Student ministry is the calling of a lifetime. Through ups and downs, thick and thin, every day I thank God for His calling on my life to student ministry. This past weekend, after 9 years in student ministry, I experienced God descend upon students in a great way than every before. This causes me to sit back and reflect on the grand scheme of life and purpose and calling…and rejoice in it.
DiscipleNow weekends are familiar to almost every youth pastor. These are almost always one of the biggest events on a youth group’s calendar. It takes planning, time, resources, and people…lots of all! By the time DNow roles around, a youth pastor can only pray that God blesses the efforts put forth.
This past weekend was our DNow at FBC O’Fallon. We were blessed to have David Nasser be our DNow speaker. All of the working parts of DNow seemed to come together. …And God showed up. On Friday night we had around 100 students respond to The Call…to trust in Jesus Christ for salvation or to recommit their lives to Him. On Saturday night nearly every student present boldly committed to follow Christ as disciples. Small group times were packed full of in-depth Bible study and connecting with one another. The entire weekend was bathed in the presence and power of God. Furthermore, we have launched a 40 day challenge that will take us deeper and wider with God than every before.
On this Monday morning as I sit in my office debriefing from the spiritual awakening that is taking place I am simply in awe. I am in awe of our great God. I am in awe of my calling to student ministry and to a specific group of students here at FBCO that I am in love with. I am counting my blessings and shouting to God with praise. Life is God’s gift. His plan for each of our lives is His blessing. Living for and through and with God is what I (and you) have been created for. Drink deep, plunge in, fully commit to Him.
On the brink of DNow (Disciple Now Weekend) at First Baptist O’Fallon, I cannot help but reflect on my journey in life and student ministry. Beginning in ministry at my home church when I was only 18 years old, I was more of a greenie than words can express. Thankful for two amazing student ministers that I had strong relationships with while I myself was a student, I did at least have somewhat of an idea of some of the things that were suppose to happen in student ministry. Sunday School-check. Weekly “youth group”-check. A calendar of events and activities-check. It did not take me long to master the busyness of student ministry.
Nearly 9 years into student ministry, I am awed (and astonished) at how the Lord has matured me. Thankful for a very early start in ministry, I am also thankful for the pastors, fellow student ministers, the pursuit of education, my personal walk with the Lord, and lots and lots…and lots of reading that has matured me personally, in my family, and ministerially. In student ministry, God has brought be from a place of busyness for the sake of busyness to a place of being purpose-fully focused on Jesus Christ in every aspect of ministry.
But one thing I am certain of: I am a work in progress. The moment I am awed at God’s work in my life and ministry, I am quickly reminded of the work the Lord has left to do. This drives me to bask in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ and fall to my knees and cry holy!
DNow, the biggest event on our student ministry calendar is two days away. Right now, I stop and thank the Lord for His abundant blessing. I thank the Lord for my personal salvation and relationship with Him. I thank the Lord for my beautiful wife and amazing daughter. I thank God for my call to ministry. I thank God for the opportunity to know students, relate to students, do life with students, and minister to students and their families. I cannot thank of a greater life to live than the one the Lord has bestowed upon me. I say this with the humblest of hearts in hope that God finds me living faithfully for Him in every aspect of my existence.
The 3 days of DNow will be packed full, but all for the purpose of CONNECTING students to God and each other, equipping students to FOLLOW God as disciples, and building students up to SERVE God with their lives.