Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nerves For the Summer

  Last summer, I led a Bible study for college-age people (young adults) and it wen t really well!!  I was so pleased to see the work God could do through me and through others there that were learning how to walk with Him!  Of course, to start the summer off, I was nervous (REALLY NERVOUS) because I had never led anything like that before; I had always been a participant, never a leader.  Well as the summer went on, I became comfortable with the idea that it's not my nerves I should focus on, but let God focus on molding me so that He can mold others.  It was such a wonderful growing experience, and I learned SO MUCH about myself, patience, and endurance that God can give if I ask Him for it. 

  Over the past schoolyear, I have had very minor ministry, working with Jr. High School students (5 of them) and two to four college age students (half of which are typically inconsistent).  I have spent time on my own qith God, and rarely planned anything for Sunday mornings because half the time I was the only one there.  It's been so hard and trying to learn this aspect of ministry: things really AREN'T going to go the way you'd want them to go.  It sucks.  So as my hours went down, I started thinking ahead on what I could do for the summer. Yay! right? Well as the peak of the semester rolled through my schedule, I put EVERYthing to do with college ministry on the backburner... bad move, Jess.  I didn't set up any lessons, I never got together with the praise band, I didn't keep in touch with the pastor about Sunday night services, I rarely talked to the youth pastor about Tuesday night Bible studies, I haven't had any mentoring time with the college girls I commited to mentoring, and so on.  I was focused on my 40-hour work weeks, three online classes, house resposibilities, and a boyfriend (now fiance) in another city an hour and a half away.  I was SO overwhelmed!  And once the smoke began to clear, I took a breath wondering why nothing else was goin on when I realized, "Oh crap!  It's been MONTHS since I last planned for ministry!!! How did I let this happen!?"  You see, the thing about ministry that I have learned in my short time on the field is this: if you are called, you better devote your WHOLE life to that calling.  Ministry is NOT a part-time or half-time thing; it is FULL time, and if you are called to it, you better be willing to dedicate all of your time to fulfilling that duty God has given you.  I did not keep this in mind, and now I am in about an inch of doodoo (not too deep, but enough to not be good). 

  This summer, I had started making plans to meet the Lighthouse Bible study at the Rooster, like last year, on Tuesday nights and go over the book of James with other Thirst quenchers throughout the Word.  I haven't made but ONE lesson for the whole summer so far, and I should have at least FOUR done already, if not more.  I also made plans ONCE with the leader of the praise band to have Sunday night worhsip services for my college group.  I haven't talked with him about it since early March... I also wanted to do some local mission work with the Bible study group (i.e. soup kitchen, habitat for humanity, etc.) but I haven't even MENTIONED these ideas to the woman who would be able to get me scheduled at these places.  I have hardly done much work beyond what I've already done to improve upon the ministry God has blessed be and entrusted me with.  I know that, with as awesome and almighty as He is, He will be able to use the ministry I have independent of the works that I do.  But it's still a discouraging thought that I could have done more, but didn't.

  I need prayer and encouragement for this summer for many reasons - most of them listed.  To go along with all of this, the few people that were regulars last summer (the ones who weren't afraid to speak up and give their input and answer/ ask questions) will be staying in their designated college towns for the summer.  I hope that God is able to speak to whoever comes and that new 'leaders' in the group will come out.  This will be my last summer leading this particular Bible study (I'm getting married!!!) and I don't want to leave without knowing that someone strong in their faith that has a heart for God's people will continue this great ministry and pass it on when they leave.  PLEASE pray for all of these things, prayer is so powerful, and I'm having a hard time with it.  Thanks for reading.  And if you would like to join our group this summer for fellowshipping and communion with God, learning more about His heart for us, and learning how to walk closer to Him, leave a comment and let me know :) I'll be glad to give you more details about our meetings!  I know God will pull me together before our first meeting, and I kow that the summer is in His hands... I just need encouragement.


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