Sunday, November 19, 2006

SU Weekend!

Hey there people. I realise it's been beards since my last post so i apologise for that (again!) but ive been a busy boy and haven't found myself with much idle internet time recently. Anyways, I'm just back from taking Banbridge Academy SU weekend and it was amazing! There were about 50 young people there ranging from 4th year to U6th and the topic for the weekend was 'Service...get it?'. To be honest with you i struggled a lot with preparation for my 3 sessions. I just found that when i sat down to prepare it just didn't flow - i couldn't get my sermon mojo working if you know what im saying! But as often happens, things started to come together at the last minute and i was excited about what could happen if they 'got it'!

A big message about service i wanted to get across to them is they idea that people have many needs:
  1. Physical
  2. Social
  3. Emotional
  4. Spiritual
Sadly, when Christians and churches generally approach service we invest most of our time, energy and resources into meeting people's 'spiritual' needs and forget about the other needs we all have. I was excited to hear that the SU are having a week of outreach activities in the school that include things like:
  • free breakfast (physical)
  • helping the cleaners clean the school (physical)
  • It's a knockout night (social)
Also we had a session in groups where they came up with all sorts of great ideas fo how to meet all four categories of needs. One idea that came across strongly was a student counselling/mentoring project (emotional).

People need to know that we care about all of their needs and not just their spiritual requirements. I think the church has a responsibility to meet these varied needs as Jesus did. He met people's physical needs when he fed the 5000 and healed the sick wherever he went. He also met social needs when he crossed barriers of religion, gender and age to connect with people. In the parable of the sheep and the goats what does the Son of Man say to the sheep? When i was hungry you fed me (physical), when i was thirsty you gave me a drink (physical), when i was a stranger you invited me in (social), when i needed clothes you clothed me (physical), when i was sick you looked after me (physical), when i was in prison you visited me (social & emotional).

What a great weekend. The young people really connected with God, the food was great and the banter was even better! Please for these guys this week and for the rest of the year as they seek to be 'lights to the world' in their school.