What God taught me this summer…

I didn’t realize it, but I needed this summer. I had forgotten that Jesus is NOT all I need. Of course, he IS all I need, but at the same time, life and ministry are not about me and Jesus by ourselves. We are called into a family with many members, a body with many parts, one that only functions as we grow up TOGETHER into him who his the Head (Ephesians 4). Therefore, relationships are not optional. We need one another, and I needed this summer to remind me of that.

I needed to realize how lonely I have felt in ministry, so that I could appreciate God’s gift of my wife and the new teammates he is bringing. He’s actually building our team!! It’s really happening!! There’s so much need all around us, and now we can begin to scratch the surface a little bit and really help some people. But it’s not by my genius – planning, recruiting. It’s by his grace. And because he helped me see how very alone I have been functioning, and how insufficient I am for the task, I’m able to see what a blessing this team is!

I needed to be encouraged by fresh blood coming in and breathing life into our friendships with students. There’s no one way to share the gospel. There’s no one right way to build a relationship with a student. There’s no perfect question to ask, and even if you ask the perfect question, you can’t connect with every student on a heart level. There are different temperaments, personalities, interests. We need to do ministry together, and having interns this summer helped me remember that.

I needed to be a part of a camp that felt like “ahhh. This is what I was made for. This is why I am here!” I needed to experience the delight of ministry again, to taste the fruit so that I could be sustained for those many weeks and months when I don’t see any.

And the funny thing is, people needed me too! Interns needed relationship advice, prayer, and encouragement. They needed people to speak prophetically into their lives and help them explore their callings. High school and college students needed an interested adult to ask questions and just have fun with them – no agenda! They needed someone to tell them God loved them and they weren’t alone.

We need each other. Thanks Jesus, for reminding me of that! And thank you all for praying for us! Next week, you’ll get a peek into what God did in the lives of our interns this summer. Thanks for praying for them as well!

 

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