Leaving New York felt like an end to City Project, but it was only the beginning! In the last two weeks I have seen God move in ways I would have never thought before!
We got back on a Saturday, so the next day we all went to church. It is a City Project requirement to serve at one service and attend another. This allows us to glorify God by serving the members and guests at Summit! I serve at Summit Kids, so I am assigned in whatever classroom they need me. Last Sunday I was with the one year olds. If you know me, you are aware that I am usually found working with older elementary students or middle schoolers. One year olds was a little out of my comfort zone, but surprisingly, I LOVED it (and was actually good at it)!! I got to spend my morning singing, reading, and comforting the little ones, and I got to know the lovely couple I was volunteering with! It was a wonderful morning, and God really showed me how stepping outside my comfort zone can show me gifts I didn’t know I had. I felt like a baby whisperer when I was able to quickly calm a crying child, and could capture the interest of the band of babies when reading a book about animals.
Three Major Goals!
Throughout the week, in the mornings, we have been in sessions on different aspects of discipleship and Christian community. The three major points we have been discussing about disciples are:
- Be with Jesus continually.
- Be changed by Jesus.
- Be on mission with Jesus.
Our goal this summer is to try to follow these three points in our everyday lives, so that we can bring these habits with us when we go home and when we are back on campus in the fall.
I have been blessed with an internship with Summit Kids! This is a pastoral internship, where I am learning the ins-and-outs of Summit Kids. This past week we have done a variety of things to help Summit Kids run smoothly and prepare for Kids Week (VBS).
- We have researched articles/videos/books on Gospel centered Parenting that Summit Kids can use on Social Media, and have compiled a database of resources on a google doc that they can pull from in the future.
- We have created a Craigslist account to give away items that clutter the storage closets.
- We have created a spreadsheet to help budget and order the items needed for games and crafts at Kids Week and Preschool Week.
- We have edited documents that will be used at Kids Camp.
- And more. . .
I have loved every second of my internship, and I love the other interns I am working with! God has truly provided an area in which I can use the talents and passions He gave me!
I also found out I will be a Kindergarten Small Group Leader at Kids Week! Please be praying that God uses me to share the gospel with the students and families! Also pray that families would come to know Christ during this week!
We have also been focusing on the book of Ephesians during our daily quiet times, and memorized Ephesians 2:1-3 in our D-Groups (Discipleship Groups).
And you were dead in the trespasses and sin in which you once walked, following the course of the world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience– among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
This passages describes who we all are before we know Jesus. The red words are who we were before Christ. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, which means we can essentially do nothing. It also says we were followers of the world, and the prince of the power of the air (Satan). It amazes me that even when I was actively following the world and Satan, that God loved me enough to come into this broken world, be tortured, beaten, mocked, and left to rot and die on a splintered cross, all to save me from His own wrath. He took the punishment that I deserved.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved-and raised up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Even though we were dead, God showed us mercy! The blue words above show what God did for us, the red words are who we were before Christ, and the green words are who we are now! He took us from death to life through His love, mercy, grace, and kindness!
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
This is my favorite part! I did nothing to earn my salvation! No amount of good works will give me God’s salvation. It was gift of God! All I needed was faith. When you are giving your friend a gift, you do not ask for anything in return. You spend weeks, sometimes months thinking of the right thing to get, you sacrifice your hard earned money and time, and you give it to them to show them how much you love and care for them. God planned our gift since the beginning of time! Before He stitched us together in the womb He had picked out our gift of Salvation. He sacrificed much more than money and time to give us our gift; He sacrificed His own life. Then He gave us our gift to show us His love, so that He could be with us for eternity! Isn’t God good?! It amazes me the amount of love He has for us!
Learning to Pray
We have also been learning how to pray with PRAISE. This method of prayer will help you focus during prayer, instead of shooting out random thoughts.
P– Praise- Praise God for all He is and all He does.
R– Repentance- Repent from your sins.
