I was at a wedding recently. It was a great wedding. Great Bride…whom I know and love. Great Groom…whom I met at the wedding. Great Family…one that I watch and learn from every time we get together.
But, I’ve got to be honest. My attentions were not on the couple.

I spent the weekend watching and wondering about what was going on in the mind of the nine year old son of the groom.
He was in an interesting situation to say the least.
It was clear that the young dad and mom (whom I did not meet) had handled a difficult situation relatively well nine years ago. He was a happy kid, having a blast at the wedding. I never felt the family tension that I so often feel at a wedding. Weddings are often one of the two family ceremonies important enough for some people to get into the same room. Whether they will behave or not takes up a lot of time during our pre-marital counseling sessions. That was not the case here. He was loved by his family.
But even though things were pretty good, he was in a complicated situation.

New family,
new friends,
new step-mom,
new grandparents.
I constantly found myself wondering what he was thinking.
The wedding was great. The son did well in his tux. There was no tension in his involvement.
Then came the Father of the Bride’s speech. Dad did a great job. He spoke about his kids. He spoke about his new son-in-law. He was clear, concise, loving, wise, awesome.
And then it happened…

At the very end of the speech, the new grandpa of this nine-year-old said something almost as if he had been dying to say this the whole time. With excitement, confidence and assurance,
he said: “As if all that’s not enough, we got a bonus. We got a grandson!”
I can’t describe to you the emotion in the room at that moment. I personally couldn’t hold it back. (I’m a girl when it comes to this kind of stuff).
How does it feel to be “gotten” like that? Not just added to the group.
How does it feel to be the “bonus” in that situation? And for people to be excited about it?
How does it feel to be more than accepted?
How does it feel to be wanted?
That’s the feeling I want every kid who enters our doors on Sunday morning to feel. That’s how every person, whether complicated or not (let’s face it, all of our situations are complicated), should feel when they walk through the church doors anywhere in this world. That’s how every new kid to your small group should feel.
We’ve got work to do. Who’s with me?

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Tom Shefchunas

Tom is the North Point Ministries Multi-Campus Director of Transit (Middle School). Tom’s passion involves working with campus directors and their teams, as well as recruiting and developing the hundreds of volunteer small group leaders it takes to pull off Transit at the five churches of North Point Ministries. He is the co-founder of Uthmin.net, a place for middle school ministers to gather. Tom also co-wrote Lead Small with Reggie Joiner, a resource for children and student small group leaders. Tom and his wife Julie live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children, Mac, Joey and Cooper.

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