But I'm very happy to share today's post with you. In fact it comes from one of my previous students. She started coming to our youth group at the very beginning of her junior year in high school, and when she arrived, she made an instant difference in our group. You know those kinds of students...as youth workers we thank God for these kinds of students. So here is Troone. She's in her third year at Northeastern University in Boston, she's a youth leader now and is running ongoing women's events that are changing the face of the whole community. I absolutely love her and I'm thrilled for you to read her post.
By: Troone Marchak
Momentum. God gave me this word a few weeks ago. I started thinking about how I have experienced momentum and how I see God use it in ministry today. God really spoke to me about how momentum is from Him, and how we can’t waste it. When God generates momentum for His Kingdom in our hearts, it is an invitation for a movement to begin.
I think the momentum that is stirred among students when they are at camp comes from their eyes being fixed on God. When students are at camp, on a retreat, or on a mission trip, they are (for the most part) away from the endless distractions of our world. When students are at camp, they are actually able to rest their gaze on Jesus, and spend some uninterrupted time exploring that relationship.
Newton’s first law of motion states that an object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in a state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. I am not a physicist, but I believe the same works for our human hearts. When a student goes to camp and their heart is “set in motion” by the Holy Spirit, it will continue “in motion.” Therefore, a product of our encounters with God is momentum. When our students have the opportunity to explore and grow in their faith, momentum cannot help but be cultivated. That is the Gospel! It’s exciting and adventurous – it’s a calling. When our eyes are fixed on God and when students encounter Him, they cannot help but be moved to a place of action. Momentum.
The fear of failure can often be the “external force” applied to momentum that stops the state of motion. I think that what discourages students from exercising their momentum to step out and do something is the fear of failure. Fear of failure holds us all back. It’s what holds me back! As a leader, there are countless times that I have let myself shrink into my fear and not speak out a new idea or share a word God has put on my heart. I find myself justifying my fear by telling myself “you’re too young” or “people will think that’s a useless idea” or “you don’t know enough to make that happen”. For youth leaders and our students alike, we can conquer this fear of failure by remembering that God absolutely loves using His children to transform this world to look more like His Kingdom.
The Message version of Philippians 2:12-13 says “Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.”
That word is so significant because the knowledge that our all-powerful Creator God actually works through us for His purposes tells us that failure is actually impossible if we are pursuing His will. Though we have human limitations, our God never fails because we achieve not in our own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit within us.
I love what Brock said in his previous blog post about the power of prayer, and the importance of encouraging students to pray. Prayer sources momentum for students and provides direction. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the brokenness of our world, a student in prayer may feel called to minister directly to the people in their local homeless shelter or start a campaign to help meet basic needs of other teenagers around the world. When students know that their momentum is backed by their all-powerful and never-failing God, the fear of failure becomes smaller and smaller, and the vision of God’s Kingdom becomes closer and clearer.