Have you ever wondered why Jesus was a carpenter? The answer is simple. In biblical times, every father was expected to teach his son a trade. Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father was a carpenter. So it stands to reason that Jesus would be a carpenter as well. Jesus merely followed in Joseph’s footsteps.
A Jewish proverb says, “He who does not teach his son a trade teaches him to be a thief.” Usually a son followed in his father’s occupation with the father passing on his skills and trade secrets. The term “father” was not limited to one’s biological father. Any mature person outside of the family could be called “father,” and teachers called their students “sons.” It is good to train up your own child, but it is also special to train up a child that is not yours.
Paul had no biological children; yet he called Timothy his son because he trained him how to become an effective young pastor. When Paul was approaching death he passed special instructions on to Timothy because he knew Timothy was equipped to handle the responsibilities. After all, Paul had taught him well. Timothy was Paul’s son in the educational sense. In the church, we should look at all of the children as our own. We should take the time to get to know them and pass on our love of God, a skill or something we are passionate about.
While working on my doctorate, I read a book called Sticky Faith by Kara Powell and Chap Clark. They make a case that each young person needed five people to love on them and focus on them. These adults need to be people who pray for the young person but also a person they know will listen when they need to talk and demonstrate that they care. They also should not be relatives.
Well, when I read that book I realized I needed to find people for my daughters. I approached a few people to pray for KD and one took it very seriously. Kathryn spent time with KD and asked her what she wanted to do with their time. Kathryn is a jack of all trades and has a variety of interests. KD wanted to learn to sew. Kathryn loaned her a machine, and started teaching her the basics. Kathryn started her off with a variety of fabric. Now, KD is quite advanced in her sewing abilities all because someone took the time to care and teach her.
At Covenant, we need to have adults who love on our kids. We need adults to connect with our young people besides their family. It is important to have some adults who are there consistently every week, but we also need some adults who will help once in a while. If you are willing or able to help in the nursery, Sunday School, Godly Play, or any of our programs for young people, please let me know. It doesn’t always have to be an every week commitment, just a willingness to serve.
This message from Pastor Martha also appeared in The Covenanter – Volume XXXVII, Issue 17