Tuesday, April 19, 2005

From skipping programs to organizing them

A couple days ago, I found out that my two friends who were elected student association (SA) religious VPs had resigned their positions. They decided not to come back next school year.

The rest of the SA officers appointed me and another student to fill their positions. I told the SA president that I would pray about whether or not to accept the position.

The SA religious VP position is basically an administrative office. Mostly organizing programs week in and week out.

I don't like programs and I don't like organizing programs. I would much rather interact in a small group discussion than hear a sermon. I have experience leading small groups. I like the spontaneous dialogue in small groups. I like sitting in a circle and seeing everyone's faces and wondering who is going to speak next. I like being near my friends and hearing them pray for others.

I don't like being up front except when leading song service. At least in song service, the audience is involved. I don't even like to preach. Preaching seems so impersonal and uninvolved. You speak for twenty minutes while everyone just sits there passively without speaking. And then afterwards, you wonder if anyone's life was changed.

Programs are so impersonal. Come, sit, maybe listen, go home.

And some people criticize spiritual programs as entertainment. I don't want to entertain. I want to involve students into Christianity.

When I moved off campus a couple of years ago, I stopped being required to go to spiritual programs. So, I stopped going to spiritual programs expect Sabbath morning church service. (I didn't want my friends to think that I gave up on church attendance. I didn't want to be a bad example).

So what did I do?



I took the position.



Why?

(1) I realize that many people draw close to God through a program. We've heard of people committing themselves to following Jesus after a powerful sermon. Also, many people want to explore the idea of following Jesus in an impersonal setting. They like the big crowd at vespers (Friday night program). They want to be unnoticed as they inwardly consider the gospel. These people probably won't join a small group.

(2) I think God wants me to serve out of my comfort zone, learn new skills, and gain some new experiences. I want to be a pastor and a big part of pastoring is organizing programs.

(3) The SA officers appointed me. They must be seeing something about me that I don't see.

(4) I have a chance to integrate large crowd programs, small groups, and personal ministry.

(5) Jesus and the apostles didn't just do small groups and personal ministry. They welcomed the crowds and preached the gospel to them. I'm trying to be more balanced. It's not about small groups vs. programs. It should be about small groups and programs working together to show Christ.


I can't skip programs anymore because I will be organizing them. God can be ironic sometimes.

6 Comments:

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous jesse said...

if you are a person with purpose it doesnt matter what avenues you utilize so long as you are fulfilling your purpose. A program, small group, or personal ministry is only as good as its purpose and the purpose only as meaningful as the persons convictions.

 
At 6:18 PM, Blogger deebarizo said...

Great comment.

I should not be bound down or enslaved to programs and methods. My purposes should determine my methods.

 
At 8:59 AM, Anonymous jesse said...

i admire the way you took a step back and evaluated the use methods and how they can all be useful tools.

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger deebarizo said...

Thanks.

It's funny the insights God can show me when I quit being inflexible and actually take a step back and try to see things from other peoples' perspective.

God causes me to exercise faith by continually calling me to live out of my comfort zone.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger d2 said...

Different people have different needs and wants. For some, a small group fulfills that need and for other's it's a spiritual program. Also, we may have different needs/wnats at different times; during the week a small group may be just what I need, but on Sabbath, I feel a real need to worship God. We are not one dimensional, and our spiritual life doesn't need to be either. I'm glad you took the position and I know God will continue to bless you in your ministry.

By the way, after talking with you at Aaron's wedding, I decided to start a blog also. Visit it if you get a chance: d2sblog.

 
At 3:45 PM, Blogger deebarizo said...

d2, thanks for the encouragement.
i'm glad to know that you started a blog, too. i will check it out.

 

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