Yesterday, Deric had his first sponsors' meeting for the youth group to discuss a whole slew of topics: events for fall/winter, small groups, guidelines, direction for the youth group, etc. The meeting went well and a lot of various opinions were provided, leaving Deric with plenty to think about. One of the most important things we covered was the goals for the youth group. Where do we want them spiritually by the end of middle school? End of high school? What topics do we need to cover in middle school/ high school? And even more importantly, how do we lead these kids to a deeper relationship with Jesus that overflows into every aspect of their life? 

For that last question, the only answer we came up with was to lead by example. If we want the kids praying constantly and praying big, reading their Bible and learning more about Jesus, and serving others in the church and community, then we need to do all of those things as well. They can't go deep if we can't go deep. When I left the meeting, I had a renewed conviction to strengthen my faith so that I can be an effective leader.

Backtrack a day or two. One of Deric's friends from college was at Johnson for an event. He and two of his sponsers are going to another event this week, and they needed a place to stay for the weekend. Deric invites them to the house for the weekend, and it was a totally unexpected blessing for us. While we were at church, our guests mowed our lawn (which is huge), washed all of the dishes we'd used (praise the Lord! I hate not having a dishwasher), and fed us more fruit snacks and peanut M&Ms than we'll ever need. In the meantime, they talked constantly about Biblical stories, faith, and how Jesus is working in their lives. They spent most of Sunday afternoon with their Bibles open, contemplating the meaning of what they were reading. 

Stay with me as I try to show you how these two happenings are connected. At the same time that the sponsors' meeting reminds us of the necessity to lead by example and renews our conviction to spend more time with God, He sends us three people who ignite our passion because of their passion. Lesson learned; lesson experienced. God's timing is just so good.

To remember this lesson, I printed off a quick reminder to put in Deric's office. I'm planning to put a similar reminder somewhere in our house. 

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