I have been struck with the number of young people, young couples and young families that attend our various conferences and meetings. Frankly, each time I hear some leader from various parts of the grace establishment lament the "aging" of their networks, it sounds strange to me. Oh, I understand; the older networks versus the newer life/growth we represent is obvious. When they invited us to not be a part of their endeavors decades ago, we realized that the future was ours. We embraced it. We have grown with it and into it as only "new growth" can. We are glad for the past; but we have looked to the future--and it is now!
One illustration of this came from an email forwarded to me by Edward Yarber, a key coordinator of last weekend's Ohio Grace Conference. Perhaps it will give you a dad's perspective--and encourage you, too.
"As a Dad, I often find myself measuring the success of my parenting abilities by the feedback and reactions I get from my kids. I know that is not always the barometer to use, but in some instances, I just can't help but smile and know that "We done good". In this case, both my daughters expressed a hardy "Great Weekend" when I asked them about their thoughts/impressions about the trip to the conference. That then, is a true testament to the work you, David, Ted, and all the rest (especially the wives) did to pull off yet again another fantastic weekend around God's word.
"As a parent, I am always encouraged when I see young children willing to learn and grow in God's Grace. I know that will set the foundation for the rest of their lives. It is not always easy for youngsters to embrace the desires of the parents, and in this case, when that desire is to be among Saints for three days spending most of that time in Bible Study hearing preaching and teaching, and to realize that there were quite a few young adults willing to participate in the conference, must have brought a smile to our Heavenly Father for sure!
"Please be sure to pass on the thanks of my two daughters (as well as from me and Linda!!) to all involved in this conference, and we all look forward to attending again next year.... Cathy with her new husband as well!!"
To that I can only add: Amen!