I know, I know, it’s waaaaay to early for that, but it didn’t happen on purpose.
I was driving and I shuffled all of the music on my phone because I had been listening to
the same playlists over and over for like 3 months. (You ever get to that point where you just listen to the same 10% of your music library until you’re sick of it? Yeah that was me, anyways, off topic).
So, I had shuffled all of my music so that people wouldn’t give me weird looks when my twenty one pilots play count is 1,000 over everything else, and a song from the Hillsong Christmas album came on.
Personally, I think that Christmas music has some of the best praise songs. There is something about them that makes them so full of joy and celebration. The outpouring of praise that you hear is so uplifting and you just can’t help but be happy when listening to it.
I love Christmas music in general, and I’ll be listening to it constantly come November. It’s one of the many reasons why winter is my favorite time of the year along with hot coffee, cold weather, and spending time with friends and family. Listening to this particular Christmas song first got me dancing around in my car like an idiot, then it got me thinking about all of the ways that God has been shown up (and shown off) in my life over the past few months.
I haven’t blogged in a while due to one, somewhat contradictory, reason. The first few months after my last blog post weren’t hugely eventful in my youth group life. Not that they were bad or anything, but just nothing really post-worthy happened. Recently, there have been one or two pretty significant moments, but I haven’t written about them because I wanted to respect the privacy of my students and didn’t want to make some things public, even anonymously.
So, on one hand, there hasn’t been much going on, but on the other, there has been and I just haven’t written about it. I know, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. But it got me thinking about something: Recognizing God in your daily life.
Like I said before, the first few months after my last blog post, nothing really significant happened. I would show up Sunday night, spend time with my small group, and then I would go back home to do it all again next week. And that is totally okay.
Youth ministry, or any ministry for that matter, is not all about emotionally charged week-long retreats. Sure, God uses those types of events for really awesome things, but the most important aspects of a ministry are the relationships involved in it. Building relationships with my students is the most involved part about leading them, and that is done through the mundane, week-in, week-out routine of meeting with them and getting to know them. So while it may not seem like God is actively doing anything during those seasons, I have to remember that He is working his plan and look for the little ways he does show up through those day-to-day moments. You can’t have those really awesome retreat breakthroughs without first having a solid relationship.
Speaking of memorable retreat moments, I got to experience that with one of my students at a summer retreat we went on a few weeks ago. I didn’t write about it because I didn’t feel it was beneficial to publish it. However, during that retreat I saw God doing some awesome things in my life and my student’s, that wouldn’t have happened without a foundation of relationship.
That week that I spent with this one student was so eye-opening to what God was doing in my life and his. God answered several prayers of mine, and even redeemed some things from my past to help him out. It really renewed the joy that I have in doing youth ministry and my love for the students. I am still awed by how much of an impact this ministry has on my life.
That retreat, plus some of the other things that have been going on, like being able to move into a new house, have really made me realize how blessed I am. The Christmas song that came on my shuffled playlist was Born Is The King by Hillsong, and the lyrics really fit that sentiment.
So lift up your voice and sing out His praise…
Born is the King, rejoice in the day!…
Make a joyful sound…
Let His praise resound
Our Father delights in giving us the desires of our hearts, even when we don’t deserve them. Have I been a perfect Christian the past few months? Of course not. Pretty far from from it in fact, but God still saw fit to bless me with this ministry, with answered prayers, and with a new house. How can you not want to praise a God like that?
Want to add some variety to your Christmas playlists? Check out the Hillsong album We Have a Savior