I’ve just finished helping at this year’s holiday bible club in the church and it has been absolutely fantastic! I can’t believe it is over but am looking forward to a wee break from 200 screaming kids!! Today in my group one kid wrote on his craft that ‘God wants to use everyone in His plan.’ I have been hugely encouraged and humbled as I have seen that same God use everyone this week to share the Good News (and their lives as well) with the kids in our town. So many people have said to me during the week “you’re gonna miss this place” and maybe I will but I know for sure that I’m gonna miss these people!
Ecclesiastes 3 says that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. This chapter also says that ‘everything God does will endure forever. ‘
Last night I met with some young people in North Street to let them know that my ‘season’ as Youth Pastor there was coming to an end and that a ‘new season’ is in store for them and for me. This was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. I have no doubt that God’s timing is perfect and I have been so aware of His hand guiding me over these last few months, as I look back I have great hope and comfort in the fact that the things God has done will endure forever.
I also know that God is always at work and does not need me but has chosen me to join Him in the work He is doing. His work will continue and His Kingdom will come. It has been an unbelievable privilege to serve God in my home town and congregation, something I will always be grateful to God for and reflect upon. He is a faithful God who keeps His promises and a loving God who loves us unconditionally. “God did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers…” (Deut 7:7-8)
Being a Christian is about becoming a new creation and therefore change in the Christian life is inevitable, we don’t always like it but the change God brings about is always for our good.
Tony Blair and Thierry Henry also say goodbye this summer but I’m not replacing either of them! I’m going to Carnmoney Presbyterian in September to be their Youth Associate and am looking forward to a new season with a new team under the same God.
I bought a book last week called ‘Posers, Fakers and Wannabes” by Brennan Manning (not the turkey guy or the Mancunian comedian) but a Christian author who is brutally honest about how he has played at being a Christian and said the right things in Christian company. I am only one chapter into it and I completely identify with so much of what has been said. In August we will run our annual mission week and the theme is ‘Inside Out’. I hope that all of those who get involved will be changed by God from the Inside Out and that He will help us to pay attention to the life we live behind the scenes. I really want this to be a significant time for me and the young people I lead. Jesus called the Pharisees white washed tombs because they looked beautiful on the outside but on the inside they were full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. He tells His followers that the pure in heart will see God and maybe I don’t see God as much as I should because my heart isn’t as pure as it should be. I don’t want to be a poser, faker or wannabe! I want to be real and you know what? I think the people around us want us to be real too..