2011 Summer Reflection

Well, it’s that time of year again. I got a textbook in the mail before work and now I’m sipping on my pumpkin spice latte. I’ve been getting e-mails from professors telling the class what we’ll need and that the syllabus will be up on blackboard. That’s right, summer’s already over and school starts in two days.

I can’t really complain, because it’s been a good summer. At the start, I really wanted to read some books, and I got that done. I think I read 8 or 9 books, which is a TON more than I’ve ever done in a summer. And so much has happened that I’ll have to really work my memory to recall it all.

First was convention. I’m pretty sure I blogged about convention already, so I won’t beat a dead horse, but I definitely want to point out that leaving for Columbus, OH in May was the first time I had left Kentucky since November of 2009! I spent my whole 2010 shacked up here in Kentucky, and while I love Kentucky, may that never be the case again! It was really good to see and meet and hear from people in the Foursquare family around the country and even around the world. I got to hear from President Glenn Burris and a guy whose message really stuck with me–pastor A.J. Swoboda from Theophlius church in Portland. Now, I was in a distinct funk during my two days at convention, but I learned a valuable lesson: God works in us and through us even when we’re not in the best mood, even when we’re wrestling, fighting, kicking and screaming! I took a lot away from convention in the long run, which I’m sure you can read about in a previous blog.

Next was camp. God really used camp as a way of helping me get over some stuff. It helped me get over some confidence/leadership issues, as I was a 20-year-old adult leader who was responsible for some guys only several years younger than me! I suppose you can call it pastor practice–one day I’ll even be responsible for leading people who are OLDER than I am, as well as those that are barely younger! I was also corrected/instructed by God when it came to operating in the prophetic. In the past, I would absolutely refuse to try to hear a word from God for someone, because that was too “weird.” But as a leader entrusted with praying for students, I found I had to–and even enjoyed it! Without having a clue what their situations or stories were, God was able to use me to pray for some specific things in their life. In fact–in retrospect–I felt more comfortable praying for people I didn’t know than I would have felt if I had been praying for one of our students, because I didn’t have to pray around things I already knew about them. Also, I got to meet all kinds of great young leaders and made friendships that should last for a long time.

The third big thing I did this summer was to go to Linefork, KY, for a pastor’s gathering. I don’t think I’ve blogged about this yet. We were asked to lead worship, and it was quite the opportunity. Beforehand, I had sworn to myself that I wouldn’t get a big head about it. And yet on the first night, I felt important. Then I had to get a reality check. Undoubtedly it was an honor, but anyone could do it. I was nothing special! This was at a time when my head was swarmed with ideas of how to do church and I remember explicitly thinking on the first night, “I want to have a church that operates in a way that would blow these peoples’ minds.” Then God had to correct me: “Who are you kidding? These people have been in ministry for years. Besides, what church success could you possibly have without Me?” I’m glad to learn these lessons as a young potential church planter.

All in all, this summer has been a summer of a lot of growth. Just in the last few weeks, I’ve had to have some talks with myself (and with God) about some things. Probably the most prominent has been this: to what extent am I on board with the demographic that my church values reaching? At our church, we feel uniquely called and crafted for college students. Now, I’m a college student, but I don’t consider myself one. I definitely don’t feel like one. But in these last few days, as students have been making their way into the dorms at EKU, I’ve had to ask myself: am I seeking to seperate myself from the university, or is it time to engage it and take pride in it? I’m not talking school spirit, I’m talking about being an ambassador to EKU. Just because my church is located in Berea and focuses on Berea College doesn’t mean EKU shouldn’t get any attention, at least from me! I’ve felt as of late that God’s challenge to me this semester is to build relationships and get to know and love some people on campus.

Now I’ll take a look ahead at this semester. I’ve been asked this question a lot so hopefully this can save me from answering it too many more times šŸ™‚

I’m taking:

Conversational French I

American Civilization since 1877

Sensation and Perception (Psychology)

Psy: experimental and statistical (basically, Psych Stats)

and Physics.

you see that?!?!?! NO English classes! I’m so happy! I feel like this semester might just be cake because of that!

I’m also leading a life group this semester called Gospel in Life, and I’ll be doing that on Monday nights.

Alright. That’s a summer update! Thanks for reading.

One thought on “2011 Summer Reflection

  1. Thanks for sharing, Jeff. You’ve definitely had a busy & challenging summer – lots of stretching and growing! I totally agree that we (you & i & some others) have a mission to EKU in addition to reaching out to Berea College students. Have a blessed year! Ginny

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