The Difference Between Attending and Attaching

Well, I feel safe saying that I feel like I have run a marathon the past week and a half.

This was my office last week.

Now, before you get any ideas that I may have been relaxing in the Caribbean and wondering why I feel as though I’ve run a marathon after getting such sweet R&R, that is really a picture of Galveston, Texas. Yes, many filters were used in the making of that photo. (And by many I mean one.) Galveston, to put it lightly, is not very easy on the eyes. To be fair, however, the brown sand is pretty accurate. I was actually in Galveston for Beach Week with the student ministry at my church. That’s right! After taking a year off of traveling for all things summer trips, I decided I really missed hanging with the students for a solid week, so I signed myself up to be a leader.

And I was placed with the middle school girls.

Lord bless them. And bless any of you that are currently raising middle school girls.

Let’s be honest, they became an anomoly to me and I to them. I loved my time with them, but I learned a lot about that age. (Side note: I spend the majority of my time with high school girls, hence the middle school lessons.)

1. They do not understand sarcasm. They are very literal.

2. They are allergic to cleaning up after themselves. Grin. (I was happy to serve them by washing their dishes, and other unmentionable service.)

3. They all want or own iPhones, have facebook, tweet and thrive on Instagram. I learned how thankful I was that I did not have any of those distractions at that age. Lord, help us.

4. They like to have dance parties when no one is watching.

5. The majority at that age still think boys are gross. I think the major shift happens their freshman year. (I pray they stay that way for a long time. Laughing.)

6. They all want a best friend that they can cling to.

7. They’re growing (physically) so fast, so they tend to be clumsy. It’s kind of endearing. And cute. Just like them.

When it came to the end of the week, I realized I had lost my middle school mojo. Bless my heart. Any and all tips on how to connect with middle school girls are appreciated. Smile. (I know, I say that too much.)

Anyway, we had such a fun week, minus the 12 jelly fish stings that happened the first day. Ouch. I now plan on adding jelly fish sting nurse to my resume. Vinegar and meat tenderizer is where it’s at, y’all.

This is me and Debra. Deb is our youth pastor’s wife. (Just a side note: Deb and I met years ago on the world wide web of blogging. Who knew that five years later we’d be serving together at the same church. Jesus is really so fun when He weaves lives and hearts together.) We bonded over a late night Walmart run that may or may not have included a drive through Whataburger. Only in Texas. No camp is legit until you have to go to Walmart for water and toilet paper towards the midnight hour. Don’t judge our hair in this picture. It’s what we call aunatural. Also, we were getting ready to head home at this point. Can you say tired? I loved serving alongside her this week. She and Ernest, our student pastor, do a wonderful job of shepherding our students at Bayou City Fellowship.

It’s really fun to go from serving with middle school girls all week long, to attending a woman’s ministry event. Two completely different things, but both warm my heart. Last night our church hosted an evening with our dear sweet Beth, and we had a really special visitor, Christine Caine, that also shared a bit of her story and the gospel presentation if you’ve ever heard one. We are blessed! And we welcomed many new faces into the Kingdom. So, when I say I feel like I’ve run a marathon, what I’m trying to say is that I am spent and exhausted in the best way possible. I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thanks to the very strong Word last night, I realized that’s the difference between just attending church and being attached to the church. If we are believers a part of a church, we need to do more than just attend, we need to attach ourselves and serve. Work hard for the Kingdom! Being connected is more than just attending. Being connected means you attach yourselves to the community God has placed you in. Isn’t that a good Word? So I would encourage you, if you’re just attending your church, and have been for the past ten years, nows the time to move! To work! Don’t miss out on the blessing of serving and pouring out. I have no doubt you’ll be blessed beyond measure.

Even if it means attaching yourself to a group of middle school girls. Yes and amen. Our young folks need us attaching to the church! Let’s lead by example!

She may be tiny, but she is mighty in the Lord, that sweet Beth. Thankful for her example of pouring out and attaching herself to the church. I’m better for it, and I’m sure you are, too.

A marathon. It’s the difference between attending and attaching. And it’s so good.


48 Responses to “The Difference Between Attending and Attaching”

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  1. 1

    Amen sister! Too ALL that stuff you wrote. YES to serving and attaching to local community Church… AND a HUGE yes to leading youth. Please y’all, invest in Middle School and High School girls, they need us! Who better to teach and guide them than us? Women in Christ who survived it!
    Great post Lou Lou…you are the BEST.

    aka @the4leegirls

  2. 2
    Katie says:

    I know how you feel! I helped with a youth conference with my church a couple weeks ago. After the three days I was physically spent but spiritually my cup was overflowing by seeing God move in their young lives.

