Friday, June 29, 2012

Things I learned at Middle School Camp

Since last Sunday night Susie and I have been away speaking at camp for a couple of hundred middle school students.  It has been nearly 8 years since I have been a youth pastor and I feel like I am still young at heart, however I learned some things this week that I think we can all use in our lives.

1. Passion for Jesus is not just for adults-  In fact, this week I witness students worshiping Jesus with a passion unseen in most churches today.  They worshiped without all of the fancy lights and sounds and full band that we have come to expect when we worship.  These students worshiped to new songs and songs that I sang when I was first in student ministry.  I leaned this week passion for Jesus is just that passion and the style of your worship should not dictate your passion.  Your love for Jesus should be demonstrated by your passionate worship of Him.

2. Sundays should be mini Camp experiences- Maybe you remember a camp experience that you has as a kid where you were so excited about Jesus that you thought you would never turn your back on him. Most of us when we returned home kept that excitement for about a week then it soon faded. This got me thinking, what if our Sunday experience at church is supposed to be that mini camp experience where we get excited about Jesus and by the end of the week when the excitement begin to fade we come back to church for a recharge.

3. This next Generation is going to change the world- I am amazed at the desire for transformation in this generation of students who are growing up.  I know that sometimes people give students a bad rap making statements like "we are in trouble if this is our future".  My question is what investment are we making in this next generation.

We can either spend our time padding our 401k plan or we can invest in the next generation.  If we invest more in the next generation by modeling for them a lifestyle that honors Christ I believe that our future will be amazing. 

God has given each of us a unique opportunity to impact the next generation.  And I think as I read scripture I am reminded that most of the time when God wanted to start a revolution he started with the young people.  Maybe because they have more energy then old people but maybe it has more to do with the fact they they are willing to believe God for the impossible.  I know that I cannot go back and be a middle school student again but I can learn from them about passion and transformation.

It has been an honor to serve as camp pastor for a week and my prayer is that my experience this week will not be a short lived experience but a life changing one. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Football, Family, and Dirt

I know at first glance those three words do not typically go together, but in the Wirth house, around this time of year, they do.  You see on Monday of this week, Anthony began his pre-football season, skills camp, AKA run and exercise until you throw-up.  Actually it is not that bad, and he loves it.  Seems hard to believe that my boy has played football for 7 seasons and he is only 13.  If I am honest, I love it as much as he does. I love being out on the sideline and on the practice field with him, coaching him and watching him play.  It is exciting to see him improve from year to year, and turn into a leader on and off the field.  So football is a huge part of our lives from now until early November, and it can be a dirty sport.  However, today also marks the beginning of summer as well which for us means family fun time and family craziness.  I am sure that over the next 8-10 weeks we will make more than a few journeys to the Magic Kingdom, be out on the boat tubing, and at the beach relaxing, all with family and friends, and I cherish these times.  After all, it is what summer vacation is all about. 
So you may be asking, "Paul I get the football and family so far, but where does dirt fit in to all of this?"  As I was thinking about summer fun and family vacations, it got me wondering how many times do we end up with dirt in our spiritual lives because we just take a vacation from our spiritual journey.  You know how it goes... you miss one week due to vacation, then the next week you are too tired from vacation, then work is busy and before you know it you are disconnected from your spiritual community.  Now before someone says I do not have to go to church to be a good Christ Follower, I agree.  Church is not the answer to all of our spiritual problems. However, I liken church attendance and spiritual health to working out and weight gain.  I do not have to workout to maintain a healthy weight but it sure does help.  Dirt is one of those things that comes into our lives very suddenly or slowly over a period of neglect.  Similarly, weight is gained one small pound at a time, but over the course of a few weeks or a month it can be devastating.  Dirt is the same way.  Without a regular way to identify the dirt in our lives we just keep piling it on not even realizing the damage it is causing.
This weekend at Relevant we are going to look at another character who was born dirty and lived dirty for the majority of his life, but then he spent some time in the Octagon with God and everything changed.  Join us this weekend as we unpack the dirty life of Jacob. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

I love my Dirty Church

So this week was the launch of our new series Dirt and as I was preparing for Sunday's message with a story of a serious dirty girl in the Bible, I could not help but think of all of our people at Relevant.  Not because you are dirty but actual yes because we are all dirty.  I love being a part of a dirty church.  The fact is you and I are part of a seriously dirty church.  We are dirty in more ways that just the dirt that I talked about last week.  And I wanted to share with you the dirt that I love at our church.

  1. I love that our church does not mind getting dirty for the right reason.  Every year I see hundreds of you get some serious dirt on you by working at BTW work days, field days, yard clean-ups and home rehabs.  That is some seriously good dirt.
  2. I love that as a church you do not mind allowing people to know that you are personally dirty and that it is only because of what Jesus has done that you are even clean a little bit.  You have no idea how many times I have had someone walk in to Relevant and bump into someone from their non church world and say "you go to church here?' Then they say well of the church did not fall in with you here then I think I will be ok too.  LOL!!
  3. I love that you are accepting of dirty people.  The church is supposed to be the place where people get cleaned up not the place where only clean people can attend.  I love that our church allows people to come in dirty and leave clean because of what Jesus does in their life.
  4. I love that at Relevant we neither wear dirt as a badge of honor nor as a badge of shame.  Dirt is part of life and we all have it and we are all in the process of getting our dirt cleaned up.  And where ever you are in that process Relevant church exist for you.
I guess I love being the pastor of a dirty church because I am a dirty pastor who is love by a dirt loving savior name Jesus.  He came to clean us up and I love the process.  I hope that you will join us this weekend at for week 2 of Dirt.  I think the story of Rahab from Joshua is going to be amazing.  If you want to do some reading ahead check out Joshua 2-8 the story is pretty cool.  Until next time remember this: "GOD MADE DIRT AND DIRT DON'T HURT"