Buckle up! I'll get straight to the point: tonight, I had to do one of the most difficult things EVER in my life. I announced that plans have been put into motion (at FBCKM) for me to transition into a new staff position - Missions Pastor. Yes, this will be my last summer as Minister of Students at FBCKM. The church newsletter that went out today (arriving Thursday in digital and print formats) will share more specifics. If the church follows the lead of the deacons and the Personnel Committee, they will vote in early July to approve this transition. A search committee will start after that to find a new Minister of Students.
Tonight was hard. As I looked out into the eyes of the youth group, especially the rising seniors, I struggled to form just the right words. I know there was shock, disappointment, and some deep sadness. I will stand by my challenge from the book of Joshua (chapters 1 & 3) to the 2013 graduates tonight:
- God is still God even in the changes and transitions of life! God is ever faithful and He will always be with us. His strength and courage are there for us to have. In the first chapter of Joshua, God commands Joshua three times to be strong and courageous - not to be afraid or discouraged! If there was ever a person that knew the challenges of facing an uncertain and difficult future, it was Joshua.
- God can do great things in your life! News flash: God, Creator of the Universe, is powerful enough to move in your life and use you to do great things for His glory. These great things may NOT be great in the world's eyes, but big-time in terms of the Kingdom of God. Ephesians 2:10 declares that we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Seek His face, Trust Him, be who you were made to be! No, Jeremiah 29:11 was not written for us today, but it still holds truth that is applicable to us - God's people in the scope of His plans have HOPE and a FUTURE.
- Consecrate yourself and watch God do amazing things. In Joshua 3:5, Joshua challenged the people (on the eve of crossing the Jordan river) to consecrate themselves for "tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." The author of Hebrews declares that one can't see God "without HOLINESS." Be set apart - be different! Why do we try and try to look and act like the majority of people and a societal system that is wacked out? "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Why should we think that we will experience the fullness of our relationship with God if we are chasing after all the other little "g" gods that are worthless?