When I posted on Facebook that I was going to read three books in one weekend, I was exciting knowing that one of them was A New Kind Of Leader by Reggie Joiner. It's a book for anyone who leads kids or teenagers, primarily in a ministry or church leadership role.
"There are pivotal moments in every kid's life when they need a new kind of leader who will show them something new about God or life."
For almost 15 years, Reggie Joiner has been leading an organization called Orange. Orange has been championing the potential of kids and teenagers by creating a strategy to influence the next generation. Orange is more than a color, it's a combination of two colors with the outcome being a new, vibrant color.
The core of the orange strategy is the combination of two influences: the home (red; heart) and the church (yellow; light). When the home and the church are working together, their combined influence is a powerful force to impact future generations.
While the book is 122 pages, it's easy to digest in quick, practical steps to becoming a new kind of leader for the next generation. The basic premise of a new kind of leader is putting action to the things that you believe. If you believe something then do something. For example, if you believe that every family matters then connect with a parent.
This book went to the next level for me when I came to chapter 4 - Every Family Matters Regardless. I was shocked by the statistic of only 20 percent of families in the United States are made up of married couples living with their own biological children. It's convicting as a minister because I have to fight against the perception that a family has to look a certain way in order to belong or feel welcome in the church. Connecting with parents is one of my favorite things to do in ministry. I love to encourage parents and help them see that they're on the right track. It's so satisfying to share something great that I noticed about their son or daughter. I completely agree that connection with parents takes consistent effort. Parents need to know that I'm for them, not trying to undermine their authority with their children.
As a new kind of leader, I'm committed to working with a team of other adult leaders to point the next generation to Jesus. We have to work as a team and partner with parents to actively participate in the spiritual growth of their children.
If you're leading children or teenagers, even if it's not in a church context, this is a worthwhile read. When a leader gets better, everyone gets better and when the adult leaders in our children and student ministries get their hands on this book the collective lid of influence of the ministry gets lifted. This book will definitely find it's way into our leadership equipping content!
Check out this video about the recording that took the internet by storm this week. It's explained here and the truth about Yanny/Laurel is revealed!
The graduation open house season is an exciting couple of weeks at the end of May/early June to celebrate students and their completion of high school. The open house is an awesome opportunity to meet people and show your support to families as they prepare for their son or daughter to embark on adulthood. The open house is also an interesting mix of people gathered together with the only common ground being a connection to the graduate.
Student Ministers (as well as coaches, teachers, etc) get invited to a lot of open houses and recently I came across a rating system to help us evaluate the open house experience. This rating system is based on a 1-5 chicken wings for overall experience. I know it's a little deceptive since I'm using a chicken wing as the measurement for rating, but the experience goes well beyond the food that is served at the open house. So, while the food might be awesome, if the lawn games are lame, the overall experience rating may suffer.
The "🍗" open house experience is the bare minimum experience. Never mind the fact that you couldn't figure out which house was having the party...apparently you overlooked the Post-it note on the mailbox that said "Congrats Grad". They've got the Mountain Lightning, Doctor Thunder and other generic soft drinks on ice. You can also have water from the tap if you want. There isn't really a "grad shrine" only a photo slideshow looping to "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" by Green Day. The food is a lunchables spread of the finest meats, cheese and crackers. They didn't even spring for the pizza crust with cold pizza sauce. The outdoor entertainment is a random uncle daring people to taze him. Some may argue that the uncle taze-ing puts this open house on a "whole-nuthah-level"...but we're holding strong at the bottom.
A step up is the "🍗🍗" open house experience. They've got the party sub going on and everybody seems to be enjoying themselves. There's also some "no bake" cookies that grandpa just can't seem to get enough of. The science fair project board is fully stocked with photos from the last 936 weeks of existence. There's a basketball hoop out front where you can play H-O-R-S-E with people that you're likely to never see or talk to again, but you don't show any mercy. You've mastered that "behind the hoop, over the backboard" shot and you'll make them make it all day if they want to beat you. The parking situation is the real downer here...the house is perched on top of mountain and there's no ski lift in sight. So, by the time you hoof it up to the front door, you're suffering from vertigo and you don't have much time to stick around and chat because you've got other open houses to get to and a 20 minute walk back to your car.
