at the beginning of january cru had it’s first servant team of the year. and to switch things up, we had an overnight!
it was really awesome. i went into it not sure how tings were going to go, because i had a really busy week and there was lots of work i had to do. but i left on saturday afternoon feeling refreshed, encouraged, and pumped to be God’s hands and feet for the campus this semester.
i had the pleasure of helping lead worship for the weekend along with logan (guitar), dustin (djembe), and david (harmonica… yep). we got to the church early to practice and hang out, and i was struck by how much the staff puts into… really everything. they love to serve us, humbly, fully, and readily. it’s a huge blessing.
mookie opened up the night for us by casting some vision (one of my favorite cru-isms) for the semester. he spoke from luke 9:10-17, where Jesus feeds the 5,000. i’m aware of the story and have read it a bunch of times starting way back when i had the adventure bible (anyone else out there?), but i’d never really studied the passage before. mookie brought out some really awesome things.
first, the disciples were the ones who noticed the crowd’s hunger. they’re the ones who tell Jesus that it’s time for everyone to leave, so they can eat and find a place to rest (verse 12 explains that everyone is far away from their own homes and will have to go to the “surrounding villages and countryside” to find any good places to sleep). but Jesus has been talking for quite some time now, and He doesn’t want them to be sent away; He wants them, instead, to stay right where they are. so he turns back to the disciples.
“He replied to them, ‘you give them something to eat.'” (luke 9:13)
whaaaaaat? this is the part where i would start laughing and reminding myself that Jesus has to have a sense of humor. surely, He can’t be serious. i mean, He’s telling them to do the impossible. in fact, He’s commanding it. here the disciples had probably thought they were off the hook; they had seen a need of the people and brought it to Jesus’ attention, but instead of taking care of it, Jesus dumps it on their shoulders. that’s probably how it felt, at least. confusion. apprehension. anxiety. frustration. hopelessness. incredulity. these had to have been the things running through the disciples’ minds.
but Jesus is doing something very intentional (no surprises there). two things, actually: He’s calling for the people who are hungry to stay with Him to be fed, and He’s inviting His disciples to play a part in it. in the end, they give Him five loaves of bread and two fish (actually, a young child provides it, which makes everything even more awesome) and have to trust that He will provide. which, of course, He does.
sitting there, taking this in the context of ministry at ball state, it was a huge comfort to know that, while God has called us to something that is impossible from a human standpoint (win all souls to Christ), He delights in doing the impossible with us, and sometimes through us. and in the end, He’s the One that gets the glory.
and isn’t that the purpose of everything anyway?
then we split into different groups and went to three different stations that represented cru’s motto: get, give, and multiply. in a very basic sense, getting the Gospel means understanding it personally and applying its truth to your life; giving means sharing the good news with everyone else, and multiplying involves discipleship and raising up more people who can spread the Gospel and disciple others, who can then raise up more people to spread the gospel and disciple others… and on and on.
it was really awesome, because we had time to really look at our ministry areas and see how each had specific needs that could be addressed by the Gospel. we were able to share ideas, stories of stuff that worked and stuff that didn’t. after each station, i left more encouraged than when i arrived. by the time we had gone through all three, i felt like i had a completely new perspective on not only the needs of my dorm, but how the Gospel specifically addresses those needs, and how we could be bringing the Gospel to our dorm.
really cool stuff.
the rest of the night was spent in some awesome fellowship and gaming. settlers, cards (i slapped in and almost won a game of e.r.s.), basketball, spontaneous harmonica and djembe shows, knockout, ninja and stomps, you name it. i stayed up waaaaayy too late learning how to play settlers and went to bed around three or so.
but not before this beauty of a picture was taken:
these guys. they are amazing. it’s hard to describe how huge of a blessing they are, how much of an encouragement they have become, and how crazy fun it is to hang out with them. they are wonderful people. being in ministry with them has been one of the most awesome opportunities God has presented. and we have a whole new semester ahead of us!