"It's always a mistake to decide what you're going to do and where you're going to go, before deciding who you're going to be." Andy Stanly, Passion 2010 Atlanta
Before we focus on our roles, or what we are going to do, we must have a solid understanding of who we are. For believers, this understanding begins with our Identity in Christ.
Identity in Christ. Grady and I chose this as our summer theme for the College Group we serve with. We think it's really important that each student understand the differences between his value as a human being, his identity as an individual, and the various roles that he fills.
Think about it. How many people (yourself included!) do you know that chose a major, got involved in a relationship, engaged in a ministry, spent or invested money - and the list continues - before thinking about who they really wanted to be in life. Choosing the what before choosing the who is a big mistake. And, it often involves a lot of heartache.
This is the first lesson that Grady shared with the group. It's long - so get comfy if you're going to watch.
During the summer, when most students are home from college, we have about 55 participate in Sunday Adult Life Group. Fifty-five students. That means that 55 of them are choosing to come to church, choosing to learn about God and his truth, and choosing to engage in worship and fellowship rather than sleep in. That's impressive.
Just as impressive is that about 20 of them come back to church on Sunday evening to hang out and play games together. No, nothing "spiritual" about the night - just good fun with friends. But still, by the time you get home after church in the morning, there is hardly time to relax before coming back again. It'd be a whole lot easier to stay home and watch TV. But, a lot of them think it's a whole lot more fun to come back and fellowship together.
More impressive, is that each Tuesday we have about 30 students come to a Weekly Application Night. These night's are intended to drill down in greater detail what we talked about on Sunday. It provides an open table to discuss and apply things on a more personal level.
Yeah, there is usually food and games, and yeah there is always laughter and friends... but it's still pretty impressive the 30 students are willing to open their Bibles with their friends on a weeknight, rather than simply kick back and relax at home after working a long day.
And, more impressive still, is that several of them are willing to show up church at 7:45 on a Saturday morning to make breakfast and deliver it to a homeless shelter in Uptown. I remember sleeping in until noon on Saturdays when I was in college. I don't remember getting up to serve breakfast to a couple hundred homeless people.
And really, the most impressive thing of all, is that Grady and I have the sincere joy and privilege of calling these students friends! Seriously.
Alright, I take it back. The most impressive thing of all, is that God has allowed us to be a part of something to exciting and so challenging and so overwhelming and so rewarding - all at the same time.