As I write to you today I am on my way to Mexico for a week of fun & relaxation with Stacey. I wanted to take this opportunity to write you and let you know how proud I am of each and every one of you. Over the last five weeks we have seen some incredible momentum at Live Youth Church. Our St. Patty’s Day Bash tied an all-time attendance high for us and we have grown through two very successful Live After Parties. Your friends, the ones you have been boldly inviting to church, have been making decisions to follow Christ week after week. As a ministry, we are all truly living the adventure together.
Stacey and I have been your youth pastors for seven years (with more to come) and it seems like we’ve been praying, hoping, and believing for ministry like this since we started. I want you to know that this great momentum we’re riding is merely the beginning of what God wants to do in and through us. When Jesus told Peter what his purpose would be in the God’s Kingdom he said that upon him he would BUILD his church and the gates of Hell would not overcome it. That word build sticks out to me. God has been building His church right in our midst and this is only the beginning. I want you to join in on the fun; being on His construction crew is the best job imaginable.
In Luke 15 Jesus tells three stories that help illustrate what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. The stories are about a lost sheep, lost coin, and perhaps the most famous, the lost (prodigal) son. Each of these stories helps us understand the truth about our Dad in Heaven.
In all three stories something is lost. Wow, amazing observation huh? Keep reading. In each of the stories Jesus tells the lost item is incredibly valuable. So valuable in fact that even though the shepherd who already has 99 “found” sheep he leaves them to go after the ONE.
God feels the same way about US! Let me put it to you this way, Even if 99% of our population was born-again and in right standing with God, He would still want us to go after the 1%. Let’s all have that mindset when we walk our campuses and put in our time at work. Lost people are incredibly important to God. “He is not willing that any would perish…”
You’ll also notice that in the stories Jesus tells the lost item requires an all out search by the one who’s responsible for the item. The shepherd searches for the sheep; the woman calls friends to help her find the coin, and we can only imagine, the father of the lost son had contacts giving him updates on his son’s whereabouts.
Finally, I want you to see that when what was lost becomes found it’s time to party! I certainly hope you feel that same sense of amazement and accomplishment I feel when we reach your friends and win them to Jesus. The Bible tells us that all Heaven stops and rejoices when one person chooses Jesus. This past month Heaven has been stopping to party a lot thanks to each one of you who have been inviting and bringing students to Live.
In light of all that has been happening I want to say this one thing, “Let’s keep going.” Let’s not quit, give up, or get tired. We are just scratching the surface of what God will do through us. Let’s help Him build. However you can with whatever you’ve got! I love you and maybe even more importantly I believe in YOU! God has placed you where you are for a reason. Leverage your relationships. Let’s connect people in our community, schools, and places of work to the God of grace. Don’t ever get tired of serving, loving, caring for, and reaching people for Christ. By the way, the kind of work we’re involved in has a benefit package that is out of this world!