown, professional newspaper. That summer, I got a job at my hometown’s newspaper because Johanna Burton realized that I was the present.

Our youth are often smarter & more capable than we give them credit for. Many of them don’t make anything of themselves because we don’t let them. I just wanted to encourage everyone to look at kids and teens from a different perspective. The next time you start to dismiss someone because of their youth, resolve to fill the gap with trust in them and help them succeed.

–Whitney