I decided I’d share the letter/email I sent my youth ministry volunteer team for Ground Zero, our junior high ministry at Eagle Brook Church. There are about 90 adult leaders who serve the junior high ministry at the White Bear Lake campus.
Christmas Wish List
The Top 10 Christmas Wishes for You and Ground Zero.
Instead of writing a Christmas letter, I decided I would send you a top 10 Christmas wish list. There are certain holy discontents I carry about you personally and spiritually. And there are holy discontents I carry about Ground Zero.
A holy discontent is something someone feels burdened by and contains a strong desire to see it changed or improved.
So here is my Top 10 Christmas Wishes of Holy Discontents for You and Ground Zero
- You’d know how much difference you make. Every person, every role, makes an eternal difference in the life of a junior high student. Whatever role you serve, as you do it with love, in prayer, and in Jesus’ name, you are changing eternity. I want all of you to feel the weight and understand just how much you make a difference.
- The life you lead is more important than the lives you lead. It’s essential that you do ministry out of the very life you lead. It’s more important how much time you spend with Jesus and how well you lead your own life than how well you can talk about it. Students spot inauthenticity from a mile away. Lead your own life well this Christmas.
- Knowing stories changes lives. Junior high students want to be known; they desire someone to know who they are, where they’re from, what they struggle with, etc. Simply knowing this about any student is more important than any of us realize. My wish is for you to understand the importance of this simple act and for every junior high student (the 650 of them who’ve come at least once) to be known.
- Knowing stories — and pointing to Jesus — actually changes eternity. I want you to know this Christmas how much God is pleased when you know a student and then point at Jesus; when a student looks at you and simply sees Jesus; when a student is reached for Christ. God dances (sorry conservative Baptists) and celebrates at this.
- Give sacrificially. This Christmas, I want you to learn how to stretch giving. Yes, financially, but also in other ways. How can you give this Christmas and lead into the New Year’s with a radical amount of giving? God won’t come through for you? Phooey. Test him. Give abundantly and give sacrificially. I want you to experience the joy of stretching every dollar and every ounce of energy.
- Community and Relationship. One holy discontent I carry is the “community” of relationships of adult leaders around Ground Zero. I want this to improve ten fold in 2011. What do I mean? If a leader is weary, hungry, hopeless, hurting – I want our GZ team to know and do something about it. If a leader is excited, blessed, or growing — I want our GZ team to celebrate it! Let’s build a strong, Acts 2 community this next year. Furthermore, I want everyone to have these kind of relationships no matter if it’s at GZ or Eagle Brook.
- Flexibility in the midst of messiness. If you’re like me, you struggle with change, flexibility, adaptability — especially in the midst of messiness. Well, you’re serving YOUTH MINISTRY. My belief is that great youth ministry is incredibly messy, fluid and requires all kinds of flexibility and change. My hope is that you’d learn the freedom that comes with maintaining such a flexible posture towards life and ministry.
- Every student to know Jesus. My wish isn’t for every student to begin and maintain a relationship with Jesus (although, yes, that is the end goal). Honestly, we can’t control that part. That’s the other 50% of the deal. Our 50% of the deal is to make Jesus known in relevant ways to students have the opportunity to choose Him. For Christmas, I want every student to have viewed and seen the multiple, beautiful sides of the real and authentic Jesus Christ.
- Celebrate. I don’t always want to push. I want to stop sometimes and say, “Yup, God, you did it.” I want to brag about all that God is doing. I want to tell you guys, “Look! Look what God just did! He brought 460 students to the GZ Christmas Party. He brought 70 new students. And 65 students (approximately) said YES to Christ for the first time. That’s our God. He did that.” We can brag on him and celebrate!
- You to passionately pursue and know Jesus. Fall in love with Jesus again this year. Look at him in a different way. He’s like a diamond with multiple shimmering sides. I love Jesus. I just do. He’s everything and I find that each day I fall more and more completely in awe of him. I want to be like him. My ultimate wish for you is that you’d find yourself viewing Jesus in awe and that you’d do something more to become more and more like him.
God bless you Ground Zero team! I love you more than you could know and more than I could express. Thank you for how you serve God, this ministry, and these students.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Don’t miss the amazing Christmas services this year at EBC!
See you on January 5th,