"🍗🍗🍗" is a magic number and compared to the first two experiences, you're feeling great as you pull up to this open house. Thankfully, your confident that you found the location because they've put a yard banner out featuring a 3 feet by 2 feet headshot of their graduate. This audacious lawn accoutrement is just the beginning of the pomp and circumstance that you're about to step into as this family is super-proud of their, apparently only child's accomplishments. You'll find the student in their garage that has been transformed to pay homage with little league jerseys and other memorabilia. They're prepared to give you a guided tour through their childhood and you won't mind because it gives you something to listen to while you munch on pulled pork and 7-layer dip.
While the "🍗🍗🍗🍗" experience doesn't earn the top spot, it is a truly solid open house experience that any guest is sure to enjoy. You pull up and you notice an eager family member guiding you to a parking spot in the yard. As you enter the house you notice a table covered with yearbooks and certificates and a picture frame with a place for you to write your well-wishes to the graduate. After you finish jotting down something like, "It's not the number of breaths we take, but the number of moments that take our breath away." you make your way to the kitchen where your greeted by a food spread that rivals that scene in Hook when Peter Pan finally figures out how to use his imagination again. There's chicken wings and burger sliders and cheese cubes and shrimp and graduation cake and ice cream. You exit out the back door where you have your choice of lawn volleyball or corn hole. And you pretend like you know the graduate because you didn't get invited to this Open House but it looked so good as you drove by that you decided to crash.
The "🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗" open house experience is a Pinterest board brought to life. The parents are on a first name basis with the workers at Party City. This party has it's own hashtag, Snapchat filter, and Instagram photo booth. You're too busy stuffing strawberries into the chocolate fountain that you're missing out on Aunt Patty and Uncle Jerry performing a lip-sync duet of "Rewrite the Stars". You make your way over to write your "Key to Success" for the graduate as they enter adulthood, but all you can come up with is, "You have to look through the rain to see the rainbow." Once the lip-sync battle concludes the DJ keeps the party going into the night...when it finally ends everyone leaves with a gourmet cupcake as a party favor.
O, the places you'll go and the things you'll see during graduation party season! I hope you enjoy each and every open house experience this year. Have some great conversations, enjoy some great food and celebrate these young men and women as they enter the next chapter of their journey.
If you want to run from God, you will always find a boat headed in the opposite direction.
He was looking for any way he could find to get out of carrying out the work that God had instructed him to do. He had the luxury of proclaiming good news to people in the past, but this request would send him into the epicenter of the most treacherous people on the face of the Earth...Jonah was looking for a way out and he found what he was looking for.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to lead a mission trip to the Dominican Republic and it was an experience that continues to shape the way that I see the world. On several of the evenings of that trip, we would share ways that we saw God throughout the day. Unanimously, it was the opportunity of seeing the Dominicans and their happiness and joy in the midst of having almost no material luxuries to speak of. It was perspective shifting and worldview expanding. They were looking for joy and they found it.
When I first started as a leader in the church, I remember being caught off guard when I heard a preacher say to some people who were visiting our church, "If you ever find the perfect church, don't join it because you'll ruin it." I understand his point, but the way he phrased it really got me thinking. Most people think that the church they currently attend is a great church, and probably the best church for them...otherwise they wouldn't be attending. Maybe we know that there are flaws because we realize that the church is just a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. So, we look for the best in one another. And when we do, we will find it.
As a minister, the boat headed in the opposite direction of where God wants me to go is usually named: pessimism, cynicism and bitterness. When I recognize these attitudes at work within me, I need to realize that I'm not pursuing God, I'm pursuing my own wisdom. If I'm looking for something to go wrong...I'll find it. If I'm looking for someone to let me down...I'll find it. If I'm expecting something to not turn out well...I'll find ways that it won't.
Recently, I decided to put a stop to the way I was blaming others, most of the time in my own mind. Instead, I began seeking opportunities to encourage the best qualities that I noticed in them. Two interesting things happened: First, I began to find more and more things to encourage about them. Two, my mind was forming new pathways of thought toward other people and it was changing me from the inside out. Not surprising that God would bless us for seeing other people as the valuable, precious creations that they are. That's how I've come to know that my boat is heading in the right direction.
