When May rolled around earlier this summer, our usual College Group of 30 grew to a group of 70, and on some Sundays even more. More people meant we needed a bigger room, and inadvertently, more people meant better Sunday morning snacks, too. (Some details are worth noting.)
Our summer schedule from mid-May to mid-August is full. Grady teaches Sunday mornings; we gather for sand volleyball or soccer or ultimate frisbee Sunday evenings; we meet for Bible study and fellowship Tuesday evenings; we have softball games Wednesday or Friday evenings; and we have some sort of hangout planned each weekend, such as swimming or hiking or board games. Everyone is guaranteed at least four opportunities to connect during the summer weeks.
It's a tall order and a big job because Grady and I have three little people that call us Dad and Mom and need a whole lot of our time. Finding childcare isn't always convenient, but it always works out. Bringing kids with us isn't always ideal, but it always works out. Getting ready for a loud or busy night with college students isn't always what I want to do after a full day of being Mom, but it always works out. It always works out because honest love and true commitment to serving other people is always central to serving Jesus.
Although it's a tall order and a big job, it's a precious opportunity with amazing blessing. It's true that to whom much is given much is also required. But in the same breath, much is also poured back. Grady and I relish in those gifted date nights the students occasionally offer us. We smile when we see good decision making develop into better decision making that develops into great decision making. We are encouraged when we see group members choose to serve the church and love other people because they have learned that it's their great joy and privilege to do so.
It's a precious opportunity with amazing blessing because Grady and I have a lot of special relationships. It's impossible to give consistent time and energy to a group and not have meaningful friendships. And you know what? We get to learn from them, too. Some have maturity beyond their years and insight that blows us away.
It's a precious opportunity with amazing blessing because Grady and I are able to participate in a whole lot of fun! Seriously! Growing through the Passion Conferences each year. Enjoying overseas ministry opportunities. Worshiping at some amazing concerts. Feeling kind-of sort-of young(ish) and cool(ish) by hanging out at Starbucks and talking over coffee. Playing board games like nobody's business.