Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Night at Camp

I was in a meeting on Sunday evening and we talked about blogs. I knew I had to write a blog since it has been over a month since my last post. I thought I might write about some things we talked about in that meeting and dedicate this blog to Sharon Lee. Something entirely more impressive came up last night. I hope you'll indulge me.

My man was asked to come out to student camp last night and say a little something to our students. We had already heard of the great things God was doing among our students - kids coming from death to life. We arrived toward the end of the worship time because Johnny taught Bible study at our church and then had a premarital counseling time with a couple he'll marry in a few weeks. It was commitment time and students were called forward that wanted to follow Jesus. This was no secretive hand-raising while every head is bowed and every eye is closed. This was, everyone is looking, everyone is going to know, and it's going to take some courage to stand. On 3, they stood and the very next heartbeat was filled with clapping and cheering. We're used to clapping at our church. We always clap when someone comes to life in Jesus. There's something powerful about that agreement.

Those students and their counselors exited the building then the speaker made another appeal. Come forward, he said, if you feel God calling you to ministry, missions, using your gifts and talents for Him. A huge group of students moved forward. The speaker was visibly moved and so was I. He called for a time of prayer over those students. He talked about how ministry can be hard. He told how ministry can be lonely and, at times, you can feel isolated. For sure I know about that. Even for my own kids that are called to ministry, I know some days are going to be so difficult. The people we are called to serve can be, at times, arduous to serve. Johnny will often tell young folks called to ministry to be sure because there will be days when you have to know for sure that God has called and He is the only way you will get through that day.

Look, I'm not being a skeptic, but I know not every person who walked forward last night will be called to vocational ministry. I know some of them will have the opportunity to minister in all sorts of jobs and professions. What I do know for sure, after standing in that room last night, is that God is doing something awesome in their midst. After hearing their testimonies and descriptions of how God is speaking to those students through His Word and through others this week, I know they are listening. Some of those students in that room will do what others who have been a part of that group before them have done - they will truly commit their life to full-time ministry. It's something awesome to behold.

I've been to the Passion conferences and have seen 10s of 1000s of students worshiping unashamed, hands lifted high. I saw hands raised last night. I heard the sound of their voices. I've seen Facebook posts and tweets about how God is moving in the lives of students in camps all over the place this summer. This I know for sure, God is raising up a generation of students for the sake of His name.

In Acts 14:16-17, Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra and Paul said, "In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; yet He did not leave Himself without a witness."

God is not leaving Himself without a witness. I've seen proof of it. There's a generation rising up. Here's the questions for us older people - will we match them in our call, in our enthusiasm? Will we model what it means to live wholly and completely for God? Will we encourage our students to live for Him even when it's hard? Will we support those who are called to vocational ministry and how will we do it?

So, that was my night at camp. Can't wait to get back out there tonight!

Serving the King,


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