This past Sunday my husband, Rich Villodas, and I had the privilege of speaking to our congregation at New Life Fellowship Church in Elmhurst, Queens. We don’t often speak together but when we do we truly enjoy it. Passing down faith to the next generation has been on our hearts for many, many years. And we have the privilege of doing so in the context of Queens, New York City.
It was NextGen Sunday (lead by our NextGen Pastor Matt Manno) and we got the chance to share a broader vision of what it means to be followers of Christ in our multi-generational context. And what it means to pass down faith to the next generation.
You can watch that message HERE.
Letter to My 13-ish Year Old Self
As part of the message, I read aloud a letter to the young people at our Church. It was a version of a letter that I wrote to my daughter on her recent 13th birthday. It was what I would have liked to say to my 13-year-old self, many years ago. I’d like to share it with you below:
This originated as a letter I wrote to our daughter on her 13th birthday but when preparing to speak on Sunday, I quickly realized that this was what I wanted every young person in our church to hear.
This was what I wish I could have said or wrote to myself at 13 years old. Letters like this that speak truth and life into our young people, are a key way of passing down faith to the next generation.
Speaking Over the Next Generation & Us All
Finally, at the end of our time of sharing a vision for the Church and the Next Generation, Rich and I shared prophetic words over our New Life Family. We had messages to share with 3 groups of people at our church, that comprise all of New Life Fellowship.
The following was what Rich and I felt in our hearts to speak over them in this moment. A Prophetic Word to New Lifers:
It was our hope to encourage and unite the New Life Fellowship Church family to envision a different way of “doing church”. That passing down faith to the next generation isn’t just the job of parents and Student ministry folks. We all have something to offer and give. We belong to one another and need one another.
Parents want to raise kids that love Jesus, and church ministries love to help equip parents to do so. But we parents also need many others in the family of God to I hope these words bless you.