What I’ve learned over the last month
So I’ve been here a month and have already learned quite a lot. Some of it I’m still processing. We started out the month of September with a retreat to a cottage, where we spent time in prayer, personal devotion, and getting to know each other. We discussed what our image of the High School ministry would look like. We all had similar and different ideas. Since we are all different, we bring different things to the table.
Some things I came up with (they also had some of the same):
- building up student leaders/ lead their fellow students
- bible studies, prayer and worship times
- events separate from large group- movie night, girls night (also a guys night), game night, service projects, and maybe a concert of prayer (could gather all the schools together and pray for the schools and how they can reach out into the community)
It was great to just sit down and discuss this. It is very important for us to build relationships with the students and that is one of our main points of this internship.
Something I learned was how to share my story (testimony)(with in the first couple of weeks). I have never done that before but it felt great to share my my journey thus far. I did forget a few things, as I remembered afterwards. Oh well.
We are currently reading 2 books:
Some links to check out the books, just an idea of that the books look like. They both have been great and also challenging. We meet every Tuesday and Thursday to discuss these books.
We started out with Master Plan is “a study to understand principles underlying Jesus’ ministry- principles that determined his methods”. So in ch 1 Selection- we are Jesus’ method. We are to find and build relationships with people who Christ would be friends with. So then, they will come follow Christ. Christ is using US to do his work. It’s a scary thought but we’re here to do that, it is our purpose. We are raising up trained disciples. Ch 2 Association- talked about how Jesus’ method was simply just “being with” his disciples. We talked about how we are to be someone’s “personal guardian”, ie: mentor. Ch 3 Consecration- the one thing that stuck out for me was this, “in time obedient followers invariably take on the character of their leader”. This is scary to think about, that people will follow the things you do and take on a bit of our character. I definitely have to be careful how I act and what I say. My actions and attitude need to reflect that of Christ, that way people will be following the ways of Christ and not my own. Ch 4 Impartation- talked about Jesus giving himself away. “Jesus was deliberately investing all he had in these few men so that they could be properly prepared to do his work”. Jesus took the time to prepare his disciples so that they can continue his work after he’s gone. That’s something to think about. We need to be preparing ourselves by reading scripture, spending time in prayer and with fellow believers. This way Jesus can use us to continue the work he stared. I liked this chapter. In us preparing we will be ready to prepare the students to do the same. Ch 5 Demonstration- talked about how Jesus showed the disciples to live. It said, “unless they grasped the meaning of prayer, and learned how to practice it with consistency, not much would ever come from their lives”. I know that I need to get the grasp of prayer and really exercise it. I don’t do it that often and so when I read this it made me rethink what I was doing and how important it is to our lives. Ch 6 Delegation- It’s where Jesus started sending out his disciples in pairs. Jesus wanted them to do what he did , so they would learn after he was gone. We are called to go out and share the gospel of Jesus.
Inside out, it’s a more challenging book. It really wants us to dig deep inside and see what’s lurking beneath the surface. The first few chapters- A Real Change Requires an Inside Look- An inside look can be frustrating and knowing what to look for. The first 3 chapters were very challenging. I had to really look inside and what came out of it was finding things that I thought were dealt with and oops nope they weren’t. As we read these chapters we had questions to look at in the back of the book and that’s what really made me think about my life. Ch 1, it says, “When we ignore what’s happening on the inside, we lose all power to change what we do on the outside… we rearrange rather than change”. It’s so true. I definitely try to rearrange things in my life instead of trying to change them. I think it is easier to rearrange than to actually want to change because it doesn’t require as much of an effort. But learning to actually change is going to require a lot of looking inside. It scares me, looking inside is very frustrating. I don’t like to see how messed up my life is. AHHHHH. But I am learning to take a look and work out the issues (well some of them anyway). In ch 3 it talked about being thirsty and having a deep longing. For me, I am thirsty for more of God. I want to learn more and have a real/deep relationship with Jesus Christ. This is something I am still working on. That is what I long for. It asked a question about longing and sometimes I am longing for things I want, like: happiness, acceptance, love, marriage, and starting a family. These are things I long to have, but I need to realize I need a deep relationship with Christ first before I can have any of that. It’s a long and stressful, yet awesome process.
I have been doing some personal devotions every night before I go to bed. I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m reading “My Utmost for his Highest”. It has been great and helpful. So far it’s already got me thinking about things I need to do. I need to find a secret place where I can spend time with God, about my relationship- where I need be willing for God to examine, and purify my heart. I have to be willing for God to work in my life and to be tested, so then I can truly say ‘I am here for God, send me where you will’. Christ has chosen us not the other way around. I talked about this last Wednesday for my house Devo. We have to be open to go where God needs us to go and what he has planned for us. That’s something I’m working on and learning about. Christ has so much more for me and I just need to be open to it all.
This last week Scott was away so Dave Birrell (IV staff worker at U of W) was here with us on Tuesday and Thursday. Dave talked about spiritual formation/discipline. It got me thinking about that and I’m just starting to get it (personal devotions, prayer). Dave gave us 4 things to consider for spiritual discipline:
- prayer– learn to just take the time to do it. Started doing Centering Prayer here at the house, and thats something I am looking into doing.
- fasting– this is something I want to learn more about. I have never done it.
- journaling– I want to keep up on my journaling so I can look back and see what I’ve learned
Dave really got us thinking. It was a great week.
So last week and this week I have picking up running. I am doing this with Anne and Rebecca, its called the Coach to 5k. It has been very challenging, since I am not a runner. But I have fully enjoyed going out and if the girls weren’t going with me don’t know what I would do. Oh wait, yeah I do, I would quit. I have been struggling through and I’ve been extremely sore. I’m committing to it, I want to be able to continue this after the internship is over. Running really can get your mind off things. It’s been great. We are going 3 days a week. Monday nights, wednesday and friday mornings. It’s lovely, getting cooler in the mornings. Anne and I were out with t-shirts this morning. As I look at this running is a discipline. WOW.
We are slowly moving into schools. Jess and Anne are working in a school called Sisler. It was God’s doing that they got in there. John and I are still not there yet. But I am volunteering in Gordon Bell, as an assistant volleyball coach. I’m excited about it. It’s going to be very challenging but I think very rewarding by the end. We are making our way through. We have been meeting with some different youth pastors (good and bad), it has been helpful and giving us chances to get connections in the schools. Opportunities keep presenting themselves. God is working. FANTASTIC.
Sorry for a huge note, I will try to write more frequent. I am aiming for once a week.
Some thoughts I am leaving you with
John 15:16– “you did not choose me, but I chose you”
From the Inside Out (lyrics)– Hillsong
My heart, my soul, Lord, I give you control.
Consume me from the inside out, Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love you from the inside out
There’s more for me to share but I’ll save it for another day.
Keep praying for us as we are still figuring out what we are doing.