Monday, February 11, 2008

Sometimes ministry pays off...

I got an email over the weekend from a former student of mine. He is an incredible kid with an incredible heart. One of the things that I always appreciated about this student, and I won't use his name since I didn't ask him if I could, was that he always did what was asked of him without lip or question... which is rare in student ministry.

This student was a part of our weekend worship band when I was in Meadville. He worked in the tech area for a while running the powerpoint show. But then felt the urge to get into playing the bass. Now, and I didn't even know this, he plays the bass, guitar and sings. I didn't even know that he could sing!!! But he does an incredible job!

But he sent me an email over the weekend about how God has been calling him to ministry... especially music ministry. What a thrill!!! Here's a snippet of the email that he sent me:
"I just want to say thanks. You always encouraged us to discover our spiritual gifts and to pursue that. I've been blessed with the gift of music and I really feel led to pursue that, plus I just love music. You were always such a positive influence in my life and you really helped to shape me into the Christian I am today. And for all of that I want to thank you."

I just finished emailing him back. And one of the things that I said to him as this... over the last almost 10 years of full time ministry, my mind tends to go to those students who "missed" it. They showed up... they went on trips... they paid their money... we hung out... we have conversations... but somewhere along the line, it didn't sink in. All the great messages (at least I thought so)... all the trips... all the thought and intentionality that went into trips and events and they just seemed to miss it.

But then... You get an email like that... and suddenly in the midst of the chaos, student ministry begins to make sense. You begin to feel like you are having some kind of impact in this world.

And as I look back at my time with this student, I remember the first time any of us had any idea that he could play the bass. Our student band was leading worship at a church and I was preaching. We went over the day before to set up our gear, practice and make sure that everything was tuned up. For whatever reason, our bass player couldn't make it. So Kraig, who was leading our band at the time, asked this student if he would play and reluctantly he said he would. I remember Kraig saying to me... "He's not half bad..."

And now... he's being called by God to serve him full time in ministry! In the words of Mike Yaconelli... "Woo hoo!!!" Woo hoo indeed!

And if you need to meet Mike... click HERE.


1 comment:

  1. Jim, that is sooooo cool. A great post and an encouragement for all who minister. Thanks!