At a recent FORMED event on the topic of prayer, Debbie and I spent a few hours with friends at the Speckled Bird in Norwood listening to someone’s prayer journey and then engaging in some prayer practices and disciplines which were really refreshing. One of the exercises which the Father used to encourage me was praying with a picture. Several pictures were spread out on a table and I quickly selected this one w/o glancing around much. As I was contemplating the image and praying, a few different things came to mind:
- I love the outdoors, hiking, trails, etc
- The trail is leading upwards and towards light (further up & further in, eh?)
- I believe that for this season of life and ministry, I’m called to walk a little more slowly and intentionally…with one person at a time. Not sure a crowd would fit on this path.
- God is calling me to deeper and more authentic relationships with students
After 10 or 15 minutes of prayer time with this image, I had a real sense of patience, contentment, direction, and assurance.
Then today I stumble across this great review by a friend in campus ministry, Bill Westfall. He provides a brief synopsis of the book Souls In Transition which has been on my “read immediately” shelf for several months. (Ha!) The first of five points which Bill sifts from his reading of this important book about emerging adults is this:
Students need a spiritual mentor during their college years. Not only this, but they need a mentor who actually models, lives out, the type of life to which the student is aspiring. Uh…read that last part again…we have to actually model what we are saying. Good stuff.
In any kind of ministry, it is very easy to get distracted with lots of good ideas, strategies, methods, programs, etc. But I keep hearing this voice in my head that says, “Don’t get distracted. Keep it simple. Stop trying to DO too much. Just BE with college students as a spiritual mentor, coach, guide, and friend.