    Just found this blog a few days ago and love it! Thanks!

    • 2.1
      Alisha says:

      Isn’t this blog the best? I’m pretty new here too, but I can guarantee you’ll fall in love with this community so fast your head will spin! Welcome Siesta πŸ˜€

  3. 3
    Mary G. says:

    Hi Lindsee,
    This last week I was greeted by a very indignant co-worker saying where have you been?! All in fun I promise. Which was the question I was ready to ask you and here you are! Grin. I traveled to South Dakota to see Beth and was so incredibly blessed. God is good. The only time I spent with middle schoolers were the ones I was caring for with cystic fibrosis. Once they realized I was real and my care for them was genuine they were my best buddies. The weeks they were in the hospital for a tune up, they followed me around like puppies IV pole in tow. Oh how they stole my heart. Don’t ever apologize for asking for tips on things. You are teachable and it’s a beautiful and admirable quality. You are loved here Miss Lindsee, promise me you’ll never forget. God Bless.

  4. 4
    Alisha says:

    Hey Lindsee!

    Just thought I’d take a sec and thank you for hanging in there and ministering to us high school (and middle school) girls. Far too frequently people (even in the Christian community) will write us off as being a “typical high schooler” and think that we don’t really have a real relationship with God or devotion for Him. Granted, there are definitely some “typical” teenagers out there, I just can speak for myself and several other of my teenaged friends and say that that is not always the case! God is definitely moving in my generation (I’m 18), praise Him, but we still need all of your prayers as the temptations of this world are extremely difficult to deal with! Thanks again and God bless!

    P.S. I’m fairly new here, but I have fallen head over heals in love with Siestaville! πŸ˜€

    • 4.1
      Lindsee says:

      Allsha! We gladly welcome and receive you here! In fact, we need you young things in this community. Y’all make my heart skip a beat faster! Keep on pressing in, girl. You are loved!

  5. 5
    Elaine says:

    Elaine, Littleton, CO

    Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere hand breath; the span of my years is nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.
    Psalm 39:4,5 (NIV)

  6. 6
    Tara G. says:

    My favorite age when I taught was middle school….they’re a trip! πŸ™‚

    Attaching costs a lot, and I think that keeps many from doing so. They’re lonely…if they’d only realize that when they give themselves up, they gain so much more.

  7. 7
    Donna says:

    I am currently raising a middle school girl and appreciated your affirmation that it is challenging and weird and Lord bless me!!!!
    got a good laugh out of this post, thank you!

  8. 8
    Deborah Mott says:

    “Fun a marathon”…great typo and so appropriate for your blog… Thanks again. Joy in the journey, so to speak…fun run…on the long run…haha. Glad for “normal”. Got email from friend who has a daughter that was a leader at a “fun Christian camp” this summer and the number of preteens and teens that came for help b/c of sexual abuse in past was staggering. Was encouraged to share my testimony and be bold about it. It is hard but there is an ATTACHMENT that is so JESUS when we are willing to be vulnerable in our stories…our stories point to CHRIST’s STORY. Rev 12:11…

    Your “Fun” when meant Run…reminded me of Beth’s Scared Secrets when she meant Sacred Secrets….how interesting. Just bought study yesterday and planning on leading a group.
    Thanks for sharing joy in serving. Your writing is a joy to read…

  9. 9

    I love reading your posts! (And this land locked mid-westerner thinks Galveston is pretty.) πŸ™‚

  10. 10
    Ginger Gwartney says:

    Wow–I am not sure what attached/or attending means???I read the blog, but I am confused about the photo. _People are in worship, but how do we know if these folks are only attending or are attached? It is really a difficult thing to figure out, because I attend an old (125 yrs.) old church, in which many people appear to “only” be attending, not attached or worshipping, but how in the heck would I know? One of the most Godly persons that i have ever met, attends the church I am writing about–she is very attached, but if I was to be a person off the street, coming into the service, I would not know this fact. It appears that we are simply “attending”. This appearance, of attendance, —- not visible involvement, is something that has been bothering me for a very long time. The congregation I attend regularly does not appear to be involved-but I don’t know everyone. How is it that, if, I think/feel/believe/know that worship is occurring, or if don’t think/feel/know/believe worship is occurring——–how am I supposed to know? I realize the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth, but it still distresses me to see a photo a folks-in a worship service, that seem to have no holiness or involvement. I’m sorry Lindsee. I do not want to be a bother. I just really do not get it.
    God Bless you and God Bless this wonderful ministry.

