Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Tiny Laura really loved going to AWANAs on Thursday nights because she had the coolest Sparky leaders. I honestly don’t know what it was about them, but I genuinely loved Keith and Gloria and thought they were the coolest Sparky leaders in the world. So imagine my surprise when I was handed a book upon arriving in New Zealand that had a shout out to Keith in the acknowledgements.

The author of said book happened to be the guest preacher at our church this morning and was running a really cool workshop with his wife on organic outreach. He made a comment about how we have discipleship moments in the lives of other people where we can choose to be a positive influence on their growth. I immediately thought of Keith and Gloria. Actually, I immediately thought of a list of names that included Tiffiny, Karin, Jen, and Tina as well as Keith and Gloria and my parents and my Grandpa Frank and my Aunt Becky… it was a long list.

The guest speaker used the beautiful image of a hand reaching to help you in discipleship while you reach the other hand to disciple someone else and emphasised that the chain continues. You are discipled to be a discipler. I spent three days auditing a block course at the local Bible college and being encouraged in how to effectively disciple Gen Z humans. The class was taught by two Millennials, and of the seven participants, three were actually in Gen Z. We had such rich discussions about how the Gospel offers hope to all people and how we want to communicate that with compassion and clarity to young people.

I’m really, really passionate about this Jesus deal, and I never want to take for granted that I get to be a part of the discipleship journey of young people who are going to make a positive difference in the world in the name of Jesus. Part of that is through encouraging my younger youth leaders, and I can’t tell you how exciting it was to chat with two of my leaders on Friday about how we want to integrate new people into their small group intentionally and purposefully for the sake of transformation in the name of Jesus.

We’re heading out to Easter Camp in a couple of days, and this event is life changing for so many young people. I feel especially excited as I’ve heard our senior pastor say he’s never seen this much prayer go into the lead up to Easter Camp, and we’re readying our hearts for a massive move of the Holy Spirit. If you’re a praying person, please put some time into this coming week to pray for the youth of New Zealand’s south island. I have no evidence other than the “Spirit thing” conversations of the past two weeks, but I think this is one for the history books. What an absolute gift that I get to be a part of it.

My friend Hannah was encouraging me about the movement she’s seeing of the Holy Spirit here, and as we were talking, I mentioned how I didn’t have to wait for Easter Camp to start on Thursday night for God to show up. I felt his holy presence in worship this morning, and it was so cool. You can pray for my youth right now – you can even pray for my physical healing. God is moving, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of today has in store.

Next week will be unbelievable, and I’ll warn you now that I’ll be offline until I return from camp on Monday. Hopefully I’ll manage a well written update before I go to bed and catch up on five days of sleep. For sure the stories will be celebrating God at work, faithful yesterday, today, and forever.

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