Monday, October 27, 2014

~The One About Student Ministry~

Recently, at the beginning of the fall, I jumped on board to help lead with the other student leaders at church, specifically the high-school girls, on Wednesday nights. But, little did I know this journey had a huge purpose. I never would of imagined how God was going to move in our my heart.

During the last couple months I have stepped completely out of my comfort Christianity zone. I say that because I have always been comfortable just leading women my age or in their early twenties; encouraging them, loving on them, pouring into them, and discipling those new women in the faith, but student ministry was a bit of a uncomfortable place in the church for me because well does one relate? I have forgotten how it was to be where they are now...or maybe it was because I remember my life at their age and its a place I wasn't sure I honestly wanted to revisit.

Since coming on board it has been absolutely one of the most rewarding opportunities ever for me in my walk so far, BUT it also has been one of the most challenging and faith testing times that I have ever experienced. God has stretched my faith in more ways that I could of imagined each week, shaken up my spirit, healed parts of my heart that have never healed, and has rebroken places in my heart that healed wrong to begin with. He has also revealed to me areas in my life that still needs purifying and sanctifying and areas of my heart that had these huge walls up that needed to be wrecked and completely taken down.

In the last couple weeks I have told several people that if you want your faith rocked and shaken up, step out and become a student leader at your church, but honestly now come to think of it...just step out of your comfort Christianity and help lead, disciple and teach a group of people His Word that other wise you wouldn't of.

Because ultimately the teacher....always becomes the student.

I have learned SO MUCH over the course of this fall semester so far, and not just because of the amount of studying and lesson planning that we have all put into it, although that is HUGE, but because God ultimately had a purpose, and I am incredibly thankful to the Lord for the purpose. I am also so very grateful for the dear friend who kept pursing me to help her lead and to be apart of this amazing ministry and for the Holy Spirit who kept poking and prodding my heart and would not stop until I said, "Yes Lord!" I now have an absolutely special place in my heart for each and every girl in our group on Wednesday nights. For each awesome win on the drill team. For each success on that test that they were so worried about. For every soccer practice they had to run late to. For their faces that light up when they talk about their chorus team and the high note they have been working on that they hit just right. For the friends and family who we never see, but hear about who they love with all their hearts. For each burden they carry daily. For each hard trial they face. For every rejection they have to endure. For the obstacles they are going through. For those who doubt and question, and still in need of His precious gift of salvation, and for every praise and prayer request that they so willingly want to lift up each week. Yes. There is such a tender and special place set aside just for them in my heart because I see that 15 year old high-school me in them and I so desperately want them to know God's love, mercy and grace in such a real and tangible way...

and I know the other leaders feel absolutely the exact same way too. 

So I thank each of them, leaders too, because they have no idea how instrumental they are being just by their presence each week in my life. We think that we are being used by God in the students lives to make a difference, to disciple, and pour into them His truth, but WOW how God is using them to do just the exact same thing in my life.

Although, this journey is just getting started and each week me and some of the other leaders are finding ourselves at times like we are just so unequipped to lead and doubting our capabilities I am learning this week specifically to just be encouraged that we are merely just the vessels. The seed planters. The obedient hearts and the willing servants who said, "Yes Lord!" to the calling to lead these precious souls. What an honor it is to help pour into, disciple, mentor and teach this generation that is rising up in the ways of the Lord, and in turn also raising up men and women with a passion and a purpose and after His heart in each of us leaders.

So on ending thoughts with this blog post I just want to encourage you, whoever is reading this today, to step out of your comfort Christianity zone.

Serve someone, bless someone, lead someone, teach someone, share with someone, engage someone, disciple someone, pray with someone, love someone...and ultimately just be someone who says,"Yes Lord!",..and watch Him move in ways you would have never imagined.

Blessings <3

Monday, October 13, 2014

What's all this debate Church?!?

(This post is written just as much for me to listen and read as any other follower of Christ.)

I just got to share a little something that has been on my heart the past week or two in light of all that is going on with the same sex marriage debates, and some other hot topics in the current media. What I cant seem to understand is how are we gonna sit up in our homes that are filled with gossip, debauchery, pornography, wives not submitting to their husbands, husbands disrespecting their wives, lust, hate, divided families, divorce and adultery and then we going to try and stand up and tell the homosexuals to sit down!?! I know what the Bible is are the other things I just listed.

"You hypocrite! First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."- Matt 7:5 

I mean seriously? Who are we?!! We have not arrived, and we are not the standard. Jesus is.

Christ tells us in His sermon on the mount given in the book of Matthew that if we even lust after another then we have committed adultery in our hearts, and if we are even angry with our brother we are liable for judgment. Matt 5-7

We are out here running around like dagum Pharisees and picketing for pro-life causes, and holding up all these signs, and we have mothers sitting at home carrying around the guilt and pain of their past mistakes. Where are all the Christians embracing those women who walk out of the abortion clinics after emptying their wombs? Instead of us wrapping our arms around them our hands are too busy tied up trying to fight it and call out their sin. Instead of the first to be in line to adopt the millions of children waiting for a family we are posting on social media our rights and defenses and using platforms to promote morals on the matter when we are not even doing anything to help, embrace or show the love of Christ.

Just like we are all out here picketing against same sex marriages and having these "Support to keep Amendment 1" signs boldly placed front and center in our yards, but walk up inside of our homes and see they are far from perfect. Our marriages are not Christ centered. Sometimes Jesus is no where to be found except for on Sundays.

Non-Christians are probably sitting up in their homes flabbergasted, wondering who really is this God WE say we love and claim as Lord and Savior.

I think we have been trying so hard to be so ethically right, so morally and politically correct in the streets, on social media, and in our communities and towns that we will go to the extreme to fight a cause and take a stand of defense and not be what Christ ultimately has called us to be. To be love. To be Jesus and to share His precious Gospel message to those who are perishing.

The bible says, "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." 1 Corin 13:2

Let me be clear, I am not saying that we should just sit back and let matters fall where they may in our government. Let us be walked all over, drenched and then hung out to dry, or that we should never take a stand against injustice. I am simply saying we should not be so quick to call out sin in others, and to be so quick to stand up when we are the first ones that need to just go ahead and sit right back down and to study to shew thyself approved. 2Tim 2:15

I got lots more to say on so many issues, but I am not the standard either. Only Jesus is, so I will challenge all of us, myself included, to search and examine our hearts, and to allow God to truly search and examine our hearts as well, so we will not be so quick to cast that first stone. 

Let us humble ourselves....for we all need His grace.

 I also want to add and make clear as well that we ARE to show others their sin and where they have fallen short because scripture clearly tells us to, but we must show them how they have failed God's moral law with a purpose for them to see their need for forgivess and to lead them into a relationship with Christ for the unsaved. For the born again it should be our purpose to point out their sin in order for them to approach the throne of grace in confidence and with humility at the same time in order for them to seek His forgiveness and receive restoration. Ultimately though, we should do it all with LOVE not out of pride, arrogance or with a self righteousness spirit or attitide. So easy to get caught up with self when we see the sufferings of our world and the broken and evilness, and to forget we were just as in desperate need of saving and forgiveness, and yet still need it. ♡