Spontaneity vs Intentionality
The students just had their first week back at school and I think we're all a bit ready for things to go back to normal. It's exciting that we can finally see an end in sight even if that may be a bit off for now. But nonetheless we are getting under way and the semester is picking up momentum. We have so many exciting things on the horizon in our ministry, and the spring semester is often a time of rapid growth and change. We've got our winter camp replacement coming up, then a sermon series on biblical ethics which should prove to be quite the preaching challenge but good for our students. Then we have multiple initiatives put into place by our staff like service projects, a push on outreach and mission, and a guided scripture reading plan. It seems the semester is shaping up to be a really good one, and I have great confidence that the Lord will work powerfully through this season.
As I've started meeting with my guys and hearing about how their breaks went I was not surprised to see many felt discontented by how it went. Every year we see a theme of students going into the break with expectations of great spiritual renewal, but instead they experience a great renewal of old habits, most of which involve hours of Netflix. We've all been guilty of this, life changes, our routines get mixed up, and suddenly weeks go by and we realize that our relationship with the Lord has been starving. A lot of my guys think that they should just feel like reading their Bible or it should come naturally to spend hours in prayer. They sometimes think that it's inauthentic if they do it because they know they should rather than just feeling a spontaneous desire to do those things.
While I'd agree that we should all be striving to become someone who desires scripture, prayer, and the other spiritual disciplines, I think we may have lost sight of the value of intentionality. I'd wager that the Lord is quite pleased with the guy who struggles with finding scripture interesting, but nonetheless gets up every day and commits to reading and studying the Word. Not that we should stay in that place, but I see Jesus as someone who meets us where we're at and lifts us higher, rather than someone who looks down on us with disdain from above. So I've come to believe that intentionality is key for the life of a disciple, and I'm so excited to see my students learning this, albeit if it's through a rough season for some of them.
Overall this semester is looking to be challenging, encouraging, and unique. I'm ready to get into it.
Pray for the guys I mentioned who are learning consistency and intentionality with the Lord.
Pray for an upcoming conversation I need to have with one of my guys about coming to a decision point on faith. It will most likely be difficult and not pleasant, but necessary.
Pray for our staff to have wisdom about planning events and sermons for this semester.