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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wiped out

Just got home from a freshman Confirmation retreat. All I had to do was speak three times over Saturday and Sunday. Not too difficult, though I always try to take these things seriously. We talked Saturday morning about the truth of Jesus' resurrection; Saturday evening about the trustworthiness of the Bible; and Sunday morning about Jesus' call to follow him into the world. Confirmation ministry -- and any kind of youth ministry for that matter -- is such a critical thing. The opportunity for God to work in these students' lives at this age is amazing.

I watched Central's student ministry leaders (Ryan & Kaycee) do an amazing job of leading their team -- but the most impressive thing about this retreat was the team itself. College aged leaders managing program and tech issues; a couple of great music leaders; and most important, a dozen or more adults who are invested each week in the lives of a small group of students in what we call a "journey group." By the time we get to this retreat halfway through the program year, these adults already know the students and the students have begun to trust the adults. These journey group leaders are the key to all of it because they are invested in relationships on a personal level with their students. Over and over I watched the connections between students and leaders. I heard over and over again the concern from adults for "their" kids.

I'm quite confident that every one of those adults is exhausted this afternoon. I was at a seminar a few months ago where I heard the following statement: "God's Spirit moving through a physical body puts tremendous demands on that body." It is so true! I'm totally wiped out this afternoon, and legitimately so -- but the amount of energy and effort those adult leaders expended is far more than what I did. God's Spirit was moving through their physical bodies in powerful, powerful ways. I hope they sleep well tonight.

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