A– Asking- Ask God for what you need.
I– Interceding- We need to intercede for others; to pray for others.
S– Speak Promises- We need to speak the promises of the gospel.
E– Enjoy- We need to enjoy the presence of God.
This acronym has really helped me focus my prayers on Christ, so that I can praise Him through prayer!
Learning to RTB (Read the Bible)
During our sessions we have also been given helpful methods to read the Bible. OIA helps us learn to read effectively, and is a great way to teach new believers to understand the text.
O – Observe – What does it say?
- Words- repeated, emphasized, important
- Grammar – look at subjects, verbs, and objects. How do they relate? Who is doing what?
- Structure- notice major transitions in the passage (conjunctions, punctuation, shifts in topic)
I – Interpret – What does it mean?
- Try to summarize the passage in one sentence. Emphasize what Scripture emphasizes!
- What is the main point the author is trying to get across?
- What does the passage teach us about : God? Man? Sin? Anything Else?
- How does this passage bring to mind the gospel?
A – Apply – How should it change me?
- Sin to confess
- Promise to keep
- Example to follow
- Command to keep
- Kingdom to Advance
Stewarding Your Time Well
One of my favorite sessions we had was on Time Management! Wes Smith talked to us about how time management is important! He said there are two ways we can treat time.
If you think time is an idol, you are a busy person. You usually boast about your busyness, and thrive when your schedule is packed to the brim with things to do. While you may complain about never having time to sit down, you get a rush from being on the go.
If you think time is idle, then you are lazy. You don’t really plan well, and have difficulty getting things done in a timely manner.
I tend to fall into the Idol category. I have always been a busy person. While the things I do are good things, I need to learn to be more flexible with my time, and set priorities when I plan. We all took a few minutes to pick our top four priorities for the summer, so that we can remember them when we schedule. Mine were
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
One of the main points I got from this session is that I am called to obey God, NOT to be God! I need to learn to rest in Him. We do this at City Project by taking a Sabbath of Fridays. This means we spending our mornings in prayer and study, then we rest in the afternoons by doing things we enjoy like exercising, spending time with friends, relaxing… etc. I will be using some of my time on Fridays to blog, so that you all, my wonderful supporters, can hear more about what we are learning at City Project and how God is moving in our lives!
The Family of God
Another awesome session we had was on the Family of God. In the New Testement culture family was the number one priority, so when Jesus called His followers family, He redefined priorities for the people. He said those who followed Him were now all family, because we are connected through His blood. In our western culture, we tend to separate the idea of God, family, and Church, when He really calls us to ALL be united as one body through Him. The four main points of the session were:
- Being a Family is Who God is- the Trinity – Ephesians 4:1-7
- Being a Family Helps us Know God More – Ephesians 3:14-19
- Being Family is a Main Way for the World to Know Him More- John 13:34
- Being a Family Brings Glory to God- Rev. 7:9
We practice being a family at city project through Family Groups, which are made up for 2-3 apartments, that meet on Thursday nights for dinner and community. We have staff members, who are part of the group, that lead discussions, and we all get to share our thought, and grow together as community. We also learn to grow together as brothers and sisters in Christ by including one another throughout the week during free time though sports, singing, dancing, playing games, and more! Even though many of us have only known each other for 16 days, I feel as though City Project has been my family for years! I am so grateful for the friendships He has provided! It is amazing how we can all be unified through the blood of Christ, and that we can all worship and praise His name together!
How Can You Help?
- Pray for unity amongst the students and staff at City Project!
- Pray for us to steward our time well!
- Pray for us to learn to make disciples that make disciples.
- Pray for us to have opportunities to share to Gospel in Campus Crossings (our apartment complex).
- Pray that God speaks through the pastors at our sessions.
- Pray that God uses our internships to grow in the gifts He has given us.
- Pray that God reveals sins we need to confess.
- Pray that God continues to move in our lives this summer!
- Pray that the families at Kids Week will be able to hear the gospel!