Student Life Camp – Wheaton College – Chicago, IL
Well, the High School students of GPS and the leaders that went on this trip are all headed back to Grace Point Church. We are in Buffalo, MO right now and only about 2 hours away from home and me and my responsible self is just now getting the chance to sit down to write the blog that I promised. Even now my eyes are heavy and I am being interrupted by students wanting to have conversations about what God has done in their lives this week.
If there is one thing I could say about this week, it is that GOD MOVED!!! Through David Nasser the speaker, Rush of Fools the band, their family group leaders and sponsors, and through one another…God surely moved!
As the Youth Pastor I have the amazing opportunity to see the growth in students. After spending the past 14 months with these students I was amazingly proud of the way they have made strides in their faith.
This years camp theme was RE: and there were 4 different RE words in which we learned about – RESPOND, REPENT, RELATE, REMAIN! I will briefly describe each of the days and give you guys some key discussion questions or topics that you can discuss with your students and continue to challenge them for months to come!
There are many different ways that we respond each and every day. I can think of many responses that I even had this past week…some good, some godly, and some were of the flesh.
When God speaks to us or “collides” with us in our lives, how do we respond? Is it in awe? Is it in disbelief? Thankfulness? Apathy?
In Isaiah 6:1 – Isaiah collides with the Lord, God Almighty and his response is worthy to be looked at and learned from. “Woe to me, for I am a man of unclean lips and I am among a people of unclean lips. I am ruined, for I have seen the Lord!”
Wow, what a response. That word WOE is used as a judgment. In that moment, Isaiah is judging himself in the eyes of the Lord…he realizes that that he is not worthy. His response is one of humbleness and brokenness.
We need to RESPOND in this way. We need to meet with the Lord and be broken in his presence.
1) Isaiah’s WOE is one of self-judgment. He looked at his life honestly in the eyes of the Lord and responded humbly. How often do we need to do that in our own lives?
2) Isaiah actually SAW with his own two eyes the Lord with his own two eyes. I haven’t heard of many accounts where this has happened recently, so what are ways that you can experience the glory and fullness of God?
We were all dead in our sins and the RESPONSE of our God was to send His Son to die for us so we could be made alive. All we have to do is REPENT and RESPOND in faith and loyalty to Him and He has promised that we will be REDEEMED.
Going back to Isaiah 6 in verse 6 & 7, Isaiah says that He is RUINED by God. After RESPONDING to God, he takes an honest look at his life and REPENTS.
God loves us so much that He wants to RUIN us. He knows that is the only way that you truly can be filled with the glory of Himself…if you are completely empty.
REPENTANCE is trusting God enough to let Him ruin your life of yourself and let Him pour in!
It was this night that our students allowed just that. They stood up and got of out the way of God. 2 of our students gave their life to God for the very first time and Repented of their former way of life. J Nothing more exciting than welcoming two new brothers into the Family of GOD!!!
1) Why does God want to “ruin” us?
2) What does true repentance look like in our lives? What does the process of repentance look like?
3) What is our role and God’s role in repentance?
“All of life comes down to just one thing and that’s to KNOW you oh Jesus and make you KNOWN!”
God has given us this amazing ability to be able to relate to one another in the body of Christ, with Himself (our Creator and Father), and with the lost of this world in which whom God wants to bring to Himself. This is what we are called to do…Relate to God, relate to the world, relate to one another.
God has called us to do this with authenticity, realness, vulnerability, encouragement, love, respect, patience, and so so much more. It is amazing that we can share in this life together and grow with one another.
This is exactly what Grace Point Students did this night. RELATED to one another. There was encouragement, confession, sharing, and caring during our church group time. It was amazing to see God move the hearts of the students to share and find healing. There were tears, laughter, some anger, but it was all authentically awesome.
Without going into too much detail…there was one topic that seemed to capture the night. It was amazing to see the sincerity in which the students showed. However, the topic of the sharing was alarming and gut-wrenching to hear. There were so many students struggling with RELATING to their parents (or lack-there of). The brokenness in which they displayed through quivering lips and tear-filled eyes as they shared about the different situations going on at home was hard to hear…but also connected them in such a way that we saw prayers going up for one-another and a deep compassion and empathy showed for one another.
Please pray for the state of some of the families even in our own congregation. Take an honest and humble approach as you talk to your students about this topic. Be sensitive and genuine as you probe the hearts of the ones in which you are called to “bring up in the way they should go.” I can’t speak as a parent, but I do have a voice for you students and children and I know that every situation is different…but God calls us all as believers to love and respect one another as Christ has loved us! I’m lifting these conversations up as the things are still ringing in my mind and heart. Please know Brooke and I are always here for whatever needs you may have!
Now for the hard part. How do we REMAIN in God after the speaker, the band, the lights, the scheduled time in the word, the day filled with Christ and being surrounded by believers. How do we keep this connection with Christ, to be redundantly redundant, connected? I know, I know…. Flee Sin and the things that entangle us back home, Pursue God with everything we have, and stay connected in a community of believers (GPS). Sounds easy right? Then why do every year students struggle with the same struggles of falling away.
John 15 tells us that if we remain in God, He will surely remain in us…and in that we will live a life of fruitfulness for God’s kingdom. This is what we are all facing when we get home. How do we remain in God? I believe that we can all help one another. Even though our faith should be personal with God…we are still called to follow faithfully with family; Our church family and our physical family. We need each others help!!!
1) How can you help your students continue to REMAIN in God?
2) Have a discussion with your students on how YOUR life and faith in Christ is strengthened and grows.
3) Pray for your students regularly and for the leadership in our Youth Ministry!
4) Ask your student if they would like to learn and grow as a family. Going through the book RADICAL would be a great start!! Or even Crazy Love or a devotional. Oh, and that best-selling for 2000 years book is pretty good too…you know, the Holy Bible!
Let’s pray for all the students to receive a passion for God’s Word and a walk with Him. That they would settle for NOTHING short of a life abundantly filled with Christ!
Thank you for allowing us to partner with you in bringing up the next generation of Christian leaders and followers of the one true God!!!