I’ve been asked by three different people in the past two weeks what advice I have for someone who is tasked with starting a student ministry from scratch. It’s a frustrating, intimidating job. My advice is this:
Pick a school district and make it your mission field. If you don’t already have any students “built in” to your ministry, then you’ve got to go reach some. Don’t go in and beat people with your Bible, but just have lunch in the cafeteria, show up at some football games, get involved in helping with FCA or some after-school activities.
These are words I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Last week I made a commitment to start shutting my phone off for at least an hour each evening. I have to do this to be present. I’m a Twitter junkie, even worse than Facebook or Instagram. It would be embarrassing if you knew how many times I’ve had someone standing in front of me trying to talk to me about something and I’m missing most (if not all) of what they are saying because I’m catching up on Twitter.
I was watching Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this week because I like his name, and he played this game where he had a guy out on the street and they brought random people on camera and Kimmel had to guess if they were American or if they were a “foreigner.” He tried to do this based on their appearance, their response to some comments that he made to see if they indicated that they understood english, their dress, etc. He looked for clues and based his guess off of them. He was never right.
Then, yesterday, I was reading my Bible in the afternoon and I came across a familiar verse from Romans 12:2:
A few years ago I read through the entire book of Psalms. I hit Psalm 13 and it hit back. I was in the middle of a very hard time, and I was pretty stressed. I was quickly reaching my limits and I knew it. Then I read the first verse of Psalm 13.
“Oh Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?”
I instantly connected with those words. That’s exactly how I was feeling at the time. I’d prayed and waited and prayed and waited and felt like I got nothing in return. No answers, no direction, no help, no hope.
Thousands of years ago, merchants and gypsies would travel from one marketplace to another carrying goods that they would sell for a living. The roads in those days, where there were roads, were rough. Long before the Roman road system that revolutionized long-distance travel, it was a difficult journey from one city to the next. Many of these merchants sold pottery. As they would travel from one place to another, because of the rough roads, often the pots would bang against each other. They would crack and break.
Because they didn’t want to lose out on the money they could make from selling these pots, the merchants would take wax, melt it and
In case you missed this, here’s a video that was released by the three women who had been held captive in Cleveland for almost 10 years. Watch this, especially starting at the 1:55 mark:
I heard this clip on the radio on my way to Canton this morning. At the time, I was frustrated because I was following a semi going well under the speed limit, and I knew I had a lot to do this morning and not a lot of time to do it, so I was getting angry about running behind.
I was listening to the radio on my way to an appointment this morning and I heard something that was very thought provoking. I’m a talk radio junkie, and I was listening to a talk show host talk about Independence Day and freedom. He said,
Acting in freedom means nothing. If you don’t think like you’re free, you aren’t free.
I never thought about it that way. It reminded me an experiment that we did when I was in kindergarten that has somehow stuck with me all these years.
You would think that creating everything, literally everything, in only six days would be hard work. No time for union breaks with that kind of schedule. The universe, all of the galaxies in existence, including our own. Planets. Sun. Moon. Stars. Water. Dry land. Animals. Birds. People. That’s a long to-do list for only six days. Sounds tough. Sounds exhausting, right?
Not for God. The Bible says that He created it all just by speaking it into existence. That’s the power of God. Just a word is all it takes for Him to make something out of nothing, and for it to be just right on the first try.
So why did God rest on the seventh day? If it wasn’t an exhausting process for Him, and if He is so powerful that creation was not only easy but most likely fun for Him, then why did He need to rest on that last day of the creation week?
im·pactverb \im-ˈpakt\ - to have a direct effect or impact on.
Does your life have an impact? The things you care about, the things that break your heart, the things you want to see changed…are you doing something about those things? It’s not enough to just care. If your caring doesn’t lead to action, you might as well stop caring altogether.