Fridays are my day off from the office, I get Saturdays off as well, because Sunday, I'm on the job all day. So, we started a tradition a little over a year ago. We get up and get ready for the day and I take the kids to get a donut before school. My son, Everett, gets to have Friday fun with day all day since he hasn't started school yet. Although, we're usually getting the house in order from the week that was...he doesn't think that's very fun at all.
Since Friday Fun is part of my journey, I thought I'd try and share a fun post each Friday. These might range from stories to simply a video clip.
My kids love to take things in for show-and-tell at school. I was beaming with pride at how my daughter took her magic set in to school and actually performed two magic tricks in front of her entire class! I was relaying this story to my mom on the phone one evening, which prompted her to share a story of something that I had taken to school when I was in preschool for show-and-tell.
Do you remember those things that looked like fuzz balls with googly eyes and like felt feet glued to the bottom of them? As the story goes, I found an orange one of those and brought it in to show-and-tell my preschool class at the church that I went to for daycare, but we also attended there on Sunday. This wasn't just any orange fuzz ball with googly eyes and felt feet...no...this one had an added feature. It was holding a little white flag, with orange text that said, "Try a fuzzy navel!"
Needless to say, my teachers were curious and asked me where I got my orange fuzz ball, to which I gladly replied, "I got it from my aunt's bar, where my mom took me after school." My mom had a great time reassuring my teachers that we don't go hang at a bar all night after daycare.
Did you ever have to do show-and-tell growing up? I'd love to hear about the funniest or strangest thing you remember being shared?
It happened without me being fully aware that it was happening.
But there I was sharing some pizza with some other Student Ministers as we talked about the week of camp that we're planning together this summer. The conversation was flying and it was one of those lunches that you just don't want to leave because you feel a kindred spirit among everyone around the table. I really don't know how it came around, but suddenly we found ourselves talking about our age and years of experience in ministry. Each of them sharing that they were in their early to mid-twenties and then there's me. I'm now closer to 40 than I am 30. When did that happen?
Like I said, "it happened without me being fully aware that it was happening." It's like, one minute you're tossing back a Red Bull and rallying students to keep going at that church lock-in and the next minute you're donating your Xbox360 because, now that you have kids of your own you never really have time to play it. I can't say that I like the fact that I'm getting older, and upper thirties in youth ministry is getting up there.
As this reality has settled in, I've been thinking a lot about seasons of life. These certain periods of time in life that present distinct opportunities. For example, Watching my son score a goal brings me infinitely more joy than winning the World Cup on FIFA 2011. Of course it should, but when I was in that season of life, I couldn't even describe the pride that I would feel at seeing my little guy beam with excitement after planing one in the back of the net.
I'm at a place in ministry, now, where I'm regularly trying to hack at how I'm leading to see if I can work smarter and not harder. It's such a freeing feeling to know that the things I'm terrible at don't disqualify me from ministry. These are opportunities to find others to serve and use their strengths for God's glory.
There is a time for everything,
I remember listening to the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast several years ago and Stanley mentioned a phrase that changed my whole posture toward these seasons of life. Stanley said, "When I say, no, for now, that doesn't mean never." It's completely natural to not be able to do everything all the time...who can? Instead, give yourself the grace to say "no, for now" with the understanding that maybe some time in the future I will have the margin to step into that opportunity. A good example of this for me is inviting people over to my house. Before we had kids, Erin and I would have people over frequently for cookouts and bible study. When our kids came along we had to say "no, for now" on that aspect of ministry. However, there is another season coming when that opportunity will open up again for us.
Looking upon seasons past, I regularly see things that I missed and mistakes that I made, but they're part of the journey. I'm just glad to be on the journey...it's something that I know I've been called to do. Which reminds me, I'm definitely going to have to write a post about "Calling" real soon.
Regardless of the season that I'm in, I hope to make the most out of every opportunity, as Paul says, because, "the days are evil." (Eph. 5:16). The days seem to get increasingly evil as the years seem to go 10x faster that when I was in high school.
What's one thing that you love about your current season?
As I pursue God, I believe that I am becoming more and more holy. It’s really nothing that I’m doing, but rather what I’m allowing the Holy Spirit to do in me. Each season is another opportunity to take inventory of the places in my life where I’m still holding the position that I know better than God does. As I relinquish that position, I see God shaping me into the person He created me to be. One of the latest places of my submission to God has been in regard to Sabbath.
