Be Good and Connect with God

Today was the second day of the conference and all the speakers did a really good job of handing off ownership to the teens. In the first session was all about evangelism. Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus tells us we are the salt of the earth and light of the world. We are commissioned to do good deeds. Jeff Maguire broke down what good deeds are by saying that they are anything connected to what we do or how we live that reflects the image and glory of God.

A few weeks ago at a workshop I heard that one of the original meanings of evangelization was echo. When we evangelize God’s word we echo what it is that He has taught us. Our intended design according to Genesis 1 27-31 is to reflect the image of God onto the rest of the world. We were created in God’s image and God is good. So again how do we express our good deeds. What is the one thing that could be put in our community that will give others the taste of what it means to be with God? I addressed this question to the youth that came with and I could tell that this was a heavy question. We so often look for quick fixes to bring people closer to God like crab feast, ski trips, and Super Bowl parties. While you may attract people to your church with large events like this, probably the method with the most impact is by going into the places where God is not really mentioned and bringing him there. So many times we rely on the church building as the place where evangelization should happen when really we need to show God in the places where He may not “belong” But where does God want us to go?

In the evening session we talked about how discipleship is having a relationship with God. We become like the friends we hang out with and so to become like God we need to be friends with Him. And to get to know our friends we need to talk with them and hear their stories. And I want to get to know God better. I want to be more fluent with how I talk with God. I want to be comfortable with God like I am with my wife. When I pray I want it to come out as a conversation, I wnt to listen, focus and understand. So many times I look for other things (like conferences) to be the place I connect with God; however, I need to connect with God more on my own.

If I’m really going to be an example for the youth, if I really want them to embrace their faith I need to be the best example possible. I’m writing this blog entry right now in silence and I feel more of God’s presence as I type my thoughts and feelings. I want to raise the bar with my youth in tithing and evangelization because I feel that those two subjects are overlooked and can be some of the most intimidating habits. If you learn to tithe you learn to surrender to God and let go of the chains money has wrapped around you. If you manage God’s money wisely you can focus on other things such as bringing others to Christ. But in such a world where online social networks rule supreme it is difficult to remember how to meet a stranger.

I’ve challenged the teens this week to meet a new person each day. Name, church, state and a little info on their group is all I’m asking our 4 students to learn. I want to challenge them and have them get more comfortable creating opportunities where they can be a part of other peoples lives. Because when they do connect with others they are also bringing God and what could be better than having a relationship based on God’s love and word?

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