christianity college ministry missions theology

Calling | TheResurgence

I thought about posting an excerpt the following post, but it’s short and you should just read the whole thing.

The Confusing Language of “Calling,” Part 1 | TheResurgence

This goes in line with what I wrote in an earlier post commenting on Passivity in the Church. The root of passivity in the Christian walk I think is the lack of identity as God’s called and sent people. As a college minister, I frequently hear questions about calling to a job/life decision–“should I be a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer? What am I called to do?”–which are all significant questions.

I have found, however, that students predominantly have exchanged the idea of basic obedience to our effectual calling and new identity as Christians with their specific vocation to a job.  The result has been that, more often than not, a job is THE determining factor in how an individuals life is oriented.

This isn’t a student’s fault, however, but in many ways the result of cultural syncretism with the American dream.  We (myself included) often cannot see outside of our own culture to understand that our personal vocation is fundamentally subservient to the call to global discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 24:14), and therefore don’t orient our lives toward God’s purposes.

What if this generation of students asked the question “how can I obey God with my gifts and skills to reach panta ta ethne, or all the people groups?” rather than injecting God into their life trajectory?  The call to discipleship is most often a radical departure from the plan we have for ourselves, and requires asking a fundamentally different set of questions.

I pray this generation would be the one who understand their identity, asks questions based on that identity, and obeys God radically to the ends of the earth!

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Refreshing Perspective | The Blueprint

I’ve really enjoyed reading Jaeson Ma’s book The Blueprint: A Revolutionary Plan to Plant Missional Communities on Campus.

Jaeson is certainly cut from a different theological tree than I am, but I have been challenged and refreshed by his perspective.  The book is essentially broken down into three sections: Prayer, Evangelism, and Missional Community.  The whole book is saturated with the Holy Spirit, and it has been a good challenge to me to consistently pray for the presence and power of the Spirit in my life.

I just finished the second section, which is an application of a life that is solely fueled by the prescription of prayer that he outlines in the first section.  The section focuses on practical demonstrations of the Spirit’s power on campus through worship, evangelism, prophetic preaching, and healing.

Although I’m not sure I agree fully with the strategy Jaeson advocates, it’s a great challenge for me to consistently push myself and students to be more bold in their witness and take much greater risk with the gospel through demonstrative action that is Christ-exalting.

I’d recommend reading this book, simply because it is a refreshing challenge and a great story of what God has done through Jaeson’s ministry.  Bottom line, he’s in love with Jesus and desperately wants to see campuses transformed.

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Passivity | Between Two Worlds

The following is a quip from Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something (via Between Two Worlds).

Passivity is a plague among Christians. It’s not just that we don’t do anything; it’s that we feel spiritual for not doing anything. We imagine that our inactivity is patience and sensitivity to God’s leading. At times it may be; but it’s also quite possible we are just lazy. When we hyper-spiritualize our decisions, we can veer off into impulsive and foolish decisions. But more likely as Christians we fall into endless patterns of vacillation, indecision, and regret. No doubt, selfish ambition is a danger for Christians, but so is complacency, listless wandering, and passivity that pawns itself off as spirituality. Perhaps our inactivity is not so much waiting on God as it is an expression of the fear of man, the love of the praise of man, and disbelief in God’s providence.

This is a good, strong word for many college students I interact with. I hear quite often language like “I’ll pray about it” or “I’m not sure I’m called to that” when talking about simple steps of Christian obedience. Often times the issues shouldn’t be taken lightly (stepping into leadership, going on a short term mission trip, etc.), but I’ve seen such a tendency to over-spiritualize these kind of decisions in order to avoid taking a hard step.

Let’s think comparatively for a second: do you need to pray for weeks on end about spring break vacation in florida? Do you pray for weeks on end about joining leadership in your other school activities?

I’m just sayin’…

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The Spirit and Obedience | The Ordinary

Want to be encouraged by how God is moving in some college students’ lives?  Read the excerpt below, and then follow the link:

Im not making this Spirit junk up, and I didn’t do anything but surrender and admit that Im worthless and somehow yearn to be obedient. But I promise, I’ve never believed that God can move more than I have right now. And I really believe that with a little obedience and a lot of prayer our generation can be the one that God uses to restore this country. It must be unless we want to live in a post-Christian society. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Pray for workers, pray that the workers would be obedient.

via The Ordinary: The Spirit and Obedience.

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Wearing Many Hats

Through the last few years, I am becoming infinitely more aware of the necessity of adaptation and flexibility in whatever environment I am working. No matter how much I desire to have things under control, or how much I want to have the requisite skill set completely mastered for a job, I continue to find myself needing to grow and change to obey God and succeed in what He has called me to.

I think a few years ago this would have left me completely frustrated and feeling out of control. More recently, I think God has been teaching me that it is the natural course of walking in obedience to Him. Quite simply, my lack of control generally means that God is moving. Adaptability is simply the fruit of obedience and sensitivity to where God is taking me.

When I get frustrated about having to adapt or grow in my skills, it is nothing but simple ignorance to how God is shaping me more onto His image, and pruning me to bear more fruit in His kingdom. I must repent when this idolatry of comfort takes hold.