What a great start to SYMC with General Session 1! The theme ‘stronger’ was threaded through every element of the general session. It was so refreshing to see a concerted effort to create a theme that is designed to invest in youth workers, so they can in turn invest in their students. Tonight the Dare2Share guy, Greg Stier didn’t talk to us about evangelism as we might have expected, instead he challenged us to become stronger in prayer:
Awkward is Awesome
Tonight Greg not only helped us get back to basics with how to prayer and why to pray, he also led us to pray with and for each other. But, his specific instruction was to pray with someone we did not know… His comment about this, was “awkward is awesome.” If you are like me, it is truly awkward praying with someone I don’t know… But Greg was right… awkward is awesome.
Here are two things (one for my ministry, and one for myself), that stood out tonight.
1) Don’t just teach about prayer, help others experience it. It’s easy to spend the bulk of our time teaching students about prayer, when the best thing we can do is help students experience it. It can be awkward for them at first, but when we can help students experience time with God through prayer, it is much more likely they will see the need to connect with their Heavenly Father when they are at home. Creating a prayer experience is much more likely to stick that a prayer teaching…
Tonight Greg Stier had nearly 3,000 youth workers moving from awkward to awesome as we connected with people we had never met and bonded through the power of prayer. It was awesome!
2) ‘Awkward’ happens when we’ve been absent. We have those times when our personal prayer lives feel neglected and it feels awkward to come back to God. Even though we teach students about a God who is always there waiting for us when we come back to Him, sometimes it’s hard to accept this truth for ourselves isn’t it? If you have been absent for a time in your prayer life, you need to be reminded that absence does not make God’s heart grow fonder of you… He’s always been fond of you. Today it’s time to move from awkwardness to experience God’s awesomeness.
Therefore, stop what you are doing right now, move past the awkwardness, and be blessed in experiencing God’s incredible grace and love as you spend time with Him.
Bottom line: My life and ministry are stronger, when I experience the power of prayer.