One of you shared about the fact that she had experienced these types of trips and events. She loved getting the chance to bond and have fun. She spoke of the stories and memories she has now because of being a part of trips that helped her grow in her Faith.
I would say this is one of the goals of going on trips. Going on these trips is a way for us to truly get to know each other and just focus on God. These memories are what make me think of how much I love spending time with God. He brings me such Joy when I am truly focused on him.
Another of you shared a different side of things where every student does not enjoy or grow on trips or in big events. Some of our students need the smaller group and shorter time frame.
I must admit I had somewhat overlooked this thought when I was writing earlier this week. We must keep balance and realize that every student will not be reached with everything we do. Sometimes I deal with parents that just want to have everything be just what their student wants. That isn’t going to happen. I encourage parents that if their student wants to have a Christian Party then they should throw a party. Don’t be limited to just what the church offers. God can impact students anywhere, not just at church events. Options need to available for students to grow however they fit in.
Lastly one of you shared about working the soil and continuing to plant seed. You shared the idea that we just keep planting seeds through these events and trips and never give up. God will bring the growth if we continue to plant and water the seeds.
This was a great analogy of what we are talking about here. If we look in Matthew 13 we see Jesus sharing the parable of the farmer scattering seed. In this parable he shares how seeds fall in different places just like our messages fall on different hearts. We must continue to scatter the seeds though. I love how Jesus explains this parable in Matthew 13:18-23
18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Here we see that all of the seeds that we plant (or scatter) are not going to grow like we hoped they would. We must not quit trying though because those seeds that land in good rich soil will grow to produce an incredible harvest.
In my last post I repeatedly asked the same question over and over again and here it is one more time. Do big events and trips really make that big of a difference in junior high ministry?
My answer would be absolutely yes. These events and trips must be well planned and organized, but if done well we can spread seed in places we may not have reached before. If we do this then student’s eyes, ears, and hearts will open to God’s teaching. We must be faithful and provide students with these opportunities that can effect them for the rest of their lives.