Category Archives: Ministry and Evangelism

Worldview Academy

It’s that moment when you open your mouth to explain the Gospel to six 15-year-old girls and you hear yourself saying words that you know are not your own.

It’s turning to the student next to you in lecture to look her in the eyes and realize that she is the image of the Creator.

It’s discussing God’s sovereignty and how one can love hurting people who need a Savior with a teenager while eating cafeteria French fries.

It’s the soreness of jumping up and down in a red t-shirt and khaki shorts and hauling luggage up stairs for hours on end that shows students how to follow Christ’s example of servant leadership.

It’s standing back and watching eleven girls from every walk of life exchanging ideas about the nature of God and man, laughing together, working hard together to exhibit servant leadership, and developing unbreakable friendships.

It’s singing “Father I Adore You” in a round upon realizing that the dorm stairwell has fabulous acoustics, despite the fact that you can’t actually sing well.

It’s the deliriousness of staying up too late to finish obligations and getting up too early to cheerfully knock on doors and sing “Good morning.”

It’s making an utter fool of yourself for the Lord and finding all kinds of new ways to embarrass yourself with every moment onstage in front of entire classrooms filled with students.

It’s hugging a stranger on the street of downtown Waco after a 14-year-old boy single-handedly explains the Gospel to her and prays a life-changing prayer with her.

It’s a note from a student on your pillow on the last night of camp thanking you for living as a Christ-like example all week.

It’s the bonds between staffers that go so much deeper than arms wrapped around each other in sweaty, loving group hugs.

It’s every moment that I wouldn’t trade for the world that has has humbled me to the point of utter realization of two facts: I am nothing. He is everything. None of the awesome moments at camp were my doing. Not a single one of them. The Holy Spirit was at work while I simply allowed myself to be the broken vessel. As Michelle Rees would say, “You have just been used.” And I believe that I have.

Hands On Love Experiment.

They call it HOLE for short.

They get together in downtown Salt Lake City, bundled up against the frigid weather. They fill their arms with bagels, water, fruit, and warm clothes, and they disperse onto the street.

They then go out and simply serve people.

Homeless people come in all shapes and sizes, you know. They wear flip flops in ten degree weather, roll their own cigarettes, sometimes are missing a leg, and always have a story. A story that they love telling to a group of incredible young adults who honestly love listening to them.

Not all of them are druggies, drunk, or mental. In fact, most of them aren’t. That was one of the first realizations that I was struck with. These people, though dirty and ragged, are not out here by their own desire to be homeless and sad.

They have lost more than you or I could ever imagine losing. Mothers have lost young daughters, sons have lost mothers and sisters,  and wives have lost husbands and children  to accidents, fires, finances… If your heart doesn’t break while listening to some of the stories they have to tell, nothing will break it.

I’ll never forget Gary’s words as he told us about his siblings dying of drug overdoses and his mother passing away. He said, “I’m telling you this – my life story – because you will listen. You guys genuinely seem like you want to listen, and no one’s ever done that before.”

Wow. To be the person who listens to someone when no one else will… who helps them and cares for them when no one else does… Isn’t that what Jesus called has called us to do? Isn’t that how he set his example? He didn’t serve the rich people, the classy people with beautifully furnished homes and plenty of money. He loved on beggars, cripples, and straight-up sinners. And I’m all about following his example.

All these people want is little warmth and a lot of love. They’re just as deserving of it as anyone else.

What absolutely got to me was watching Peggy’s grin, missing teeth and all, after she received a Bible with her name engraved on it, which was given to her by some of the people who run HOLE a few weeks before I got to Utah. She jokingly scolded the cameraman, “Don’t you tell nobody that I cried,” but you could just tell it meant the whole world to her.

This Christmas vacation filled me with an overwhelming burden for people who are so in need, so hopeless, and so desperate. They are crying out for help in their own way, but it’s not like they have a means by which they can express their voices. Unless, of course, you’re willing to listen.

James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

I’d say HOLE is doing a pretty good job.

One in the morning is as good a time as any.

The backyard of this huge, old house at night is tranquil and peaceful. The breeze is warm and soft as it wraps around my bare arms. Unlike earlier today, it’s not annoying… just peaceful. Comforting. Stepping out onto the porch transforms my surroundings into a different world. I slip out of the stale silence of the house within the French doors and shut the doors behind me quietly as I enter a place so empty and calm that really, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Jesus himself showed up. Just showed up and stood there. You know… if he actually did that. I wouldn’t mind. I don’t even think he would have to say anything, really. Together we would just watch the moon rising. I love to watch it as it peeks through the thick clouds. Its light causes the outer edges of the thick, flat clouds that spread across the horizon to glow. Huh… well, at least these clouds have a silver lining.

As we were standing there, I would tell Jesus that this was one of my favorite parts of his creation. He would say, “What is, dearest?” I would realize that he already knows, but I would tell him anyway. I would tell him that the sky is my favorite. I would assure him quickly that, of course, he did make some wonderful things on the earth. But whenever I really want to see the best part of what He has done, I just look to the sky. The full moon shining in my bedroom and illuminating everything with a dull, dim light. The clouds on which this brilliant moon casts light as far as it can reach.

An idea catches in my brain as I look away from my laptop screen and glance at the moon. I try to write it out, but I can’t capture the thought. It slowly brightens in my mind until I understand what it means.

I think a little more before I start to write again. My brain flashes through a million ideas at once.

The moon is huge. Well, considering the rest of the cosmos, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s only a third of the size of the earth. But to me, a single being that is significantly less than one third of the size of the earth, it’s pretty big. And compared to those clouds that are passing in front of it and obscuring it… heck, those looming clouds don’t even stand a chance. A metaphor dawns on me. Why are these puny little clouds (puny, of course, in the grand scheme of things) trying to block the immensity and the brightness of the moon? Who do they think they are? No matter what they do, I can still see the moon. It is brightly and clearly shining, no matter what. And even when the clouds cover it completely, its light still glows on the outer edges.

I glance over at the temple in the distance.

Hm.

I don’t try to dissect this metaphor. I don’t really want to. I just want to reflect. That’s all. Tonight is a good night for reflecting.