Have you ever gone out of your way to show the love of Christ to someone else, only to have things not work out the way you had hoped? Or not work out at all?
Last week the student ministries from all of our campuses went to Trinity, Texas for five days of summer camp. A major component of the trip for the high school students included serving throughout the Trinity area at churches and mission sites. It was encouraging to see teenagers building a wheel chair ramp, painting houses, serving at a food pantry, and repairing a historical church building.
But things didn’t go as planned for one group of our students. They were set up to host a Vacation Bible School (VBS) at a church positioned on the main road in town. Signs had been posted, invites made, crafts prepared, lessons reviewed, and prayers said.
No one showed up.
Then the strangest thing happened. Our teenagers got excited. They went door to door with the hotdogs that had been made for lunch, inviting parents to bring their children by the next day. They offered free lunch to people who might not have had one otherwise. One teen used her phone to discover a local Facebook message board and posted details about the VBS. Along the way our students encountered poverty, skepticism, negativity, and a deep racial divide. What would have discouraged or frustrated many of us only seemed to fuel their excitement to be part of something different.
Six kids showed up on day two. Six kids learned about the love of Jesus from two dozen high school students. How cool is that?
We would all do well to keep this story in mind as we Go Bold and serve throughout our community. Things often don’t go as planned and it can be easy to let frustration set in and change our hearts. What if we served with the excitement and persistence of the teenagers mentioned above?
What if we loved the people we set out to serve more than we loved our plans, our hopes, our time, or ourselves?
What if we loved people like Jesus loved us? No matter what.
I saw that in a lot of teenagers last week and I hope it’s contagious.
– Lance Lawson, Church on Wednesdays Campus Pastor