After being rejected by several churches, I threw everything I had into serving. I felt like I was spending every waking moment thinking about and planning and preparing opportunities for students to draw near to God. While I was doing everything I knew to do to be successful in ministry, I was more discouraged than ever. I was seeking validation from somebody, anybody that I was doing a good job and truly making a differing for God's Kingdom. I was in a really dark place. My temper; short. My work hours; long. My passion; waning. My family; frustrated. This was a recipe for disaster, but fortunately I had an opportunity to withdraw for a week to try and re-calibrate. I attended the CIY Wilderness retreat in Colorado, where I was able to connect with other Student Ministers and spend time with God at over 22,000 feet elevation on the side of a mountain.
I didn't know that someone could get burnt out doing ministry. I mean, I had heard the stories, but I was deceptively thinking that it would never happen to me.
It took some time to get used to the slowed pace of this week, but once I truly calmed down, I was able to listed to the still, small voice of God and He was saying to me over and over, “You need this every week.” At first, I pushed it aside, thinking, “Yeah, as soon as I get back, I have a stack of work to do that would rival the height of this mountain.” I imagined God standing over in the corner glancing at me with one eyebrow raised clearly not impressed with all the stuff I was going to do “for Him”
The challenge to spend a 24 hour period each week as a Sabbath rest was a key takeaway from my time in the mountains. I’m not perfect in doing this, but it has been a focus of mine this year. As a minister, it’s just not possible to make Sunday my day of rest. So, for my family, it’s from 5pm Friday evening - 5pm Saturday evening. It’s during this time that I actively attempt to disconnect for the sole purpose of spending time with God and Erin and the kids. As summer approaches, it gets difficult to make this happen regularly with week-long camps and events going on. But usually, each week, we make this happen.
Sabbath doesn't mean that I stop working just to get caught up on house work and errands. If this happens, we're doing these things together. However, when we're getting our best rest as a family, it's because the laundry, cleaning, groceries, etc. get done by 5pm on Friday. I used to think this was impossible, but I found that a little intentionality goes a long way toward creating a healthier rhythm of life for myself and my family.
I wasn’t sure completely how God was shaping me through this journey of Sabbath until my friend Brad told me that he was making a list of 5 of the happiest people he knew, so that he could pray for them. He said that I made the list. I was humbled to make such a list and as I reflected on that encouragement I had no choice but to turn it into praise to God for loving me and shaping me through this Sabbath journey.
Several years ago, I thought the door was opening for me to be the Preaching Minister in a local church. In most churches, the Preaching Minister, or Pastor, or Lead Minister, is the head of the church staff and serves in submission to the Elders of a church. Also, depending on church size, they may be in charge of many of the day-to-day operations of the church. This is something that I have aspired to since I began my studies at Bible College. As I mentioned, I thought the door was opening.
There were several reasons that I thought the door was opening. First, It didn't seem like the position I was in at the time was the long-term answer to fulfilling my calling. I wasn't unhappy...I guess "unsettled" is the best word to describe how I was feeling. When I'm feeling unsettled for a prolonged period (not just a couple hours, or a couple days...but several weeks)...I begin to pray and process why. I think at the core, was this nagging opportunity to one day be the leader of a church as their preacher. Second, opportunities presented themselves to go and be a preacher without me seeking them out. I received two such offers to go within a couple of weeks and before I knew it I was prayerfully sending out my resume and entering the interview process. I was all about walking through this door if it was indeed open.
It wasn't. (as you probably discerned from the title of this post)
It was an exciting time of exploration into the unknown, untapped potential of areas of my leadership. There were great phone conversations and exciting video conferences with church elders and leaders. I was really beginning to see myself stepping into this role, only to receive emails and phone calls letting me know that they were "going in another direction". While I was crushed, I completely understood why they made the decisions that they did. I was proud of myself for not responding in anger, as I had years prior to other vocational rejection. However, as much as i tried to move on from this season, I couldn't shake the reality that I had just been rejected.
Nobody likes rejection. Though sometimes rejection happens so frequently that it can make us callous to its effects. Take entertainment for example. I have friends who go to audition after audition and get rejected, but they are conditioned to know that without taking the risk and auditioning, you will never get the call. I wish I could handle rejection that way, maybe in time, I will.
