This past Wednesday at Plunge the student got a chance to vote for Deacons. I have been teaching on leadership for the past month and this was culmination. Below is summary of my lesson and a copy of the prayer sheet. If you have any questions click here to send me an email.
Some of you heard my sermon on Sunday and if you looked in the bulletin you found a picture of the Jesus Bobble Head (see right). I decided to go ahead and buy one… I know sacrilegious! … I can not get past the image of Jesus as our “yes” man. I think that is how so many of us treat him—not asking what HE wants, but asking Him if what WE want is ok! We give requests for friends, family, ourselves – but rarely do we ask God what He wants for our lesson – we just kept listing our thoughts…
In reality we need to be His bobble head doll, whatever He asks, we say “yes”!
In high school God began to move in my heart and He called me to work in the church. Of course I already had plan for my life. I was accepted, full ride and all, to multiple engineering programs. The school to which I was set on going had a list of brags and one of them was that average starting salary for their graduates was 49 thousand plus benefits. This seemed like a ton of money and I was spending it already in my mind (not accounting for any bills – I suppose I would still live at home… what an engineer). Of course I knew the church would not quite pay as well…
So I began to make deals with God, “I will always serve you in church. I can be a deacon. Think how much I will tithe – I mean I am already tithing my marina job earnings, so I will continue to tithe…” On and on, round and round, until God made it evident – this is MY plan, are you coming or not?
And here I am. It is has been eight years since I graduated college. I now have a master’s degree. But I still do not come close to that salary. God does not call us to give us our heart’s desires. He calls us to follow, to make us men and women who say “yes” to His plan… and this is the quality God wants in His leaders. Not talents or abilities, but servants who follow wherever He leads!
Turning to the church, here it is in brief (since the students already heard and I assume the adults already know!)…
Decisions in our church are not made by the ministers (sure message topics and sometimes ministry events), but hiring and firing or building or money or … are all made by church members.
This is different than many churches who are pastor lead or elder lead, we are lead by the congregation. This structure could be compared to our nation’s congress. We vote to elect representative and senators who vote on our behalf in Washington. In the church we elect deacons who represent us. Who make decision for us (though most decisions will also come before the church at large, the form of the decisions are decided by the deacons).
But a big difference between the church and our government, the government is elected to represent us, just as deacons. BUT unlike politicians, who seek our favor, we elect deacons to seek the will of God and to lead our church on HIS path!
On Wednesday the students were given the chance to vote for deacons. They separated for a time of prayer (Click here to download the Deacon Prayer Sheet) and then they voted for deacons. I of course went over all the details (stressing membership, voting only once, and especially encouraging them to vote for those they could trust to lead us to Christ – unconcerned with getting to the 17 limit, four or five would be great, as long as the student knew their heart, and many other details).
The students were very excited and took it very seriously, which was awesome to see.
The only hiccup was that I had not explained the write-in portion of the ballot. A few students choose to write in a name and decided I would be good deacon! Which made me laugh and is nice that they considered me, but I had to break the news that a minister can not be a deacon (really we are not even supposed to speak in the deacon meetings!).
I know parents have received a series of emails on all of this. I thank you all for being so supportive. It was a great night, with so many voting for the very first time. I pray and hope that this will be a small step to the students getting involved with BIG church (not huddling in a youth bubble)!