This past year, I functioned as the Family Ministry Pastor - a new role for me that had me overseeing Children's Ministry (where I pastored for 3+ years) and Student Ministry. Both are very different areas and require similar, but still very different skill sets. When the end of the the 2012-13 school year was up, I actually found myself reflecting back and missing my student ministry leaders and students.
Student Ministry isn't for everyone and after 1-year of being neck-deep in it, I've come up with the following 6 things I learned while in Student Ministry:
What I Learned:
What I Screwed Up:
At the end of the year, I was sad to no longer have all the students and small group leaders part of my life and job as I get ready to move to Neepawa. I learned lots about myself, made a lot of mistakes that allowed me to grow and see my own leadership strengths and weaknesses in a new light. I love the direction of Student Ministry at my church and know that there will be lots of kid's lives changed because of the amazing small group leaders that have invested their time, energy and love into them!
Where have you been challenged in your leadership journey recently? What have you learned about yourself (including where you screw up)? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Strange thing to ask? I mean, can God really be limited by mere humans, let alone labels? Isn't he able to break through something as silly as a word we may attribute to ourselves or someone else?
Yes he can! But have you limited him?
This is a question I am asking myself these days - we have just entered another surge week in our church, where we surge ahead spiritually and financially (special offering taken to eliminate a capital campaign) which includes a week of 24/7 prayer.
This time, our prayer guide is a listening prayer guide: where we are listening and discerning what it is that God wants us to pray for. Too often, our prayers can be about God fulfilling what we believe to be his will (and sometimes, we're probably wrong about this assumption) so this time, we decided to take a week as a church to spend time asking him what He wants us to pray for and how to gain a vision for our city that is in line with His.
Check out a copy of our guide below.
What got me thinking was a section in the guide where we use our imagination to help us "walk" through the town with Jesus while we ask him about various locations and people. The hope is, that as a church, we will begin to have pieces of God's plan for Portage la Prairie and Neepawa be revealed to us through our corporate week of prayer.
I really like the idea, but as I continue to pray about these things, I begin to wonder if I have been limiting God by assuming the label of "God doesn't communicate to me that way."
I do firmly believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to us through visions, dreams, impressions and illumination of scripture, but I've never [sincerely] approached prayer with the approach that He could be speaking to me that way.
So this week, I've spent quite a few hours in prayer, walking through the prayer guide (and through Neepawa) with Jesus to just sit and listen. I've had my journal out and jotted down thoughts, ideas and spent some time just being still.
That seems weird to me on some levels because I've been raised and taught in such an evangelical environment where the purpose of prayer was that we bombarded God with requests for extended periods of time. To spend hours sitting is a new thing... and I kinda like it.
I picture myself sitting at the feet of my heavenly father - just to spend time with him. Sometimes I talk. Sometimes He talks. Other times, we just sit. And it's good.
Through this week, I'm trying to take off the labels I've placed on myself and allow God to speak to me in ways, I may have never experienced before.
What about you? How have you approached prayer? Have labels you've given yourself limited God working in your life? Leave a comment and let us know!
I am a pastor in rural Manitoba that is passionate about the church, leadership, coffee and bicycles.