By Traever Wieland

Last summer I embarked on a journey to run a marathon in October.  Now, there may be some runners out there that wouldn’t have to train to run 26.2 miles, however I’m not that runner.  To run that distance I knew I would have to run, train, and put the time into getting ready if I ever wanted to finish the race in a 24-hour time period.  I settled on a 20-week running plan that laid out how often and how far I would run each week.  The plan fit me and where I was at in my physical ability.  If I stuck with the plan, I would be prepared to finish the race.  There were times however that I couldn’t stick with the plan; my kid got sick, I got injured, or the busyness of life forced me to miss a day.  It happens. No matter how well we plan, rarely does a plan go exactly as we expect it to.

It often goes this way when we are following up with new Christians…not exactly how we expect it to.   You lay out the plan (what you’re going to be discussing, how often you’re going to meet, etc.), but rarely does the plan happen how you see it happening in your head.   Kids don’t show up, they start discussing random topics, they ask off-the-wall questions, and pretty soon you’re asking yourself “is it worth it?”  Yes, it is.  Just like the running plan helped me reach my goal of finishing a marathon, a personalized plan to help kids become lifelong followers of Jesus will work, as long as we value the relationship over the plan.  Twenty years from now, when that young person is pastoring a church or faithfully leading their home, more than likely they won’t remember the bible study you had, but they will remember you. And more than likely, you’ll remember the young person and not the bible study as well.  Have a plan, but value the relational journey more than the plan.

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