I found out that rejection is a powerful scenario that, if left unchecked, can get rooted into the core of who I am resulting in a downward spiral of behaviors. An understanding of this came out this week while I was reading Genesis 39 and the account of Joseph and Potiphar's wife.
Joseph had just been sold into slavery by his jealous older brothers and he was then purchased by a man named Potiphar. Potiphar recognized that the Lord was with Joseph and over time he trusted Joseph with everything in his house, except his wife. In time, however, Potiphar's wife made frequent, blatant advances to Joseph to get him to sleep with her, but Joseph refused each time. Eventually, Joseph ran away from her as she grabbed his cloak leaving it behind.
Mrs. Potiphar used that cloak to craft the story of how it was Joseph who was trying to "make sport" of her. The power of rejection led to anger, and then hatred, and then self-preservation, and then deception. Ultimately it led to terrible consequences for an innocent party.
The analogy breaks down slightly, because Potiphar's wife was rejected for trying to do something immoral...yet the pattern of behavior after rejection is something worth examining because it could lead us down a similar path.
In the wake of this rejection, I remember a season of anger, not so much hatred...though maybe self-hatred for not measuring up. I remember fighting through self-preservation in the form of tearing down the other candidates that I was going against for the positions. The self-deception as I convinced myself that this rejection was no big deal and really not affecting me. The deception that I didn't have what it took to be a minister anymore. There were plenty of powerfully toxic thoughts in a personally painful season while I saw my open door of becoming a preacher slammed in my face.
The journey of a minister is one met with plenty of rejection...and I've found the only way that I can maintain a tender heart while simultaneously possessing thick skin is by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. It is by regularly placing my inadequacies, and there are many, at the feet of Jesus, that I find peace for my soul and confidence to know that God isn't finished with me.
Rejection must be uprooted. The fruit of rejection is a dark plague of the soul.
I don't regret exploring the opportunity to become a preacher, because I learned a lot in the process. I learned how much larger the responsibility truly is when you lead a church instead of a ministry inside of a church. I learned how difficult and personal the process is in finding the right person to be the next preacher at a church. I would come to learn that, while God wasn't opening that door for me, he had something much better in store for me.
What have you found to be helpful to uproot rejection in your life so that it doesn't fester?
Every student is just one caring adult away from being a success story. This is a slight modification from a Josh Shipp quote about the power of mentoring, but I have seen and I believe in the power that one caring adult can have in the life of a student.
When I was having a difficult time trying to make sense out of the direction of my life and figure out exactly where to go and what to do next, Doug came into my life at just the right time. His ability to make me think and make me laugh transformed the way I connected to God and helped me believe that He had a bigger story in mind for my life.
Doug directed me to study 2 Timothy and showed me his favorite Bible verse:
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
That verse has been an anchor for my identity in Christ. If I have succeeded in any measure in growing closer Christ and helping others to do the same, it is because of people like Doug who cared enough about me to invest.
Chances are, If you are the parent of a student or know a student, you want them to help them be a success story. The struggle is knowing how to get them there, and how to know you're putting the right things in their path to help them along. What if they were a part of a caring community who could help them as they navigate through their teenage years?
Doug is one of the big reasons that I believe that every student should be in a small group.
Every student needs a "Doug". Every adult can be a "Doug" to someone. Small groups are the context where these meaningful relationships thrive.
Just so we're clear, I'm using the term small group to mean a group of 8-10 students with a couple of leaders that is centered around the Bible and figuring out how to become a follower of God. There are many small group contexts out there, and I believe in the power of most of those as well. But, I talking about specifically my belief in this particular small group context.
Here are 5 reasons that I believe that every student should be in a small group:
1 - More Than A Face In The Crowd
It can become increasingly easy for students to come and go in larger groups without truly connecting with anyone. This certainly has a purpose and a season as a student decides if they're comfortable in a particular group. However, the small group allows for a student to be known and to know a few other people. There is tremendous power in just a couple of friendships to defeat isolation.
2 - Seeing A Mature Christian Leader Up Close And Personal
When students get to see a mature Christian leader up close and truly know their life, they get a picture of what it looks like to own their faith and take it seriously. It's important to note that a leader is not perfect, but they allow even their miscues to be part of the modeling process and a means to help students understand that God doesn't disqualify us because of our mistakes.
