I had the opportunity to go to Unleashed a few weeks back. It’s a one day conference put on by Perry Noble and the New Spring Church staff. There was a lot of great things that were discussed. I want to spend a few posts looking at some of the points that impacted me the most.
Archives For Devotion
God gives leaders gifts and talents that fit the mission to which someone is called.
This is a paraphrased quote I came across while reading Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. It seems that we always forget that God made us perfectly in the way that He wants to use us. While growing up, we would play war in the back yard. It seemed like everyone wanted to be the top dog, top brass. Everyone always wanted to call the shots as the General. The problem with that, was that with everyone as a General, there was no one left to fight the war. As adults we tend to do the same things. We usually fix our eyes on running a company, or on some lofty position that we were not designed for. This is evident in our culture…especially if you watch American Idol. Everyone wants to be able to sing…everyone wants to be a celebrity. The sad /good (depending on your point of view) news is that not everyone should sing, not everyone should run a company, and not everyone should be a General.
Been reading ‘Spiritual Leadership’ by J. Oswald Sanders. Chapter 7 proposes an interesting dilema. The author states,
“When God call us, we cannot refuse from a sense of inadequacy.”. He further states “Let us not pass the buck of leadership because we think ourselves incapable”.
2012…four numbers that can be scary…that’s if you believe the Hollywood type of hype associated with it. While most of us choose to focus on the immediate future…tomorrow, this week, and if were lucky maybe even next month, I must force myself to plan ahead…why?
Student ministry is not a ‘job’, it’s a calling. Although that may sound cliché, it is the truth. In order to successfully plan two things must exist:
1. You must be willing to be led by the Holy Spirit, and
2. You must be willing to write in pencil (so that you can erase ‘your’ plan several times).
As humans, it seems like when we get ideas, we tend to hold on to them with a fierce grip. It could be as simple as a paint color for a room, name of a pet or in my case a particular event for students. I think God has fun with planners….especially those who plan REALLY early.
I put together a comprehensive plan for the Southbrook Student Ministry a few months back. That’s right…a few months back. Seemed odd, but as I wrote out ideas, met with our adult leaders and have continued to pray trough some of the things we are doing….it seems that God is really shaping our 2012 ministry experience. I’m excited…it seems that God is going to continue to do some really cool things at Southbrook Church. While most of the plans for 2012 for the students have been written, I have a tub full of erasers ready to make to modifications.
Parents, Southbrookies, and blog visitors, just know that whether you are here or somewhere else, God wants to do an amazing work in your life. Does He always give us a full plan?…no not really. Does He always tell us exactly what we are to do next?…no not really. We can be paralyzed not knowing exactly what He wants, or we can start moving and let Him guide us. My prayer for 2012 is that He would not only do an amazing work in the lives of the students, but would do an amazing work in the lives of all those who are willing to submit their plans, thoughts, and lives to Him (see James 4:10). Are we willing to submit our everything to Him?
Luke 12:34 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Most of us have heard this before…perhaps some of us have even pondered the application of this to great lengths. For students their ability to grasp this and understand that their desires often times translates into actions is a huge thing. For instance, during the fall, families are busy with school, sports and several other things. Most of us have seen and experienced just how busy life gets during this time of year. It seems everything ramps up around September.
A fascinating event happens during this time of year as well. It seems that during this time of year church attendance goes up as well. Perhaps new families are check the church out or perhaps people seem to think that church is part of the transition between summer and fall. In any event parents often tell me how important it is for their child to grow in Christ and how deeply they want their child to desire the things of the Lord. Obviously as a parent I could not agree more. But something happens…something changes. For you see as quickly as the mass of people enter into a ministry they soon make their exit…albeit short lived until the Holiday season. Why is this? How can we get too busy for Christ?
I am sure we can justify it in several ways…but let me paint a scenario as it relates to student ministry. As parents we tend to want the ‘best’ for our kids. We want the best education so that they can get into the best schools so that they can have the best jobs. There is nothing wrong with this, but I think sometimes as a parent I forget to include God in the direction/planning of my child’s life. There I said it…I get it mixed up sometimes. I wonder if my desires for my child to ‘be’ a certain way or be in a certain ‘program’ override what God has called them to do. How am I, as a parent, suppose to determine what the best thing for my child is? There are so many questions concerning the future of our children…and it can confuse us. I guess I’ve been on a ‘keep things simple kick’. As a parent I am called to raise my children in a home that honors God. I am supposed to exhibit an attitude of reliance upon God. Why? Does that mean there can be times when I don’t ‘know’ something? Yes. In fact for me they seem to be happening more often.
God doesn’t want my attempt at the ‘best’. He doesn’t want yours either. He wants our time. He wants our undivided attention. Why? Because He has chosen to use people like us to carry out His will. Does He need us?…no. Does the fact you or I serve Him make God better? … again no. God just is. He can be no more or no less.
So back the scripture at hand. Where does our time go? Does it go to chasing things that in view of eternity don’t matter? Will pushing my child to be something God has not called them to be, accomplish His will? How do we as parents know what to do? Well I believe that time and time again I found the answer to begin with you guessed it ‘time’. What do you mean? Time…you know by spending time listening to the Spirit. By spending time in prayer. By spending time reflecting on what God has called you as a parent, or a student, and a follower of Christ to do. Perhaps our greatest treasure is time with our Father…and our hearts should have a desire to commune with Him. It’s a simple concept. I can allow the world to own my calendar by chasing trivial things, or I can spend time with God knowing that everything I do has eternal significance.