A school year long culmination of weekly meetings, bible studies, discipleship appointments, gospel conversations, leadership retreats, metro-wide events, outreaches, staff meetings, prayer and development times - all eventually come to a sudden halt - every May, the rhythm remains unchanged.
We finish and we ask ourselves, "Do our students understand the Gospel and can they articulate it to others? Are they living every day of their life as the chosen people they are in Christ? Are we asking them to 'do' ministry, to be doers, and failing to lead and encourage them into 'being' in and with Christ?" As Timothy Keller shares, are you in the dance or do you just believe God is out there somewhere?
I wish these questions were more easily answered with statistics and numbers around a board room table, but when you're talking about individuals moving from darkness to light, about walking with individuals who, like yourself, are flawed and ride the waves of overcoming sinfulness, learning to live out of their justification and then their sanctification, individuals who divide their time between part-time jobs, full course loads, extracurricular activities, and always, always being challenged to decide how they will spend their brief four(+) years, the answers become dizzyingly less obvious.
And then summer arrives.
With our students uniquely freed up for three months of the year we as campus ministers invite them to join us for a summer unlike any they've ever experienced. We call it Summer Mission and it's happening across the world from seaside towns, to the badlands of North Dakota, throughout the world, even in the places the gospel is not yet known.
This summer, for the Johnson's, Summer Mission has brought us to the Jersey Shore - with fellow staff members and a soon-to-be arriving group of 50 college students from across the Midwest. Over the next six-weeks our students will have the opportunity to experience, for some the very first time, authentic community, training and experience in evangelism, learning about God's heart for the lost, being challenged in Bible study, and encouragement in discipleship.
This summer is all about learning and experiencing and sharing the King and His Kingdom.
I'm inviting you to share in this summer mission with our family. Will you join us in praying for these 50 young adults as they grow in their relationships with the Lord and take steps of faith in the Jersey Shore community? Will you pray for our the local church in the Jersey Shore community, for the men and women who have partnered alongside us as brothers and sisters in the Gospel?
I am expectant the Lord is and will move in the lives of many this summer and I'm eager to share this with each of you through words and images.
"After John was put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. "The time has come," he said, "The Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!"" ~Mark 1:14-15