God Loves Joe!
I lead a small group of middle school boys. Over the course of the couple of years that the group has met, I have interacted with the parents. God began to place a desire within me to figure out if there was some way that my wife and I could impact the parents of these boys through a small group study. Some of the parents do not attend church, some attend churches that are “light” on their understanding of the gospel, discipleship, and how God’s word impacts how to live. Others attend churches that do a pretty good job with those things, so it represents quite a cross section of the culture.
Our hesitancy in starting a group was the fact that we have lots of irons in the fire between our four children, the two other small groups I lead and my other responsibilities. Frankly it was difficult to find another night to add another weekly commitment. A couple of circumstances nudged us out of our inactivity to begin thinking how this might happen. One of the critical pieces was the apparent shift that happens as students leave middle school and head to high school. Parents tend to be more involved with their student activities in middle school rather than high school and therefore with one another. Seeing and knowing this moved us into action.
A few weeks ago we had a dinner party and invited the parents to our home. Nine of the couples attended (there are about fifteen boys who regularly attend so we had a pretty good turnout). We had dinner; played a game that had a couple of the moms guess how their sons answered some questions; and then we invited them to join us for four weeks as we discussed how to make Christ practical in our role as parents and spiritual leaders of our home. All of the couples indicated they were interested! God honored our step of obedience and we start the study this week.
Now for the rest of the story! One of the fathers told Kristin that due to a regular commitment, this was the only Friday night that he was free from November until the end of March. This guy was very interested in the group and indicated that a relationship with God had not been anything that he had much experience in. He was very open about his own needs. It is amazing how God worked all of this out. He had us wait until now to try and start this and the one weekend that we could pull this off was the only weekend he was free! We took a step and God had already gone before us to prepare hearts and schedules to make Himself known. I tell this story to encourage you to take the step of faith that God is asking you to take!
One of these issues may be keeping you from taking that step:
- Is it time to get yourself ready to be able to impact the lives of teenagers? (Preparing Yourself to Work with Students)
- Is it time to learn how to explain to students how you can help them know Christ and develop that relationship with Him? (Presenting the Gospel) | (Connecting with God Interactive Flash Booklet)
- Maybe for you, the issue is finding out where students are and how to meet them? (Meeting and Relating to Students)
- You could be asking, how can I get others to help me minister to middle and high school students? (How to Explain Cru High School to Adults)
Which question is more pressing for you? I would encourage you to also check out the article that will help you Make Prayer a Priority. It is spiritual impact we seek and that requires us demonstrating our dependence on Him spiritually! No matter where you are or what your next step is, God is calling us to trust Him, to step out in faith and to see what good works He has already created for us to walk in! God demonstrated that He really loves Joe! Who do you know that He really loves and wants to have you invest in their life? Taste and see that the Lord is good! (Ps. 34:8)