jueves, 31 de marzo de 2011

True Community, true Christianity

So I realize that this blogger has not been blogging as much. With ministry, I have been using my newsletter to communicate those news. On the personal side, I tend to not talk about to whomever about what I'm going through/learning at that moment. I usually keep those things to myself or share it with a select few. However, I've felt this lesson is just big enough for me to give it blog worthy importance and let you guys in on what I'm experiencing at this moment.

By the title you may already be able to guess what lesson I have been learning. I have been learning what it feels to be in real community.

Being a more private person, my tendencies are to keep needs to myself and not voice them. Somewhere along the way I equate the idea of having needs and being seen as weak/immature as the same. I will be the first one to tell you I have needs (I'm honest). I will also be the last one to voice those needs (I hate feeling demanding.)

As a group (Rob, Jimmy, Jessica and myself) we are going through a book that has been encouraging us to be real and take off all masks.

Just as the word says the truth will set us free, this new truth has set me free in many areas. The truth is this: God created us with needs for a purpose- to provide unity, fellowship. 

So you mean something good could come out of having needs??? I've always associated it with being bad. All of a sudden I'm given permission to have needs? (New concept in my life)

The thing is that somehow if I focus on my problems, my needs are never resolved. Trust me, I've tried.

If I am able to give up appearances for just a second and voice my needs, there exists the possibility of resolution. Is it a gamble? Totally, especially if you've never done it before. What is even harder is when you open up a little bit further and expose not just your needs but your hurts. Yes, exists the possibility of being rejected, unheard, and judged. However, let me say it is an increibly healing experience to do so, to display as Jess would say, your "ish" (issues) and instead of having people do what you expect them to do.... judge, reject, be indifferent... instead they actually move closer to you and even accept you despite it. Kind of gives you the feeling, "Is this too good to be true?" but at the same time there is peace because I realize, "wow, this really is supposed to be what it feels like." I'm talking about the real deal, the real Christianity.

I mean, those who are Christians you understand just how important it is to trust Christ with your issues/needs, but to do that with other people??? That's when it starts to make me nervous. Christ is always faithful, he never rejects. People do.

Ephesians 4:2 talks about bearing with another in love. Bearing is not a pleasant word, and actually in my opinion implies pain. What I'm trying to say is this: true Christianity, true community is messy. I don't like messiness.. well not this kind of messiness. I prefer people to think that I'm perfect rather than I have problems, (and yes that is me being completely honest with you).

So all of this being said, I have learned that I have needs that God chooses to meet ONLY through community. I can trick myself and say, no, I can deal with it myself, but then truly I am just covering up what is really meant to unify. God uses my needs to have others love me and to be able to experience love.

I haven't experienced this in a long time. I know God loves me. He has shown me that. Truly, at this moment I can say I am experiencing the love God has for me through people... and THAT continues to amaze me.

miércoles, 9 de marzo de 2011

New semester, new... A LOT!

New students

Doing ministry at UASD has its challenges. One of the common challenges we are seeing is that student attendance varies radically on a semester-semester basis. Many students must work as they study. We have lost many students due to this reality. Other students simply have class during the time of the meetings which they could not avoid. Even though some students from last semester are not able to attend this semester, there have been a significant amount of students who are becoming regular attendees. 

Please be praying for students to be committed to our group.

Servant teams

These are the following teams we have come up with:

1. Get connected: welcomes students, creates social events outside of Vida
2. Message team: creates the weekly message
3. Response team: puts together some time of reflection after the message (i.e. discussion groups, worship, skits)
4. Compassion team: Prayer, students’ needs, evangelism

Please be praying since this is organizing the group that we would make this transition in unity.