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Student Ministry - August 2022

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This summer has been a great time for our Student Ministry! We have seen people come to faith in Christ, lives changed, relationships strengthened, new friendships made, and people in need be served. I’m so thankful for the many ways our church has supported and encouraged our students to be intentional Christians who look for ways to live out their faith in obedience to Jesus. Many of these students will take the lessons they learn through these activities and apply them to their lives for years to come. And one day they will be the ones encouraging and supporting the discipleship of the younger generation behind them just as you are doing now.

Isn’t growing in our love for God and helping make disciples what being a Christian is all about? The thing about it is that we don’t just grow in love and disciple making on accident. It takes intentionality. We have to be Christians who are looking and planning, thinking and praying about ways we can love God and share the gospel. We cannot coast in our walk with the Lord. But if we are honest, we would all have to admit that it would be nice if we could coast a little. Maybe just put life on cruise control a little bit and just relax for a second. It can be exhausting constantly peddling the bicycle of life and always feeling like we are pressing uphill endlessly.

When life starts to feel this way, there are at least two things we need to remember so we can continue to grow. The first is that we are not alone. Just like the best bike rides, we are with others on this journey. We have our church family along for the ride, and we can encourage each other not to lose heart. But more importantly than that, we have the Lord with us constantly helping us along the way. Sometimes we can get so focused on the difficulty of life that we forget that we are on an awesome journey with our heavenly Father who loves us and will  never leave us. Just like a child on a bike ride with his dad, we can go anywhere our Father takes us. 

And secondly, we have to remember that just as cars and bicycles have different gears to handle the ups and downs on the road, we must have different “gears” to handle the ups and downs in life. The important part is that we have to make sure we “switch gears.” If we try to live every season of life with the exact same expectations and energy, we will find ourselves disappointed and overwhelmed. Sometimes life is easier and we can give less energy and effort. That surely is a blessing. But other times, life takes a lot more energy and effort. If we do not “switch gears” and have the right expectations and put forth energy, then we will stall out.

That is why we must always be prayerfully looking ahead. If you take a bicycle downhill, that can be a lot of fun. But if you don’t look ahead to the hill you will have to ride up, and if you don’t switch gears before you start your ascent, then you will feel utterly unprepared. In the same way, we must prayerfully look ahead and ask the Lord what “gear” we need to be in. Some seasons will be easy and delightful. Other seasons will be harder. But if we are in the right “gear” (meaning we have the right expectations), and if we trust in the Lord who is always with us, encouraging us all along the way, then we know we will be able to overcome every obstacle in life that tries to keep us from loving God and helping others know and love God too. 

I hope we will all remember that God is with us on our journey, so we do not need to lose heart. Also, we need to look at each season of life with the right expectations and give the appropriate energy and intentionality to each so we will not be overwhelmed. Let’s continue to grow in our love for God and encourage each other as disciples of Christ.

Posted by Brian Van Doren with