Monday, January 28, 2008

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

Okay, maybe they are not so little, but certainly they are leading.

Last night (1/27/08), the students at HBC led a service in which they shared about their recent camp experience. For most of us in the church, we have heard these reports many times before. At times, these service get into a "contest" of who can be the funniest, who can say the "craziest" thing, or even a testimony to the food and "van ride."

However, last night seemed to have a deeper and more spiritual sense than in times before. This time we heard about relationships being forged, spiritual relationships. We heard about getting to know God on almost a "first name" basis. We heard about laying things down on the altar. We even heard one teenager being brutally honest and talked about her heart, or her feeling of not having one.

Of all the comments of the night, this moment of total transparency was used by God to speak to every person in the house. To think that a young person can share the most intimate part of her innermost being with a church family is almost beyond belief today. As a church family, we all felt helpless to "do" anything to ease her pain, but we did offer a prayer and ongoing support for spiritual and emotional healing.

For me, I left the service a little hurting and deeply encouraged. Talk about "mixed emotions", well, I had them. My heart was hurting because of the questions racing through my mind. "Why do students have to get away from the "church" in order to have an experience like this?" (While I do understand the spiritual principle of "retreat", it seems to me that the assembly should always be a retreat from the world.) "Why do the students come back and share such a soul stirring message about God changing their lives only to slip away in a couple of weeks?" "How can I assist our Students in Maintaining a "hot-heart" for God even here at home?"

The questions for me are seemingly endless. Yet, I am encouraged. Maybe because of this experience the student will find the strength to change the church. Maybe they will step forward and continue to move toward spiritual maturity and lead the church membership on that journey with them.

Seems to me, that once you have "tasted that the Lord is good", you never want to settle for second best. Lord, Make It So!!

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