Tuesday, August 15, 2006

An aching heart.

My life is pretty busy right now. I'm getting ready to begin a new young adult ministry for 18-29 year olds. Most of the people I already have a relationship with because they graduated out of our youth ministry. But, I am looking forward to gathering with others too. We have needed to do this for so long. My heart is really aching for them.

Sometimes I can feel the frustrations of 17 year-olds who can't wait to get out of church. They tell their parents they can't wait until they turn 18. They want so bad to get out. Get out of boredom. Get out of oppression. Mostly out from under the wings of mom and dad, but also away from a traditional set of leaders.

I have seen these kids praying their guts out with their friends. I have seen them raising their hands in worship and expressing their love for God with sincerity and passion. In crowds. They love to be together when things are all about Jesus.

Somehow, things have changed. Most of the time its a boyfriend or girlfriend or job. It tears me up because I care about them. I pray for them, make plans for them, and put all my energy into teaching them. I even gather resources for their parents. Everything in me wants them to do good. I believe they can, but I wonder if they will keep pursuing Christ.

I have heard some things that make me sad. I can only imagine what parents are feeling.

They are in the hands of God. I know He loves them, because He has burdened me with their needs and given me an excitement in my chest to gather them together. I realize that I must act upon that love.

I must thank the Holy Spirit for helping me see ahead. For although I am taking on these additional responsibilities that He has placed on me, He has also given me direction and led me to resources. The next couple of months are being laid out. Not only that, but I have been able to plan out the next 3 months of messages and themes for youth ministry.

Now, may you also act upon the love God has placed in you for someone else. May your heart be burdened for them, that you are compelled to lift their name before the Lord, that your schedule would be personally affected because of them. May you sense the Spirit's leading and provision and be thankful.

God bless you all.


Tim said...

I feel your heart, man. It's sad when seniors are aching to leave church. At first I tend to take it kinda personally, but then I remember all the other kids who actually DO wanna stay, so I know it's not my fault or anything that some wanna leave. It is tough, though.

ruthrap said...

for all the ones that can't wait to leave the church, all i can say is someday they will be back, because all those things they think are so important now will soon become old and once they have a foundation of good sound teachings when they are in the formative years, it is always there and even tho they may stray, they will never forget where home truly is. keep them in your thoughts and in your prayer---they won't forget you!

JimmyBob said...

Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm glad to have friends like you out there.

ruthrap, I know what you're saying is true. My sister wandered away for awhile, but she came home a few years ago. Now she is serving the Lord with full devotion and her teenage girls are too. Isn't that one of God's promises?

tim, I took a look at your resume and notice you were camp director at Hallawasa in New Jersey (in addition to other things). Dude, I was a youth pastor in Glassboro, New Jersey for almost 5 years. You went to school in Philadelphia and I went to school in Phoenixville, near Valley Forge. Then, I noticed you posted recently about House by Peretti & Dekker. I did too! Wassup? You're like my little brother, except you're smarter than me. Thanks for coming on here. I have no idea how you found me, but it's great to hear from you.

Looking forward to future comments.

Tim said...

lol! Yeah, I just came back and noticed the Valley Forge thing and was gonna comment on that. Small world, huh? I dunno about the "smarter" thing, though. You should ask my wife about that one -- I'm sure she'll disagree. ;-)

I'm gonna subscribe to your RSS feed and keep up with your blog. Looks like good stuff.

Tony Myles said...

Sounds like a holy discontent. Let it rip you up so that you keep after it!

JimmyBob said...

Tony, I like that..."holy discontent."

Ephesians 5:1-2 says, "Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like a sweet perfume to him."

Personally, that's what I hope to achieve with these kids. I want to give myself away.

Thanks dude. I won't shy away from the burden. I'll keep after it as long as Christ gives me the will for it.