BY NEELY MCQUEEN
Summer is over. Wait, let that thought settle in. Summer has come to an end. Can you believe it?
Students are heading back to school. And somehow you and I…we survived. We made it through another year of camps and all the extra events we pull off in the summer. Even before camp is over we’re already gearing up for the fall and the next big things we’ll do. Always so rushed.
So today I want to encourage you, before we hurry off to the next big thing, to pause and take some moments to celebrate what God has done in your ministry, in the lives of your students, and in your own life.
We tend in ministry to always be pushing and planning for new and better things. Which is one of things that I love about ministry…this wild pursuit of what is next in God’s movement. Unfortunately, what that does mean is that we at times struggle to celebrate…because celebration means we have to slow down to remember. But what I’m learning is that celebrating is a big part of moving forward. And when we skip it, it becomes all the more easy to miss the bigger point of why we do what we do.
So we celebrate. We celebrate transformations…
In your ministries. Look back over the past 3 months; where has God been at work in your overall ministry? Have you had seasons of numerical growth or seasons of deep spiritual growth? Did you have an event or a camp that seemed to impact your students or your church in significant ways? These are the things that we need to celebrate. We need to gather our team and throw a party. These moments encourage and refresh leaders, something we can never do enough of.
In your students. Even as we celebrate our overall ministry milestones, we need to take time to celebrate growth in our students on a personal level. Have you seen a student take a big step forward in their faith? Or a student make a first-time commitment? In these moments we can help solidify the decisions through celebration. A word of affirmation in front of peers is powerful way to cheer a student on. A written note in the mail, a reminder a few days later of what God is doing in their lives. Don’t forget to include parents in the celebration. When we include parents we provide a win for families and for our ministries!
In yourself. As shepherds of others we can tend to forget to recognize the work that God is doing in our own lives. Every week we remind students to keep growing and to keep allowing God to transform their lives. Let us not forget to keep growing and to keep allowing God to transform our lives. Let us pause and remember the journey that we are on. Let us worship by reflecting and celebrating.
God is always so faithful, and as I look back over the summer I’m overwhelmed with a reason to celebrate! And truthfully, I’m always looking for a reason to throw a party!