46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. – Acts 2:46-47
When you work in student ministry, summers are generally one of the busiest times of the year. Between camp, VBS, events, trips, and weekly services it generally seems like summertime simply flies by before you realize what is going on. In fact, this is so much so that it is easy to get so caught up in running various events and services that we forget to recognize all the work that God is doing during this time. We have a tendency to most often highlight all the fun things that students are doing, because we do a lot of fun and exciting things in student ministry. There is a lot of merit to these fun, fellowship-centered events. It is a good thing for us as believers to have a community of other believers, who can support us in difficult times, praise with us in good times, keep us accountable, and simply be encouragements throughout our walk with Christ. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” In addition to these benefits, fun and fellowship-centered events are beneficial as a means to begin introducing non-church people into the church world and showing them that Christians do in fact know how to have fun. However, it can become a problem if these fun events become the primary focus of a ministry. I love the quote from the missionary Malla Moe, “What are we here for, to have a good time with Christians or to save sinners?”
All that being said, I want to take some time in this blog to highlight some of the amazing things that God has done and is doing in the lives of our students this summer. At the beginning of the summer, our church had our annual Vacation Bible School where we had 130 kids registered. During this week, we had a multitude of students serving in various capacities. There were students who helped lead the worship rallies, students who helped teach and lead kids classes, students who watched the pre-school kids, students who helped with rec time, and students who helped with Bible teaching time. It brought me great joy to see the way our students gave up their precious summer time to love on kids and lead them towards Jesus.
This year, we were blessed to bring a record number of students to camp. Camp is one of our students’ favorite weeks of the year because they are able to take a week away from the distractions of their normal lives, spending time with other believers and focusing on their relationship with Christ. There were several students who grew deeper in their relationship with God through this week, and this can be seen in how students talked about God, read their Bible, and truly engaged in worship. There were a few students who told me at the beginning of the week that they didn’t really enjoy worship, but by the end of the week and ever since then, they have truly been engaging in worship and loving it. In addition to all of that, we had two students who committed their lives to Christ and came forward to be baptized after camp!
One of the things we do every summer on Wednesday nights in the student ministry is a series called Summer Jams, where we take four weeks and study various Psalms together. We do this in a format where the students are actually given a chance to study scripture on their own and come up with what their passage means and how it applies to their lives today. It is so exciting for me to be able to see students sitting around tables and digging into the Bible on their own, and I pray that this ignites a passion for studying scripture on their own.
Our mission statement here at Fellowship West is to Share Jesus, Disciple Believers, and Love People. As much fun as it is to fellowship with other believers, if we want to truly fulfill our mission statement, and the Great Commandment that it is based on, we must be focusing on these three calls and celebrating wins in these areas together. We should be striving to Share Jesus regularly with those whom God places in our path. We should all be engaged in the discipleship process by having someone pouring into us as we in turn pour into others. And we should all be seeking out ways to show the love of Christ as we serve others. As we go about our lives Sharing Jesus, Discipling Believers, and Loving People, we should regularly be publicly sharing wins with our church family so that we can see how our mission statement is impacting our area. I firmly believe that if we all begin to engage in the process of Sharing Jesus, Discipling Believers, and Loving People, we can have an incredible Kingdom Impact on the Kansas City Metro area.