    • 10.1
      Lindsee says:

      Hey Ginger! I don’t think it’s that we look to see who is serving and who is not, I think it’s that we take a good, honest look at ourselves and do simply what the Lord has us each of us to do individually. A church may be full of church goers, but with a little population that serves. The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few! You’re not a bother! Just a challenge to attach yourself to a church (by serving and getting more involved, filling a need) than just attending. I hope that makes sense. Blessings!

  11. 11
    Amber says:

    As a mother of 3 girls and step-mother to one, ages 15, 13, 11, and 4, I can tell you that your insights are spot on , Ms. Lindsee! Each one brought an actual visual of my girls. Laugh! I have really been thinking a lot lately about how this generation of young ladies really need Christian women supporting them. Thank you for all you do! Thank you for the great post; am I hearing a call for this season of MY life this morning?!?!

  12. 12
    Linda says:

    we are so thankful for your ministry in our world

  13. 13
    Merle NM says:

    He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
    With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.
    Psalms 91: 15-16 KJV

  14. 14
    Ruth Cherry says:

    Ruth Cherry, Royse City, Texas

    “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”

    1 John 4:12 NIV

  15. 15
    Suzy E. says:

    A great word – which you did a great job of conveying, even in your tired-ness!

    Question: Is Bayou City Fellowship in a new building? That doesn’t look like what I remember…..although it’s been a couple of years since I was there.

    (Sorry for the stupid, not-so-spiritual question after your wonderful blog.)

    • 15.1
      Lindsee says:

      Suzy, you’re not the only one that has asked, so no worries! But no, not a new building. A different church in the area hosted our ladies. It was very generous of them!

  16. 16
    Suey C says:

    Lindsee, thanks cool post.
    Isaiah 40:31 They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

  17. 17

    So sweet! I love working with the youth, but God keeps drawing me more to the adults. Nothing more humbling than teaching a group of people anywhere from 5-20 years older than you! I have found that attaching can really be a blessing for sure!

  18. 18
    Becky says:

    Westerville, OH

    “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.”
    Ps. 51:10 AMP

  19. 19
    Rose Rowe says:

    Attending vs attaching. Wow so timely for me. We could be sitting over coffee hashing out my last three months. Thank you for the honest challenge. This was a needed confirmation.

  20. 20
    christina says:

    I am currently learning that difference between attending and attaching. Health problems disrupting my ability even to attend worship regularly (at a time when we were in church transition to begin with) made me as hungry for a church that was a real church home as I’ve ever been. That is beginning to happen now, slowly because the health problems persist, and I’m so grateful.

    May the Lord restore your strength and spirit quickly, Lindsee. Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone to serve a different age group and for making the most of the freedom singleness brings for Kingdom service. May the Lord bring you just the right like-hearted husband at just the right time, if that’s in His best, most loving plan for you.

    Beautiful worship space in that last photo, BTW.)

    • 20.1
      Lindsee says:

      Oh Sister. I am so sorry that health problems are keeping you away. Praying right now that the Lord would bring healing so that you can attach yourself to your new community quickly! Blessings!

  21. 21
    Linda Jewell says:

    Linda Jewell
    Sedona, AZ

    Psalm 4:8 NIV
    I will lie down and sleep in peace,
    for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

  22. 22
    Chloe Noel says:

    Connecting with Middle Schoolers:
    Hi! 26 year old school teacher, here! Last year I taught at a small private school. I taught 4th grade, but I also taught Social Studies and Art to middle school. I have a definite heart for middle school-aged kids.
    Here’s my best advice for connecting with them- find out what their interests are. I usually focus on music, books, movies, and tv. Find out what they like and talk to them about it. All of sudden, you are cool and they see themselves as special to you because y’all like the same things. I still have a friendship with a middle school girl I taught 3 years ago just because I told her she should read the Hunger Games book series. We had that one link in common, and I am able to reach her and minister to her- even 3 years later- because of that. Actually listen to them and remember what they say, because you better believe they will remember every last word you say to them. You also have to remember just how small their world is. They can’t drive and they are still completely dependent on adults- think how frustrating that must be to them at times!
    A warning, though- don’t become too overly friendly with them. You- and they- need to remember who is in charge. They are still young, and they still need boundaries. This presents a fine line and a balance that must be found, but it is so worth all of the trouble when you make a connection with a kid you never thought you could reach.
    I hope you will enjoy your middle school kids as much as I have! It really is a fun age!

