September 21, 2016 | Melissa Weissenberger
Today I did a thing that I don’t do often.
Every Wednesday, we hold Chapel at our school. There is a Jr. High Chapel during 4th period and a separate Sr. High Chapel during 5th period. I usually sit among the students, and I help to lead the worship team–but that’s the extent of my involvement typically.
Today I was the speaker.
I’ve had a few thoughts mulling around in my heart and I felt convicted to talk about them with the kids. They fell in line perfectly with the overall theme and sequence Chris has planned for the youth program for this year and this week just felt right for presenting these ideas.
I started off the time with them by doing a quick survey on the following questions:
- How stressed do you feel?
- How often to wonder if you are loved?
- How admired do you feel by others? (family, friends, etc…)
- If you could choose to have a new/different life than the one you have, would you?
I was not entirely surprised by their answers, but the confirmation that many of our students feel burdened and worn out by the world was certainly heartbreaking to see.
So then, I had them build boats.
I gave them 5 minutes, and a piece of paper, and they built boats in small groups. They had 2 objectives: to make it float, and make it be able to support small stones.
Most groups successfully made a vessel that floated and carried a stone. It was actually quite impressive.
We discussed what made a good “vessel”–how it qualified as a success, and then we watched the following video which convicted me strongly last week:
If the video doesn’t load, or if you’d rather view it in a separate page, you can follow this link.
The concept that we are vessels for the Lord’s work and that all He asks of us is to be clean and empty completely floored me last week. I think it’s easy to get caught up in ministry or in all that we “have” to get done and to completely forget the why and the how.
Am I a good vessel if I am stressed, impatient, and unloving?
I challenged myself and the kids with this verse, which was shared to us by a visitor from our home office:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. –Ephesians 1:3
My question that I posed to them, and openly said that I am still considering in my own life, is to what extent do I believe that God has blessed me with every spiritual blessing? Can I say that I trust the Lord when I am stressed out? When I leave school feeling discouraged? When I have forgotten the promises and goodness that He has continually and consistently provided?
I am excited to see where this year takes us as a school. I encouraged the students to actively be vessels of hope, joy, and love to each other such that our campus can become a place of excitement and encouragement. Would you pray with us that this could become a reality? These kids, and our staff, have the greatest opportunity to be living vessels of love to each other, if they choose to!
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