Philippians 1:6 "6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."
I believe that to be true. God is still up to good work within us. Unfortunately, many of us become comfortable or complacent in our faith or in our church and lose sight of that truth. So we need a “shot in the arm,” if you will, to remind us God still wants to do BIG things in and through us.
I spent Wednesday night in Iowa City with a group of University of Iowa college students hosting a table at the campus organization fair. These students are bringing Hope’s college ministry called Kairos to their campus. This will be a volunteer student led ministry where they will watch 100% of the Kairos Iowa State worship service live streaming from Ames. They are excited. This is super entrepreneurial and organic and I could not be more proud of and thrilled for these students as they begin this journey. Their hope is to reach out to other U of I Hope students and their friends so they stay better connected to their faith and each other during these college years. This is inspiring and should challenge us.
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At Hope, we often say we are unashamedly competing for the hearts and minds of students. From pre-k through graduate school… We have made it a priority. That means often putting to death old models and ways of ministry and opening ourselves up to the movement of the Spirit and new ways of doing things. So we try and say YES as much as possible… We have no idea how this college ministry is going to turn out. It might fall flat on its face. But we have often found that the risk is worth the potential reward!
When did we lose that heart as a church? That heart to try something new and different to reach new people? I have conversations with churches all the time now that are dying due in large part to an unwillingness to change and adapt their ministry model. Here’s a hard TRUTH - the church is not about you. If you have been a part of a church for a while, and your church doesn’t look much different than it did a couple years ago, then maybe for the sake of reaching new people you need to rethink church. I know that is hard in a small town… where everybody knows your name.
But to badly misquote a line for Shawshank Redemption… as a church, we need to get busy living or get busy dying. Be alive today church.