California is in its third year of a serious drought and, in order to cut back on water usage, many cities have set up various guidelines for homeowners.
Los Angeles suggests that its residents do the following:
- Check your toilet for leaks. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If the coloring begins to appear in the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a wasteful leak that should be repaired at once. Even a small leak can waste thousands of gallons of water each month. When replacing the toilet flapper valve, make sure to select a model designed for your toilet.
- Replace all non-water saving toilets with new ultra-low-flush toilets.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save up to 3 gallons each time.
- Turn off the water while you’re shaving. Just fill the sink with a little water and rinse your razor. You can save up to 3 gallons.
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Even a small drip can waste hundreds of gallons per month.
- Use your dishwasher for full loads only. Every load uses about 15 gallons.
- Use your clothes washer for full loads only. It uses up to 60 gallons per load.
- Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Instead rinse them in a sinkful of clean water.
- Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator, so you won’t have to run the tap to cool it.
- If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing.
- Water your lawn deeply and less frequently.Avoid over watering and runoff. Adjust sprinklers to water the lawn, not the pavement.
- Water early in the morning or late in the evening.
- Change watering schedule seasonally.
- Repair leaks immediately.
- Use a broom instead of the hose.
- Do not allow the hose to run as you wash your car. Use a self-closing hose nozzle, or turn off the water, between rinses.
How do I know this?
This afternoon, I found tips printed from this page taped to my front door. The line about not over watering was highlighted. My neighbors are comedians.
All trespassing, littering, and kidding aside, this note got my mind thinking about the way we treat the Gospel in our homes, schools and churches.
John 4:13-14 (New International Version)
13Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 7:37-38 (New International Version)
37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
Jesus likes talking about water… and he seems to say that the water he offers leads to everlasting life.
So, my friends, why are we only giving our children a taste of this living water?
Let’s say that the average child in many West Coast churches attends weekend church programming 2-3 times per month. If the typical weekend church program lasts 80 minutes, then approximately 2% of a churchgoing child’s month is spent being exposed to the life giving water that Jesus speaks of. Even if a child attends midweek programming and doubles the amount of time they spend in church programs, 96% of their lives are spent outside of the grasp of Children’s Ministry Directors and Pastors.
The parent who thinks that church programming alone can provide a faith foundation for their child is acting as though the water Jesus offers is in short supply.
As parents, we are called to teach our children the way of Jesus. In a sense, we need to immerse our children in the life giving water that brings everlasting life. We need to throw our kids in the pool.**
As church workers, we are called to equip the parents of our children to do just that.
Parents need to see the value in praying with their children.
They need to be taught the value scripture can have in their child’s life.
Children need to see their parents living out their faith by serving and caring for others.
What are some ways you’re equipping the parents in your ministry to share the Good News of Christ with their children?
What values are you instilling in your church’s parents so that they can begin to do the work God has called them to do?
What are you doing to make sure parents aren’t overwhelmed by this role God has called them to?
Share your thoughts in the comments section.
** Disclaimer: Please don’t ACTUALLY throw your kids into an actual pool without proper water safety gear ie. water wings, life jacket, etc.