Yesterday, I took some time to regroup from IMPACT. Which to me is me laying out at the pool and reading. I have been reading a book by Priscilla Shrier called “1 in a Million.” It’s theme is about the exile out of Egypt and into the promisedland. There was literally 1 in a million people ready and willing to listen to God, free themselves from bondage, and lead the way to the promised land. Priscilla is a wonderful speaker, pastor’s wife, and mom. If you have never heard her speak, then you need to hear her. She will be speaking at the Deeper Still Conference in Birmingham, Alabama December 3 & 4 along with Beth Moore…and trust me I will be there…get your tickets!!
Anyway, in her book she was talking about how so many people live their lives where the pew never hits the pavement. Church services are designed to ignite a fire for you to go home and go deeper. They are just surface level really. It is when you can personally spend time connecting where actual growth happens…not to discount myself or preachers or speakers, but it really isn’t about what we say as much as if it IMPACT’s you to do something after you get home or outside of the building!
In June we spent a good amount of time talking about the “Invisibles” in preparing for our mission work we were going to be doing in the student ministry at Cove. This past week, those 62 middle schoolers took that to heart.
The pew hit the pavement.
One of the most memorable projects we worked on was putting a good 20 foot or so walkway in that connected the New Hope Elementary School to the Children’s Clinic. The students mixed over 3000 pounds (I believe) of Quickcreek. They laid stones. Then they got to decorate them with their hand prints, crosses, etc. Then we put them out making a beautiful walkway. It was grueling work, but everyone pitched in towards a common cause and made it happen.
Not only all that, but there were about 9 other projects they completed. Some were relational and some physical.
VBS was a success thanks to much leadership shown by some of our high school students who came to help and the middle school students that were willing to look a little silly with the kids. Many of the VBS children showed up to our BBQ Picnic on Wednesday night.
We had many fun games that Andrew Boustani led. The kids had fun being silly and working as a team on some of the games.
At night, worship was led by Scott Wallace. Our students truly connect through worship, and I love to observe them crying out to Him. Many of the students had a great time worshiping and mentioned how great it was on the evaluations. It was spiritual.
Scott Wallace, Josh Pierce, Becca from the CARE Center, Rob Owens, and the High School Appalachian Mission Team brought the lessons at night about letting their light shine. They spoke from the heart, and it truly blessed.
IMPACT was an amazing trip.
It never ceases to amaze me how God always shows up.
During the trip, we had a few obstacles to overcome…Such as, there was no water (a pipe busted) in the gym where we spent most of our time and were to shower. It is truly frightening to get up in front of around 75 people and say, “hey there are no showers so you have to wash tonight with a water hose.” The students and adults were truly obliging and handled the situation with grace. In fact, many students asked if we could shower that way the next night, and it made many of the evaluation forms as one of the most fun activities. Goes to show, God can make several jugs of lemonade out of lemons.
We also did not have power when we got to the park where we threw our picnic. Which, I found Satan to be extremely clever here. Our theme was letting our light shine, right? Well, there being no light at our community picnic was such an oxymoron. We did bring in generators for our inflatable obstacle course, band, and snowcone machine.
I could not help but smile as some of the middle school girls were making a list of who all wanted to volunteer at the Children’s Clinic this summer. I hope these students continue to let the pew hit the pavement…that is where real transformation happens.
After all, Jesus really didn’t spend much time in a pew. He was hitting the pavement.