3 - Experiencing The Family Of God
These small groups begin to look like another family for students to belong. Not intending to replace a biological family by any means, the small group is a small sample of what belonging to the family of God is all about. It's about being consistent in one another's lives. It's about encouraging each other to pursue God through faith in Jesus Christ. It's about holding one another accountable to put to death sinful activity that creates distance between one another and God.
4 - Taking Steps In Faith
When a student is a part of a small group, they are able to see how they are truly growing in their faith. The leader is able to affirm their growth and challenge them to keep exploring the next steps that they can take in following God to greater depths.
5 - Seeking Refuge When Crisis Happens
There are all kinds of crises. Small crises. Big crises. We don't get to choose when they'll strike our lives and they can lead to ruin. These two verses from Ecclesiastes are among my favorite, and illustrate this beautifully:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Knowing that you have a source of healthy community to turn when your ship capsizes can be the difference between growing in the midst of trials or giving up.
Every student needs to be in a small group. There are so many blessings and benefits to this type of community! As a Student Minister, small groups will always be a huge piece of how we point students to Jesus.
Every adult has incredible potential to invest in the lives of a few students and help them become a success story, just like Doug did for me. By the way, Doug and I have very little in common. He's a St. Louis Cardinal fan for crying out loud! But I admired his faith in God and how he let the Bible guide his life. Don't buy into the life that you have to be a charismatic, attractive leader to connect with students. Authenticity is the trait that wins the day!
What benefits have you experienced from being a part of a small group?
What do you think keeps caring adults from investing in the lives of students?
I go to worship every weekend, but if I’m honest I struggle with “preparing my heart” to worship. I have to guard against church becoming just another thing that I do, rather than I meaningful connection with my Heavenly Father.
I figured that I wasn’t the only one with this problem, so I began a search to see what a more heart-felt approach to going to church would look like.
What does the Bible say about preparation?
And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
God instructed Moses to get the Israelites ready to encounter the Lord.
When I go to church, I am doing exactly that, I'm encountering God. I lift up praises to Him, I hear an exhortation from the Bible, I remember Jesus’ sacrifice for sins, I connect to brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.
But if I neglect to prepare my heart for what is about to happen, I’m subtlely placing an obstacle of routine between God and myself.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Here is a promise from God to the Israelites at one of their lowest points as a nation. You and I will find God when we seek Him with all our heart.
I’m so busy to prepare for anything!
The other day, I got a text from my friend asking me if I wanted to go to this cajun restaurant in town. We’d been talking about it a couple times, so when sent me the text, I knew it was time to make it happen. I asked him if he wanted to go later that evening or the next night. He and I both made arrangements and we were both mowing down on jumbalaya that evening.
Every week we all have the same ammount of time, 168 hours or 10,080 minutes. And if you’re anything like me, you find yourself incredibly busy moving from one thing to the next and then kind of whirrring down at night only to jump up frantically in the morning and start the whole cycle over again.
If something’s important enough, we’ll find a way to make it happen.
So, here are some ways to prepare your heart to encounter God at church each weekend.
1 - Begin the night before.
When I first began distance running, I was going early in the morning to get my run in for the day. So, the night before I laid out my clothes and I set multiple alarms to remove any obstacle between me and getting up to run.
How can I minimize the decisions that I have to make before I go to church?
2 - Focus on one passage of Scripture.
One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Psalm 139.
I particularly love the last couple verses of the Psalm:
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
I also like the Topical Memory System of Bible Verses to focus and study and memorize. These verses focus on the promises of God, the character of God, and our response to God.
What is one passage of Scripture that you can focus on while you get ready to go to church?
3 - Pray seeking prayers.
When I’m praying a “seeking” prayer:
I’m telling God that my heart is open to listen.
I’m asking for forgiveness for anything that I’ve done to run from God in any area of my life.
I’m asking God to open my eyes to see what He will be saying to me while I’m at church.
I’m seeking direction from God for the next week of life and how I can follow Him better.
What will you say to God in prayer to seek Him before going to church?
All together, this process takes probably an hour, but It isn’t done in one time block.
It’s usually 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there.
Also, this is a process that helps me prepare my heart each day. If I forget to do it in the morning, I’ll try to do it on my lunch break, so I’m ready to take on the afternoon. Really, the only way to fail is to do nothing.
So, let’s get started: Pick one scripture and focus on that. Once you’ve picked it out, share it in the comments.