New Wineskins at Robert Church of God?
Saturday evening, July 8, Robert Church of God dedicated THE ZONE, which is their new child development and ministry center. For those of you familiar with the layout at Robert, it is, in fact, the old sanctuary with a new look. The old front has been replaced with a new drive-through for parents to drop off children. The sanctuary is now a contemporary blend of active colors with a redesigned platform and puppet stage. New multi-media equipment blasts the sights and sounds of a new generation. It is totally cool and innovative.
As part of those invited to participate in the dedication, I sat and watched the children who were gathered and watched the festivities. They ranged in age from small wobbly toddlers to teens who are active leaders in the ministry outreaches. They come from a variety of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Yet, in this environment, none of that matters. In fact, the seating is so child-friendly most adults will struggle to sit long—and that’s okay because too many adults will contaminate the energy of the room. This is an atmosphere dedicated to children—loud, engaging and interactive. There is no whispering in this room, no worrying about things to break or even honor. The room is a “go for it” atmosphere!
It’s the kind of room Jesus would hang out in! Seriously, Jesus got his fill of the stuffy, “no fun” religionists in his day. He chided them. He urged them to release so much of their anxiety and find peace in Him. They could not get it and so in order to preserve their world—they killed him.
Pastor Carl & Susan Webb are to be commended for the progressive leadership they are giving Robert and the people at Robert should be rightfully proud of this vision. The old building could have been torn down and a new one erected. Instead, the pastor and community of faith there decided to connect the past with the future. The old building now becomes a new building with new dreams, new vision and new expectations.
It’s the kind of place where Jesus hangs out!
Sitting there last Saturday, I realized—these people get it. They have both an understanding of Roots and Wings! We must always remember our heritage and the legacy of faith which enabled us. But we must constantly remember the world is a different place requiring energy and passion in new “wineskins” as Jesus taught.