Sometimes You Gotta Wing It (+ other lessons)


"It is well, with my soul, here's my heart. Make it whole. For you I live, in You I dwell. Oh my soul. It is well..."

Sometimes, you gotta wing it. I'm learning this more and more. Recently, I had the gorgeous opportunity to speak at my home church's youth group. They had just been finishing a series about identity, and I was about to hammer it home with a practical how-to on what it looks like to put your understanding of Christian identity into daily practice. I was so ready. I had the coolest graphics on my discussion question sheets. It was gonna be awesome. Somebody would cry, I would pat them on the shoulder and give them the "I've been there" nod, and the church leaders would beg me to come back to speak again. Clearly I had this thang in the bag.

And then I got there. 

As I stood in the back and tried to gauge a feel for where each of the kids were at, I realized something. They didn't need a practical how-to. They didn't need a really cool discussion question sheet and a hip and trendy speaker with Starbucks in hand to come and try and explain Spiritual disciplines to them. As I looked around I realized that less than 10% of the teens there actually attended my church, if any church.

They were here because it was a safe place to be on a Thursday night. They were here because there was food to eat. They were here because they could forget about whatever brokenness they were coming from for a few hours and play pool. 

As worship started, I couldn't shake the idea that I needed to change something. And when the chorus of It Is Well (Oh My Soul) started playing, I knew I wasn't about to go up there and speak out empty words. These kids needed to know that here was a place where they could find wholeness. Where peace abounds like a river. Where healing happens. They needed to know that there is a Saviour that loves them more than anything and died just to know them

Those are the sentences I scribbled furiously into my notebook, half panicking, half excited for what I knew was happening. God was moving, and he was gonna use me - broken, sinful, weak sweater girl, not well-adjusted, confident and cool bible student - to do it. 

And those words are what I shared with them. I explained the brokenness that I have come from. I told them how God changed me. Most of all I told them that they are never too much and they are never not enough. I told them that they have value and worth and a safety in the cross. Because that's what they needed to know more than anything else I had to say that night. 

Ministry is not about good coffee and great quote knowledge and having sweet graphics (although I do still love those things, and sometimes they do help). It's not about saying what people want to hear and making them feel all nice inside. It's about doing what's needed. So sometimes, you do need to wing it. Not all the time. But sometimes. Keep your heart open, remember that everything we do when we're trying to serve is about bringing glory to the One who makes things happen. Get out of your bubbles and boxes. Let God work. 

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