Tuesday, August 03, 2010
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:4-6
It has been an exciting summer in the student ministry. We have been busy with many things. As we reflect on the summer one word comes to mind: Unity. It organically became the theme of our summer together. It has been wonderful to witness how God has brought our group together. God has used the events of the summer to remind our students of their common purpose and their love for one another.
Each week, on Friday, throughout the summer we have gathered at the Taco Bell on McKelvey for a time of food and fellowship. Students who are new to the ministry have had a chance to get to know student ministry veterans in an unthreatening environment. As we have eaten together and played games we have been able to get to know one another better and be a witness to the staff of the restaurant. Spending quality time together has increased group unity.
This summer Dayo Alara and Aaron Ferguson have done a great job leading a Saturday morning Bible study small group called, Bibles and Bagels at the St. Louis Bread Company at Westport Plaza. An average of 10-12 students have gotten up early on Saturday mornings to come together and study God’s Word in this public place. I am so proud of our student leaders (there are many) who are rising up to take ownership and help to guide others spiritually. We should be proud of our juniors and seniors (and our soon to be college freshmen) who have shown the love of Jesus and a willingness to serve that has been an amazing example. Their efforts have also added to the unity of our group.
Super Summer is always a time for our students to be challenged spiritually. This year as we discussed in detail the road to salvation, it was touching to see our students praying with and for one another. As God revealed himself to each student their peers were there with arms wide open, crying and praying with and for them. What an amazing view of how the church should be. Unity was apparent.
Then came our mission trip. Our time in Pawhuska, Oklahoma was a bit different than we had planned. As is often the case, God had more to do IN us than THROUGH us. Our students willingly braved the heat to do minor construction and minister to children. There was a sense of satisfaction as students and leaders worked together to repair homes and touch hearts. The best part may have been in our evening times together when our students spoke of the love and appreciation God was giving them for one another. Each night students spoke of the admiration they had for the others in our group. Our girls commended the guys on how they displayed Christ to them by treating them as gentlemen should. The guys praised the girls for their hard work and their display of the virtues of Proverbs 31. I must admit that there were many times that a lump rose in my throat as I heard students testifying of the way they saw Christ displayed in their fellow team members. The week reminded us how blessed we are to have one another. It was a wonderful unity building time.
I am reminded of Colossians 3 that says at the heart of unity is love. It has been a pleasure to see God increase our students love for one another and the world around them this summer. As I look back on these events, I am reminded that when Christ prayed for us, just before His crucifixion in John 17. He prayed that we would be united in love. I pray it continues in our student ministry and pray that it is made manifest in our congregation. Thank you all for your prayers for us this summer and we would appreciate them continuing as we carry on what has begun. It has been a wonderful thing to watch our students live out that unity together this summer. We are looking forward to an exciting school year as we seek the Lord in continuing to build on what He has so lovingly begun this summer --- unity.