My son, Matthew Armstrong, directs a ministry that began over fifteen years ago when a Christian businessman developed a plan to reach children in public schools. He invited my son to lead this effort which is now called Crossroads Kids Club. I am often in awe of this ministry and of my son, not because Matt is my son (which is enough in itself really) but because the ministry is so effective and so powerfully connected to the church and her mission to kids without hope in this world.
Recently Matt sent a letter to friends of the ministry that included the following:
We are in a very interesting place. If things come together in the next few days and weeks, we could have 30+ clubs. Likewise, we could end up losing ground from last year. I am someone who is a doer, and I have done all that I can do. I don’t see anything I could do differently or better, but simply we need God to intervene. Here are some very specific things I would like to ask you to pray about. Some of these will be shared tomorrow with the prayer list, but others will not.
It is this final sentence which both astounds me and grieves me. I am not making this up friends – churches do not deeply desire to put aside their programs that do not reach needy children, especially from poorer homes, when they are shown how they can actually reach kids in their own community at very little financial cost. The issue, in other words, is not money or opportunity. The issue is desire and focus. Sadly, desire and focus is generally not present in local congregations.
After sharing about another few clubs Matt then adds:
Speaking of leaders, [another Chicago area school] is wide open. We have had a club there for two years, but the leaders have decided to step aside because of family issues. At this moment, the church behind this club does not have a leader, and there will be no club there. Thus we now have [four] churches that need a leader to step up to take charge of a club in their area.
Another [Chicago area] church was just rejected by the principal at a specific school so we are seeking an opening at another school (a second choice school) so this church can start a Kids Club there.
I feel like things are spiraling out of control. We have open schools with no churches. Then we have churches with no leaders, and we have leaders and a closed school. We need the Lord to move mightily. And so I am pleading with you to pray please. Thank you!
Reading this letter reminded me of how deeply the church needs to recover Christ’s mission to the world, not just to a program to provide for children and people who already come to church. Emil Bruner said, “The church exists for mission as fire exists for burning!” If this is true then why is it that when most churches are shown how they can easily reach into the lives and homes of children right next door to their church, and yet these children are outside their present church family, will not become involved? Thank God some do but why are there so few?
Matt concludes his letter saying: “Trusting that he is good, that he loves the children and has a plan, Matt.”
My Latest Book!
Use Promo code UNITY for 40% discount!
Working with a high school youth group, as leaders we strive to impress upon the kids that their mission field is everywhere… Not just poor Appalachian communities or poverty-stricken inner cities, but our own neighborhoods and schools. The first thought always seems to be third world countries when if we’re really looking missionally we’re surrounded with opportunities right where God’s already placed us. Prayerful appreciation for your son’s ministry!
God Please have mercy and raise up more leaders.
What an awesome and Christ-directed prayer – “God raise up more leaders.” We have enough of the wrong kind so pray for faithful leaders with courage, both men and women who love him above all else.
Amen John and go Matt! We have a similar thing going on in Lakeland FL, if every Church would adopt a grade school, a middle school and a high school MANY children would be cared for.
John, good words for the LOVE2020 Affinity Spheres that focus on mobilizing Christ followers to pray-care-share with younger generations
John Appleton liked this on Facebook.
Leanne Valdes liked this on Facebook.
Terri Vosburgh Mantzke liked this on Facebook.
Loren Schrier liked this on Facebook.
Denise Murphy Plichta liked this on Facebook.
Daniel E Arciaga liked this on Facebook.
Don Broesamle liked this on Facebook.
Tim Kelleher liked this on Facebook.
Kimberly Wall liked this on Facebook.
Scott Eaton liked this on Facebook.
Tadeo Yudah Okumu liked this on Facebook.