  23. 23
    Melissa Ford says:

    Great post! Thank you for the insight into middle school girls. You have motivated me in several ways.

  24. 24
    Becky says:

    1Peter 5:6 NIV

    Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty
    hand that he may lift you up in due time.

  25. 25
    Becca says:

    My husband is a student pastor & we just had our back-to-school kickoff event last night. When I saw the percentage of new middle schoolers I was both thrilled… and also might have had a bit of an anxiety attack πŸ˜‰
    Oh great God, give us rest! πŸ˜€

  26. 26
    Tara says:

    Tara, Eustis
    Matthew 6:34
    Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. NIV

  27. 27
    Erika says:

    Erika from McKinney, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 NIV

  28. 28
    Hannah McGee says:

    Hannah from Mt. Holly, NC

    Psalm 51:10 (Amplified)–“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.”

    Thanks Lindsee!

  29. 29
    Anne Watson says:

    Anne, Frisco TX: Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11

  30. 30
    Pamela Roberts says:

    Pam Hamilton, OH

    And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Ps. 1:3 (KJV)

  31. 31
    Gennie, Solon Springs says:

    “Teach me Your way, O Lord;
    I will walk in Your truth;
    Unite my heart to fear your name.”

    Psm 86:11 NKJ

  32. 32
    Kimmygirl says:

    β€œThe secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

    Deut. 29:29

  33. 33
    Lisa D. says:

    This post made me smile! πŸ™‚ I am the mother of a middle school girl, in her last year of middle school actually, and we have had a wonderful ride together! Praise God, our relationship has not suffered through middle school, but has continued to grow closer and I pray it continues that way. On behalf of (and probably in addition to)the moms of those girls you led, I would like to THANK YOU!! One thing I have learned is that during this age, the girls seem to seek truth from other adults who are pouring into their lives, in addition to us as their parents. I like to think of it as a “layering on….” If we are all speaking the truth to them and praying Jesus over them, then what we say just “layers up” in their lives!

    Many blessings to you!

  34. 34
    N. Jcee says:

    What a lovely ocean view! an awesome life y give to the young and to the ministry of Christ Jesus. I know the teens fell all in love with your precious vibrant spirit. By the way, such a beautiful church, too. God’s favor & peace remain upon you all.
    Praying God’s continued divine will over your young life & the blessing of a great week-end. You deserve it!

  35. 35
    Erin says:

    Erin, Cheyenne – 1 Thessalonians 5:18(KJV)

    In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

  36. 36
    Debbie says:

    I understand exactly what you’re saying. As I was reading what you had to say, I began thinking about all the different areas I’ve volunteered in at church , and ot only was. I surprised, but it made me feel good and brought a smile to my face. Thanks! Lately I feel as though I’ m not doing enough, slacking, but I’m not as young and energic! Started to do a few things again! Lv gd bls

  37. 37
    Sandy Corish says:

    Sandy from Vienna, VA
    Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (Amplified)

  38. 38
    Maureen Chabot says:

    Middle school girls…hmmmmm…I can’t relate!! I happened to be in love with the very young…as in, babes in arms…and the very old. Both of which is where God has gifted me. However, I was challenged a couple of years ago to lead a group on a missions trip to a campus filled with…YIKES…college students!!!! That was, beyond any stretch of the imagination, a huge challenge for me! But God!!!!! He has the craziest sense of humor and knowing my heart the way he does…used that time to grow this heart that I imagined could only contain ministry to the VY and VO…and I actually fell in love with the student leaders and students in general. Now, having said that, I’m still very much attached to my VY & VO audience, but have since led another team to that same campus and got to experience the joy that the Lord flooded into the hearts of the team. Just last week another team of young high school students were led on a trip to that same campus. Sadly, I was not called to lead it, but am looking forward to hearing all about it!!

    By the way Lindsee…the picture that I gazed upon was not of two young women who “ran the marathon” but, finished well!! Imagine how Jesus must have looked after such times:o)

  39. 39

    You are a blessing! I have an 8th grader … so I understand! She keeps us constantly laughing … and actually, I think it is her sweet laughter that keeps us laughing! Hanging onto this year … next year, I’ll have two high-schoolers.

  40. 40
    Teresa Tabb says:

    I would love a secret surprise!!

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