God has been stirring something in me for a little while now. Not sure what’s promting it…that’s not true. I know it’s the Holy Spirit of course. Looking at the circumstances around me though, it’s a combination of a lot of things. It’s time spent assessing our ministry to students and families. It’s time looking forward to potential plans for new student ministry space. It’s some personal spiritual challenges and inventory that has left me with some questions. Most of all is a growing passion to move beyond the status quo. To move away from a comfortable ministry and a comfortable life. It’s a desire to really make Christ the CENTER of my world in every way, not just in lip service. It’s a desire to call students to a life altering, every day decision to let Jesus shatter their world.
Tonight I watched a video our senior minister passed on to our ministry staff. It’s a video made by a church and it is basically an apology for some many things we, as Christians, have done wrong. Not sins of hundreds of years ago (holy wars, etc) but things so many of us do right now, every day. It’s a little longer than a typical video I’d watch on the web. It’s almost ten minutes long. But as I sat and watched I couldn’t help but be overcome by so many of the things said. So many of the things that I need forgiveness for. I haven’t blogged much…really at all…for quite some time. I’m betting not many people see this. That’s ok. I just needed a place to process.
We’re preparing to build a new student center at West Side. We want to make it obvious how much we care about students. It’s an exciting time. We want our church to be a place where students’ lives are changed. We want to create a great space for students while also being wise with our resources. At the same time, it is so easy to slip into a desire for more and cooler. To want to be proud of “our” space. I find my self searching for a balance between what will be the best space/resource to facilitate outreach and life change in students and going to far, just wanting more cool stuff to show off.
As I sit and listen to the video, I have so much I need forgiveness for. Not just building related. Whole life related. I find myself being challenged to call students to something more but knowing that the calls starts with me.
- for my lack of compassion
- for focusing so much on myself and forgetting so many others who are hurting
- for settling into comfort instead of sacrificing for others
- for americanizing the gospel from world changing new life to minor improvements made to the old life
- for making converts rather than Christ followers
- for being ashamed of the foolishness of the cross
- for not living fully surrendered but for asking others to fully surrender their lives
- for being too busy with church activities to notice the activity of God
- for attending to my own pleasures instead of the urgent needs around me
- for no longer seeking out the lost but developing programs to make myself feel better about things
- for losing my passion to worship an awesome, loving, holy God
- for failing to love like God loves
- for laziness in so many parts of my faith
God, help me not to get so caught up in “doing” ministry and getting things done that I forget that where ever you are moving is where I should be. Help me to quite thinking of it as “my” time and give it all to you. Help me to get over my fear of looking foolish (I look foolish for a living for goodness sake) so I can reach out to the people around me who may be hurting and in need of someone to love like you love. Most of all, help me to make you the center of every part of my life and help that to overflow into a passionate challenge for students to do the same.