A Dangerous Remodel
As many of you are aware, Vann Avenue approved a recommendation to remodel a portion of our Outreach Center for the youth ministry. I must admit that I am excited and nervous at the same time. As I was reading through Ephesians in my quiet time this morning, I came across Ephesians 3:7 and paused with reflection.
“I was made a servant of this [gospel] by the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of His power.”
Paul didn’t choose to follow Jesus [the way] because it brought fame, in fact, he above all knew it brought suffering. He wasn’t looking for a group to be a part of because he was lonely, in fact, at times all deserted him as a follower of Christ (except Christ). Paul was a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ because of God’s grace and God’s power. Paul was headed one way in life, quite content I might add, and Jesus gave him a new way. Paul could say with clarity and conviction to the Ephesians, “For you [and he would add himself] were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light–for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth–discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead, expose them (Ephesians 5:8-11).”
Why am I nervous? There is always the danger of making the meaning and purpose of life about me. You understand. Look back the last few days and ask yourself why you got frustrated or angry when you did. If you are like me, you will probably see some consistency with your anger or frustration and not getting what you wanted (James 4:1-2). Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” This doesn’t sound like a path marked with comfort but self-denial. Our remodel isn’t an attempt to make the youth more comfortable. Our remodel is an attempt to do ministry with excellence and create an environment where we see youth grow and go.
Grow in the Lord Jesus and in appreciation for His power at work in them. My prayer is that each youth would be able to say with confidence and humility that they too were made a servant of the gospel by the gift of God’s grace given to me by the working of His power. Growing in holiness.
Go, in the name of the Lord Jesus, into their homes, schools, friendships, or wherever they go, daily denying themselves comforts and preferences for the sake of others. Being able to clearly communicate the good news of Jesus with anyone who asks them of the hope that lies within them (this implies they live like they have hope). Going in service.
If the remodeled youth area doesn’t serve to advance these principles, we wasted our time and money. We may have served to bring more value and attractiveness to our youth area, but ultimately it will amount to nothing (Luke 9:25). Please join me in prayer that the youth of Vann Avenue (present and future) will grow in holiness and go with passion and purpose. Please pray that homes (parents/guardians) will teach and model the gospel. Pray with me for God’s Kingdom to come and His will be done, now and forever more.