loved this quote as I was studying for a message I am doing on the spiritual priority of solitude:

“Hurry is not of the Devil… Hurry IS the Devil.”   – Carl Jung


WE week four: Going Deeper

We wrapped up our series, WE, this Sunday by looking at the idea that we need to go deeper with our friendships.  If we were honest, MOST of our relationships stay on the surface.  But we all feel that we need to go deeper with people, so we talked about a way to start “going deeper.”  That way is ACCOUNTABILITY.  The Bible uses the metaphor of soil and dirt when it talks about human beings…  if we are going to grow… we need to be soft and workable.  The way that a farmer gets the soil workable is by cultivating it.  cultivation keeps the soil soft and it also brings below the surface rocks up to the surface to be dealt with.  ACCOUNTABILITY is the cultivation of the soul.    we need accountability because:

1. we need sharpening

2. We need to lean on others

I challenged our students to do 3 things:  find someone to share life with, learn to be completely honest with others, & ask & answer tough questions.

We gave every student a card that had 7 accountability questions on it that we wanted our students to start asking each other to help build accountability in their friendships and take their relationships deeper.


“Why do you always say that?”

Over the years in ministry, I have had volunteers ask me a variation of that question.  In fact, my wife started saying a few years ago, “That is such a ‘Sam-ism’!”  Now, most of the time that she said that it had to do with little idiosyncracies that I would do or say that were a little… let’s say… peculiar, so it was said in jest.  But some of the ‘Sam-isms’ were things that I would say over and over and over again to my volunteers, staff, students, etc…  that had to do with vision for student ministry and leadership.  There are certain phrases that I say over and over again.  Why?  Because I REALLY BELIEVE THEM.  I REALLY VALUE THEM.  And I am of the school that you VERBALIZE WHAT YOU VALUE… AND YOU VERBALIZE IT A LOT!    The more I say it, the more we hear it, the more we hear it, the more we remember it, the more we remember it, the more likely we all are to LIVE IT.   You can’t just say something once or write down something once and expect it to stick… you must verbalize it… OFTEN.

WE – week three: WE > ME

Sunday night was week three of our series, “WE.”  This series is all about how God created us to do life with others… and that it is, according to God himself, “NOT GOOD” when we isolate our lives from others.  Sunday night we looked at the idea that WE > ME. [WE is greater than ME]  I said that when we share life with others… we have the opportunity and potential for GREATER IMPACT than we will all by ourselves.  We challenged the students to get involved with Operation Christmas Child to support the outreach that Hopevale Church is doing with this organization. [for more info on this click here.] I was blown away by the student’s response.  Almost every student either took a shoe box to fill or committed that they would through their community group.  At the end of the night I gave them a small piece of rope to remember that when we share life with others… we have the potential for greater impact:

The idea for the rope came out of Ecclesiastes 4:7-12.

WE – week one: All the Lonely People

We started a new series Sunday night called “WE”.  This series is all about FRIENDSHIPS.  But not just any friendships… QUALITY friendships.  We talked about what COMMUNITY is.  This Sunday was all about how God created human beings to connect.  We were not meant to do life alone.  We looked at the beginning of the Bible… Genesis, where God created the first man and saw his loneliness and said, “It is NOT GOOD for the man to be alone.”

So God created human community.

He created companionship.

And from that moment on… God declared that community was important for us.  We all know this is true, but most of us are content to live in isolation.  We may have a lot of surface friends… but we are still lonely because we don’t have anyone who understands and gets us at a soul level.  So I challenged our students to go after community in their lives.  We looked at the story of Christopher McCandless (for info on his story click here) and looked at a sentence he wrote in his journal before he died: “Happiness is only real when shared.”