What would you, could you, want to do if nothing selfish fueled you?
What if unselfishness became the prayer in your heart, in your church, in your youth ministry?
What if God could transform all of us?
What if it’s true, that God can change you?
Can you take a minute to write down some thoughts, the first things that come to your mind?
What would you do if all of your limiting beliefs about yourself died? What would you do if liberating truths about who you are because of who He is fueled you? What if your heart melted around God’s heart and you felt empowered to live in God’s strength? What if your weaknesses were the perfect and most unique opportunities for God’s love and strength to be revealed?
Write something down. Silence your phone. Think about the possibilities.
God made you to be made visible in you.
How will God be made visible in you this year?
In my current role as a “justice advocate” I’m learning that what I need most isn’t a need at all, it’s an ability to see and imagine beyond myself into a future where things are whole and right and to think about who benefits when I surrender my wants and plans.
What I’ve noticed, as I’ve traveled this last year and begun to learn how teenagers are wired in their contexts and cultures, is that miracles happen in surrender.
Extraordinary ability grows in the soil of surrender.
I’ve seen it.
Something is happening in the hearts of teenagers and young adults, something is happening in our world.
I’ve noticed it so vividly from the USA, to Central and South America, Africa, to Europe and Asia. We stand at a place in history where we are able to do something about the poverty that places the lives of children and adults, made in God’s image, in jeopardy. They cannot keep quiet. Not when God has given us a great hope and a great responsibility to love others as we have been so greatly loved. It has been motivating and energizing to see young people use their voices.
Who are we to say they are too young?
At the age of 17 I listened to a story shared by preacher Tony Campolo at a youth event in Phoenix Arizona. I didn’t know what I could do for that girl on the corner whose voice was silenced by the bonds of slavery. But I did know that I had a voice and I could learn to use it to affirm and strengthen hers. Someday. Somehow.
At the age of 13, I watched my own sister serve in the slums, hold the babies, share the love of Jesus around the world. She came home broken. Few understood. Being 13 is reason enough to feel misunderstood. Layer on a heart beating for justice and youv’e got a double identity crisis. She was still becoming, developing, questioning. But she was able. She had a voice, and a heart, and ability to say yes. Because the Holy Spirit is in the buisness of changing hearts. Replacing selfishness with LOVE.
So, this is me, this is us, learning to use our voice. Watching students around the globe learning to use theirs lights a fire in my heart. Shouldn’t it light a fire in every believer when the youngest set the example and lead the way?
Martin Luther King Jr. spoke it first. “Let us develop a dangerous unselfishness.”
Can we stop for a second and pray about this?
For crying out loud, make us dangerous.
For the sake of others make us effective in our generosity and concern.
Teach us to notice needs in front of us.
Make us dangerously unselfish Jesus.
Bring the church that you love together to learn and respond. With these resources you’ve placed in our hands, with the creativity you’ve stirred in our minds, with the passions you have created in our hearts.
Help us to share the good news of Jesus with our actions and practice justice as a habit of worship. We will be brave. We won’t be silent. Nope. We can’t be. None of us should be.
Because you have loved us with a love that never ends and a joy that never fails–when so many things do. And, because we love you too.
I’m looking forward to March 18-19. Not because it’s time to market an event. Because it’s time to be less selfish than we were yesterday. Because it’s time for us to champion students who have what it takes to serve others.
I’m excited about youth ministry.
About church ministry.
About the way God works in all of these things to unbreak our hearts.
I’m thankful for these voices… unhindered…for this shift in HISstory.
This is one story we can change, together.