Public Witness

February 7, 2013

Allison Tanner

February 7, 2013

As Minister of Christian Formation, my job is two-fold. I work to create spaces in our congregational life for the Spirit to move, spaces where we might be intentionally open to how the Spirit might be speaking to us. The other key aspect of my work is to identify places were the Spirit is already moving in and among us, to celebrate ways in which we are being formed by God’s Spirit, and to fan the flames of the Spirit’s activity. It is the latter of these tasks that I’d like to lift up today.
On the first Sunday of January, Erica Quinn and I hosted a Young Adult/Youth Group Reunion Luncheon. We invited all young adults – those who currently worship at Lakeshore and those who have been away but have grown up at Lakeshore – to come together. It was a great time of fellowshipping, catching up, connecting with people, and encouraging our young adults on their various life journeys.
While together, Erica asked the group what it was about Lakeshore as a church that kept them returning to our particular community. I found their answers to be telling of where God’s Spirit has moved, and continues to move, among us:

  • Lakeshore offers practical Christianity – it doesn’t just tell me what to believe, but it helps me know what to do with my faith, how to live.
  • I appreciate Lakeshore’s approach to religion and spirituality – it challenges me – I go home thinking about my faith – I particularly like how Soup and Study gets me thinking long after the study is over.
  • I return to Lakeshore to see people. I love that it provides a wide range of ages that can worship and fellowship together.
  • I come for the community. It means a lot to have a place I can return to where people have known me over the years – connecting throughout my life.
  • Other churches I’ve experienced are too small, not a good fit for me.
  • I love the smaller size of Lakeshore – everyone knows everyone – everyone has their role, participating in their own way in the church – I especially love the passing of the peace.

The Young Adult ministry at Lakeshore is not huge, but it is not insignificant either. Having six young adults gather over brunch to share what the church means to them, and offers them, was a great reminder that Christian Formation is alive and well among our Young Adults. It is worth celebrating, and serves as an encouragement to all of us to continue to nurture our ministry to this unique age group.