I've been reflecting on this past summer in my youth ministry. From my standpoint, it was an utter success. Let me quickly add that the success was not due to me.
I really feel like God has been teaching me something this summer: To get out of His way! My M.O. is to plot, plan and fret. I tend to freak out if I don't at least have a basic plan.
But, sometimes, God isn't in "the planning."
Sometimes, He is right there in the moment when you don't know what to do or say or think. The best thing you can do is copy Jesus, and then God shows up.
We've had some huge events this summer. But the "bigness" was found in the small, special moments. At other events, God showed up in surprising ways that weren't at all planned.
Here is a brief recap:
It's Summer Lock-In - This was our first event of the summer. During our 2 a.m. devo, one of our teen girls asked to be baptized! I could NEVER have planned that!
Sam Thomsen Memorial Concert - We invited Aaron Shust. He showed up, along with God, and we had an incredible evening. There was healing through music that night. And we raised over $2,000 for local charities.
Nebraska Youth Camp - continues to be a special place for our teens. Four were baptized out there, one a friend of one of our teens who went to camp for the first time! I always have great conversations in the unplanned moments at camp.
30 Hour Famine - We snuck this event in at the end of the summer. We only gave the teens ONE WEEK to raise funds. Since we did it in August (rather than the usual February) we slept outside in cardboard boxes. Have you ever slept in cardboard boxes? When it started raining, we rain inside the church building. Homeless folks can't do that. We raised over $3,600 to feed hungry children around the world. That means 14 kids will be fed for the next year.
And I haven't even mentioned the impact of our wonderful interns (thanks Sara and Mitch!), or feeding homeless men at Siena Francis house, or all of our wonderful visitors and new friends, or SoulQuest, or...well, you get the picture.
Praise God for an awesome summer!
God, help me to STAY out of your way. Continue to work, despite me and through me.