Thursday, August 24, 2006

I'm Back!

Let me start by saying, "sorry." I have wanted to post a number of times, however, it seems I have had other pressing needs (and sometimes wants) that have taken on priority status. I must remember that prayer needs to be one of our biggest priorities and this blog is one way we can help many with that priority. So, will you forgive me?

The last couple of weeks have been a roller-coaster. Great things followed by some tough stuff. All-in-all we're at a good stage in our ministry. Let me share something I shared last night at our first of 3 SMS (student ministry staff) dinners.

John 2:1-11 is where Jesus does his first miracle. In small groups we read over the passage a couple times and talked about what happened, the spiritual significance and what we should do now as a result--good discussions. Then, after the meal we sat down as a larger group and I shared my thoughts as this passage applied to us as a ministry.
Observation #1: At the wedding celebration they discovered that they were out of wine.
Observation #2: They filled the jars with water
Observation #3: They served the master of the wedding banquet.

You might be thinking, "duh, anyone can make those observations." Yes, you are right, but now let me go a little further with our ministry.
#1: Over the last 6-8 months I believe that we too have discovered that we are on empty. We were going through the motions from about December to June as a staff.
#2: We're filling the jars. As we are doing these SMS dinners, preparing for the year we are in the midst of filling our jars with our water. As leaders we need to be in the Word, in fellowship, using accountability and spending time in prayer. These are all the "common" things that we know we ought to be doing (water being the "common" element with which Jesus performed his first miracle).
#3: We need to serve the master. Our master is not only our "Master" (as in God), but our lower-case m, master (students, parents, strangers, each other). In Matthew 25:31 and following Jesus gives us instruction on serving "the least of these." Everything we do as a Christian needs to be done with the Master in mind. Serving the lower-case m, master is serving the Master.
The cool part to me--Jesus took the common element of water and did a miracle. I believe the Lord will do the same with us this year. We saw that the jars were empty, we're faithful in filling up the jars and now we must be faithful to serve the master... Jesus will do the miracle, we must just be faithful.

So, here is where you come in--Prayer! Are you willing, able and ready to ask for the miracle? I hope so.

I would appreciate your thoughts, your meditations and reaction to this post. Where did it cause your mind to go?

I have specific prayer roles that we're looking to fill. Some, I know, will just want to be faithful to reading the blog and responding in prayer--praise the Lord and thank you! However, there might be some that are looking to make this a ministry opportunity for our students. If this is you, will you let me know (email me: brian@workwithyouth.com).

I'm looking for prayer point people for the following areas:
Sunday School
Parent Ministry
Events and Retreats

Hope you have a blessed day!



  • My mind went to the Word, and read the passage. Thus, here are my comments. My bible says in the study notes that John calls the miracles signs in order to emphasize the significance of the miracles rather than the miracles themselves. They revealed various aspects of the person or work of Chirst (here His glory), and their purpose was to encourage faith in His followers. Verse 11 says, "and His disciples believed in Him". Were they not believing before this time? God's grace is deeply personal, but it is not private. I hope someday I can learn to encourage others in creative ways like He did.
    Jan A.
    Ps. 23

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:20 PM  

  • One of my greatest concerns and fervent prayers has always been that each one of our youth, no matter what their circumstances, can be made to feel that they are an important and cherished element of the youth group as a whole. Your blog encourages me to believe that we are on the right track to achieving this. In God's kingdom, there is no "least" and if we keep that in mind, then not one student should "fall through the cracks" or be overlooked in any way. Thank you for amping up the encouragement and I pray that you too, Brian, may be encouraged and have a renewed sense of purpose. Miracles still happen every day around us... we just need to keep our eyes and hearts open to them. :)
    Still praying,

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:28 PM  

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