I am letting you all know my heart is full of all kinds of feelings right now, all good and exciting, and at the same time humbling and awe-inspiring.
I am almost speechless as I sit here and try to write this email. I’m speechless cause there’s so much to say, so much in my heart that I believe God is speaking, doing, revealing, stirring…I am going literally crazy!!!
I know it might come as a surprise that I would be at a loss for words, but I’ll try to make it up to you as i put my thoughts down in this email.
God at work at church in the youth and the worship team and in people’s lives altogether is so beautiful. And i am so thankful that i can truly confess that it’s truly been Him and Him alone doing this. I am so thankful that I can truly confess that it is Him doing all of this work, and feel so blessed and so humbled that He is so kind as to invite us, share with us what he is doing and allow us to be a part of it. To know that in and of ourselves we cannot make anything happen, come up with great ideas or device some great kind of program that will impact, change and touch the lives of the people we have been called to serve. i am so glad that we have no power at all whatsoever. That we are worthless without His power.
You have heard me say this over and over again and I truly stand by it 100%. We cannot do anything apart from Him. It s only Him that will draw all men to him. It is him who produces in us to will and to do. It is His spirit that leads us, speaks to us, reminds us, prompt us and communicates with us our Father’s heart.
So, with all that said, I am so thankful to be able to share a few things that are happening as praise and a testimony to how he’s moving and as an ENCOURAGEMENT TO KEEP LIVING AND SERVING AND LOVING PEOPLE THIS WAY as Spider Lake Church.
The last few weeks I have been anxious on Wednesday nights as I think and pray about youth group and the kids and the night and the worship and the message and everything else that goes on there. I confess that the peace and rest i had been experiencing in the knowing that i cannot and will never be able to control what the kids think, how they feel, whether they like me or us, what we are doing, and letting go of all that pressure and just enjoying the ride with God and His work had left me a little bit, and i began to feel a little bit of the “performing pressure”. The pressure to say the right things, do the “right things”, crack down on worship and prayer and bible study and raise the expectations on these kids to behave better, to pay better attention, to want God as much as i do, and to begin to see things they way i see them.
All these things that only bring stress, anxiety and the temptation to control, to take over, to try to manipulate things. Manipulate the worship times, the prayers, the lessons, etc.
Wow, how sickening does that sound to me? Very. Yet it is always a temptation.
And last night, or yesterday, I was glad God was so kind to remind me of this situation and helped me be at peace.
It is crazy, though, how easy we can fall into that “performance” temptation.
So, I will share with you what has been transpiring with our High Schoolers and then a couple amazing things that happened last night as well.
I have had only three students the last couple weeks, but it has been good. They’ve been tired and not super ‘hyped” to be there necessarily, and not because of anything else but the tiredness and the craziness of everything they have going on. But even in the midst of that “resistance” or “apathy” we have had some really good discussions about our beliefs, what we believe, why we believe it, the purpose of our existence and what truly matters in life.
It’s an exploration that I believe is necessary so that we can truly know what we believe and why we believe it. And all of this so that we truly have a strong foundation and an anchor in our souls.
Yesterday it was a night of honesty again, where a couple of students, based on what we were exploring, asked and shared some things that brought us closer to truth about God and who He is and how He sees us and how He wants to relate to us.
Next few times I believe We will beginning to truly look at the basics of Christian life or the gospel, our core beliefs and then as we go through them the idea is to arrive at a conclusion every time of whether we’re going to believe it and embrace it, all with the purpose of strengthening and building this foundation.
But It is also SOOOOO refreshing to see Danielle with her class when i come out and to see how engaged those kids are and how good they seem to be responding and participating. I loved hearing my daughter praying to close and hearing her prayer. Thanks Danielle for investing in those kids. It is worth it!
And then to hear what happened in Leah’s group. I’ll keep it short but basically as they were going through their lesson some of them said, “wait, i had never heard this, or understood this, but, this needs a response” I know i am paraphrasing it, but i think it is basically what this kid said, and so Leah gave them the option to ask more questions and to respond if they wanted to. And what was the response needed? To ask Jesus into their hearts and give them over to Him. And so 4 of them did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, 4 young kids gave their hearts over to Jesus, and the best part is that they did it fully knowing what they were doing, and it was their decision based on the truth they had heard! This gives me the chills and brings tears to my eyes. It sounds like the new testament church and the Holy Spirit at work.
It was Him convicting them, leading them, drawing them near to Him. This is what we are praying for. This is what our hearts cry for. His Spirit drawing all men and women to Him.
So, as of last night, there are 4 newborn brothers and sisters in our youth group!!!
How beautiful and how sweet. As i remember singing “Amazing grace” last night i can’t help but think that God was preparing this all along.
And after all, to be able to just have so much fun with a game of charades and the “mannequin challenge”…THANKS ANGIE!
The kids love the games!!! AND SO DO I! We need them. They want them. They ask me every night.
And to know that the kids feel loved and at home at IGNITE makes me all the more passionate about just letting God and letting go of all expectations.
It is not easy, but please, I ask you, to help me pray that we will continually be reminded to yield to Him, to get out of His way and to just bow our knees everyday in complete surrender and allow him full say and do in our youth group and church as well.
So, let us not give up loving and being there for these kids.
And for that matter, let us not give up loving and living our lives so that they truly reflect the character of our Father and Jesus as we let Him for it in our hearts!
Have a blessed day!