So I’m back in California for the Student Leadership Conference at Saddleback Church and it’s nice to be here. There is something about coming out here that pumps me up and rejuvenates my thirst for ministering to youth. I’m excited to see how this week will affect the four teens I brought with me. The theme that they are using is about “Be”ing a leader. Doug Fields (Youth Pastor at Saddleback) spoke tonight and talked to the students about the importance of refueling spiritually. Here are some of the notes I took:

Ephesians 3:19 – …knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond knowledge, you may be filled with the utter fullness of God.

Are you spiritually full or spiritually empty?
– Leader’s can’t lead effectively when they’re spiritually empty
– We each have a soul that needs to be filled.
– We are spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience

So how do we stay full?
Daily leaders need to
1. Stop – Stop what you are doing. Spend time with Jesus.
– Luke 10 – Jesus encounters Martha and Mary. Mary sits with the Lord while Martha busy serving. Martha asked Jesus to have Mary help her but Jesus told Martha that Mary was doing what was right. So often we think that we have to do, make and create. We live in a society that believes if we aren’t doing something we are lazy. God wants us to stop, spend time with him and get to know him.

2. Be Quiet – Silence is an essential ingredient to spiritual growth.
– 1 Kings 19 – Here we meet Elijiah who is looking to talk with God. What he discovers is that he can best hear God in silence. We had a good discussion about this in the car. Many times we feel more comfortable talking to God at Mass, through music or a group prayer. All of that is great, praying to God in so many different ways is healthy; however, sometimes we just need to listen to God in the silence. That’s difficult considering we are in a world of noise. But if you think about it, to have a meaningful conversation with someone you need to listen.

3. Make A Connection – To do this you need to think about 3 things:
– WHEN are you going to make that connection?
Is it before bed, when you get up, in the middle of your day? Trying to plan a time to make that connection means that you value this time. Also setting small goals of when you are going to meet with God is a way to set yourself up for success.
-WHERE are you going to make that connection?
Are you comfortable at home, in a church, a park? Where is it that you feel most comfortable.
-WHAT tool are you going to use to make that connection?
Do you journal, read the bible or silently meditate? There are so many ways to connect with God, what gifts or talents do you possess that can lead you to God.

Tonight was good because it wasn’t too much for the students in my group. I think they are still a little shocked by where we are, it’s sometimes amazing to see how big and innovative a church can get. One of them described the church has a resort and I guess I can see that…it doesn’t look like a church. But then again hasn’t that changed…hasn’t or at least shouldn’t the way we do church change? I think so.

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