"Sucking for Jesus accomplishes nothing."
That is what a friend of mine told me before service tonight. Yep, you read that right. But, just in case:
"Sucking for Jesus accomplishes nothing."
Okay, that doesn't sound super insightful. But it is a quick way to share my heart in caring for the details.
Maybe it is because I am part of the production team at church, but I have grown to truly care about the details. I grown to care about my craft--no matter what I'm doing.
Do you plan events? Worship Jesus in perfect execution of an itinerary.
Are you a student? Worship Jesus in not missing assignments.
Are you a mother of six? Worship Jesus in raising up leaders that will influence the world for Him.
Sucking at your craft does nothing for the kingdom. Can God still work with it? Of course---He's GOD.
It frustrates me when people make first impressions about the global church based on how much Christian movies suck. Let's be real--they're not that great no matter how great the heart was behind them.
Not taking pride in what you do. Not taking time to master the details of your project--that's accomplishing nothing for the kingdom.
Worship doesn't have to mean raising your hands at church and singing on Sunday. You can worship God in excellence.
This blog post may come across as a little rant-y and for that I'm very sorry. But can you just join me in vision casting for a moment?
What if every Christian woke up tomorrow and chose to worship God in their excellence. Not to build themselves up, but to truly worship Him. To say, "look at these talents God has given me and I give them wholly back to Him."
Would Christians have a different feel? Would the whole Christians are "not of this world" thing have more merit.
Yes, avoiding sin and yielding to the Holy Spirit is monumental in reflecting Jesus on earth. But can't we also do that in our craft? Can't we also do that in the details?
These last few months I have been interning for the Young Adult Ministry of Red Rocks Church. My time here has been so sweet and so much different than I was anticipating. I have learned about video production, pastoring young adults, and what it means to walk according to the call that has been placed on my life.
But more than anything, I have learned the importance of surrounding yourself with an amazing team. Good leaders surround themselves with good people. Less important than feeling connected and feeling like you belong, is actually being pushed towards Jesus.
This team has challenged me more than I anticipated. By being honest about their shortcomings, they have prompted me to do the same. But more challenging than that, is being surrounded by people who are really good at what they do. This team is so comfortable in the talents that God has given them that they run so confidently to work tirelessly to grow His Kingdom.
I don't mean challenging in the fact that I'm threatened, but in the way that I am pushed to become better. I have so much to learn to be anywhere near their level. And, even then, as they make it so clear to me, it's not about being on a level but making Jesus famous.
So what I want to challenge you with today is asking yourself three questions:
1. Am I growing in my talents to make Jesus known?
2. Are the people around me pushing me to do my best for God?
3. Am I pushing people to take risks, use their talents, and live missionally?
I hope to take these lessons learned with me far beyond this internship. God has taught me to value my talents and seek to improve them. He has revealed to me the importance of an incredible team. And I hope that God continues to introduce me to more people seeking Him and the growth of His Kingdom with all of their heart, mind, soul and talents.
I think my season is changing.
I think I'm entering into my next phase of life. I can feel it coming. I have anticipation in my heart and I am confident God is going to continue to do great things in my life.
I'm getting close to my final year of college, and with that comes the beginning of the rest of my life.
I know that sounds dramatic, but it is how I feel. One more year until I have to have it all figured out. While I know that's not exactly true, I think a lot of you might identify with how I'm feeling.
Thankfully, I serve a God much smarter than me. As long as I'm willing and obedient, I can take a deep breath and go along for the ride.
Trusting in God's plan and will for your life is sometimes really hard. Especially when it's not a clear road. If God said, "follow these directions and you'll be happier, healthier and more in love with me." I think it would be easier to follow Him.
But sometimes you just don't know what He is up to, and that's okay. He knows full well what's going in your heart, your life, and your future.
Okay, yes, you guessed it. That was a little pep talk for myself. Reminding myself of His word, His character, His goodness.
I put myself out there. Trusting God & trusting how He made me. But, I haven't heard anything back yet. I was so confident that He wanted me to apply and intern, but I have this feeling that it might just not happen.
My season is changing, but not the way that I thought it would. And that's okay. None of this surprised the wonderful King we serve.
Do you have a favorite thing ever? Something that sticks out to you no matter what--even if you're overly excited, tired & grumpy, or stressed & distracted?
I love, more than anything, watching people do what God crafted them for. There is something just so captivating about watching people do something well, and for God's glory.
I have this friend who has been very involved in our campus ministry, doing what God crafted her to do. Lead worship. This friend also plays on Sundays at our church (shout out: Red Rocks Church-Lakewood Campus).
The other day I got a text from her, "I'm not leading worship on campus anymore, but I'm still going to be as involved as I can."
I was shocked. She was MADE for this. So, of course, I called and talked to her about her decision. Me, and my limited human brain, thought she was making a huge mistake--she should be doing what God crafted her for. What was she thinking!? God gifted her in something and she needed to manage it well.
But, she felt like God was nudging her to do more, by doing less. "I'm not giving myself enough time to practice what He wants me to be good at. "
I've been rolling that comment around in my head ever sense. Just because God crafted her for something specific, didn't mean that she could throw practice right out the window. Trial & Error. Seeking advice from people gifted in the same area. Time spent actually practicing.
How smart of God. Build us in a way where we can get better at the thing He made us to do; all the while, getting closer to Him.
And, if this wasn't a real story that God used to teach me something, I would have made up a different gift. I think music-people know that God gifted them in music, but for us non-artistic people that "what did God make me for" question can be a lot harder to deal with.
Don't know what God gifted you to do? Ask your friends. Even if you think you know what God gifted you to do, ask your friends. You might be surprised at their answers.
Things I would tell my friends:
-God made you in a way where you feel what other people feel.
-God made you the master of handling awkward situations, seriously nothing trips you up.
-God rooted such a passion for His Word in your heart, it makes me want to read It more.
-God gave you the eyes to walk into a room, and see the needs of everyone
(and then work to help meet them)
-God made you good with money, and I'm thankful you're apart of this ministry.
The ultimate purpose for any gift we have been given is to glorify God--to explain and reflect His gospel in everything we do. The truth is, managing the gifts God has given us takes practice and being intentional about knowing what they are.
What are you practicing?