It’s a rainy day in Oregon today.
Signaling the end of summer, and for students, it’s almost back to school.
This time of year is a mix of anticipation for the newness that September brings and a sad goodbye to the freedom of summer months.
If you’ve been following UFC Youth this Summer, you’ve seen a flurry of rafting trips, camps, time in San Francisco, and hiking trips. We stay moving. But, it isn’t just so we can say “we stay moving”. Dave Williams touches on this in his recent blog, “Why Camp”, that the reason we do everything we do in the Summer is for much more than a flurry of activity.
We do summer the way we do because of relationship. There are countless stories of the way that a summer trip impacts our youth. Relationships with each other and their leaders give them a sense of home within the church, which is exactly what Jesus was doing when He called us to be that church.
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Eph. 2:19-22
We are family, and summer always reminds me of that. I don’t mean a family that only supports each other, calls each other out, and pushes one another, but a family that consists of members of the household of God. Being surrounded by believers doesn’t just make me love them more, it makes me see that we are part of a bigger story, God’s story.
That is why we end summer not just with closer relationships, but with a desire to see God’s Kingdom break in as we move into Fall. Students and leaders alike are back with a fervor to see more people come into this family. They come back from summer with an ache in their hearts for the people in their schools and in their city to see Jesus. We all come to fall seeing Jesus more clearly, the only one who turns strangers into members of His family.
This summer we got to see a fire light. A fire that burns to see the goodness of God come and build in places we never thought possible.
I saw this building taking place as I sat down yesterday with one of the high school girls.
You know what she told me?
“I want more this year. I want our small group to not only talk about the gospel or about how it changes everything, I want us to do something about it. I want us to be in our school and in our town telling everyone there is something worth living for, that there is someone named Jesus, and that He changes everything. I’m done just talking.”
That very day she texted her small group asking them to do what she had told me, asking them to be doers of the word instead of just hearers.
Her story is not the only one. Summer has left us with a bunch of hungry high schoolers. They are hungry to see more people being being built up as followers of Jesus. God has been at work in them, is at work in them, and He will continue to be at work in them. He is at the source.
This is what makes Fall so exciting. Summer may be over, but God is not done. We move into a new year ready for what He has in store. Ready to be not only hearers, but doers.
Let’s show the world what it looks like to be members of the household of God.