Yesterday we reflected on "US" and in the process we looked at Isaiah 1 and the horrible reflection Isaiah prophetically gives a couple of towns based on God's distaste for their worship. We agreed we did not want any of these rebukes to be true of us and reflected on the corrective word Isaiah gave them.
I challenged students to join with us to create a new normal in our high school ministry that culminated with the opportunity for them to sign a card indicating their ownership of these "new or renewed corporate values".
About 2/3 of those who came covenanted together with us to "Count Me In". In a weird way, I was encouraged that not everyone participated. Makes me think that those who did really meant and those who did not either are not interested or not ready. Either way, I'm glad for the clarity.
We agreed to the following:
WE WILL NOT BE FAKE.
- By this I was not trying to combat hypocrisy so much as the ignoring of questions to appear as though we're in agreement or understanding. So, our new normal is that for the foreseeable future, at any point given the sermon that someone has a sincere and genuine question, then the sermon is fully interruptible. It might take a few weeks for students to believe us because we've been an "i talk, you listen" communication environment for a while now, but I'm hoping we can change that as we work together to be honest about our wondering or confusions.
WE WILL BE FULLY PRESENT.
- So, we agreed that if we cannot really give 2 or more things our undivided attention, that we would declare this environment a cell phone free zone. We'll turn off or put away our cell so that we can give God and one another our undivided attention in this space and not be in some other cyberspace simultaneously.
WE WILL BE PEOPLE OF JUSTICE.
- We agreed that we cannot claim to follow Jesus or love God and turn a deaf ear to the poor, the abused, the neglected, or the wounded. We agreed to commit to bring $1 a week as a minimum to help us raise the funds necessary to sponsor the 5 kids we sponsor through several organizations like world vision. This bar sounds so low to me and yet it's been so hard to achieve for over 2 years now. I'm praying this commitment becomes a sincere one and also one that we blow out of the water.
We reaffirmed our mission statement and agreed that WE WILL SEEK TO UNDERSTAND, OWN, AND LIVE OUT A LIFE-CHANGING FAITH IN JESUS.
I am praying that this will not be lip service, but instead passionate pursuit of our high school students in 2011. Oh God may this be true of US.