Monday, January 28, 2008

Going to Kenya!

A few months ago, I put in an application to go on a study tour sponsored by my school and national mission group. They were only taking two people from my school, so I tried not to think about it too much or get my hopes up, and honestly, if I wasn't selected, I would be fine with that. But it was such an amazing opportunity, I had to put my name in just in case.

I found out Friday that they accepted my application, and I'm going to Kenya! I am going to make a new blog to chronicle that, and once it's up, I'll add the link here in case you're interested in hearing all the details.

Crazy. God is pretty amazing. Not just because he gives me cool stuff, but that he offers things and trusts me with things and has a better way planned for me than I could ever design for myself.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Reading in the book of Ecclesiastes this morning, chapter 12 strikes me as a good purpose statement for why I do what I do.

"Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them"... " is how it starts, and it finishes: "Of making many books there is no end and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter; Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of every human being. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."

I want to see young adults and youth get this now, not wait till they have kids or later to find their way back to church and to God. And I'm not harping on the judgment thing, but do you think we might live differently if we remembered this fact a little more often, that we will be judged by the good or bad that we do?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How important are small groups?

It's Wednesday night, which is 'Girl's Small Group' night, and no one showed. One I talked to; she is sick. That's legit. But it gives me the chance to write about something that I was thinking today and over the last little while. Ironic, really, because it fits right in. I was wondering about the need for small groups, and how important they really are. This one at least has had me wondering for months. I believe that Christians need spiritual connections, usually on a deeper level than you can go on a Sunday morning, in order to be growing in their faith.

What you do on your own in private - quiet time, devotions, praying - whatever you do and whatever you want to call it, is very important if you don't want your faith to be stagnant.

Going to church, and being part of the community, is also very important to growing. The being part of the community is the key, not just the showing up.

And in between those two, the individuality of faith and the corporate togetherness of faith, is what I have to program. Good grief. Here's the dilemma. Not everyone fits into the programs we do. Each person's needs are different as far as how they connect with their spiritual friends. We have a Sunday night service, geared for young adults, that meets the need for corporate worship, learning and prayer (and of course fellowship, or hanging out) in a way that young adults would relate to more than a Sunday morning. It's designed to complement, not replace Sunday mornings. And we have small groups. One for young married couples, one for guys only, one open one, and one for the ladies. Which may not exist at this point next week.

I want people to gather together once or twice a week, whatever they feel they need, and then LIVE IT the rest of the week. Spend time with friends, at work, at school, and be Christ's representative in that situation. Or instead of going to Bible Study, why don't you browse over your sermon notes for a bit so what you learned really sinks in, then either go out and be in the world, or rest up so you can be at your best when you're with people again?

Just a thought. I'm not saying Bible Studies are bad. It's just going back to the idea that often we just feed ourselves and forget about sharing that life giving food with our friends. And I'm not saying stay away just to do nothing; stay away so you can be intentional about using that time for living! If I didn't have to be here wondering if anyone was going to show up, I could be living. I would be out for coffee catching up with someone, investing in them, or on a date with my husband, investing in my marriage... If there is interest, I will be happy to go with it, but if it's just a lesser option for a Wednesday night, I'd rather call it quits.

Hard to sell a job description that is solely going out for coffee... but the reality is, each individual has different needs for their spiritual growth. We're all at a different place, doing a different pace, and aiming for the same goal, but working from different angles. So I have to know each one and help them find what they need, and I have to offer these different programs so there's something to fill those needs. Challenging, satisfying, and yeah, a lot of coffees. I'm starting to feel like my role is more that of a Spiritual Director than anything. Well, that I'd like to be that. More fulfilling than a program coordinator.