Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Succeeding In One Thing That Really Matters

Succeeding in something that matters. A Thanksgiving Sabo family soccer match.

I was walking down the hall tonight to say bedtime prayers and saw my 10-year-old son reading his Bible. No one had asked him to, it's simply a legacy handed down from his older siblings that was started by Brenton when he was a lad. Every night, without fail, I can see Abram, now 15, reading his Bible. It's always one of the highlights of my entire day. The thought struck me that my kids are doing something that matters. Francis Chan has a fairly famous quote that sums up my thoughts this evening: "Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." 

I've thought about this quote a lot recently as I survey the landscape of American Christianity through the lens of parents. And I'm pretty darn sure we're succeeding at things that don't really matter. So many people I've known over the last several years who had been churchgoers are partaking of the youth sports elixir. They spend their Sunday mornings at the soccer, baseball, field hockey, or any number of other athletic fields, watching their kids play. And the message they are sounding loud and clear to a generation of youth is that sports is more important than church. And we wonder why Millenials and others are walking away from the church? I  would suggest one factor is that it's not important to parents.

Look, being at church for the sake of being at church -- treating it like a club -- is a whole separate subject. In our family, going to church isn't optional and subject to whichever kid's travel sports team -- or any other event for that matter -- has a game or match that morning (Disclaimer: None of our kids are on travel sports teams). But neither is it this legalistic rite we do every Sunday. Going to church on Sundays is our time to corporately and individually worship the Lord, as well as pray, study and learn Scripture and fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. It is vital. We look forward to it. We desire it. We are strengthened and encouraged by it. We are equipped by and through our worship, prayers and Bible studying on Sundays to navigate the travails of the week. We are also able to encourage our church family on Sundays.

At our church, Calvary Chapel Gloucester, even our young kids are studying through the Bible at their level. In the church, we study through the Bible verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book. Last week we studied Acts 4:1-12. Next Sunday we'll pick it up in Acts 4 verse 13. We have seen a tremendous amount of fruit in our lives and in the lives of our children in the systematic study of Scripture and prioritizing what we do on Sundays as a family. When our older kids leave the house, they choose to find a church in which to worship. It's vital to them and I thank the Lord for that. They have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They are firm in their faith. 

I truly believe that we are succeeding in something that matters.


  1. amazing!!! I remember how hard it was to get up on Sunday knowing my husband was already at church getting ready to teach.. and all I wanted to do was nothing... but then in the midst of the fog I remember who is going to give me the strength to go on another week.. so with a cup of coffee, tired.. and sometimes frustrated.. we go. Only to come out stronger, filled and ready, blessed beyond what another hour of sleep can give. I am soooo blessed! Thank you Matt. Continue on your race.

  2. Thanks Katherine! Good word from you ... God is good. Give a shout to Joe for me. God bless you all.