Good = Hard // A Ministry Update :: 1.0

Well February is almost over and March is around the corner. I have to be honest, i’m really looking forward to spring! Warmth and Sun and outdoor activities! Ahhh, that sounds so good right now! I received a little taste of spring last weekend while i was in Alabama with Aldersgate UMC. This is a retreat i do every year and every year it seems to get better.

A conviction i had when i started to travel and do the itinerant teaching / preaching ministry was that relationships were going to be of the utmost importance! So i have prayed, since the beginning, that i would develop partnership with churches and youth group so that we could build on what God was doing at these retreat. I have prayed that the ministry i do wouldn’t just be a flash in the pan but would be a kinda of Pauline ministry of partnership in the Gospel, much in the same way Paul partnered with the church in Philippi. Over the years i have had this sort of partnership with a few churches, i’m excited that this is happening with Aldersgate and the great group of students and leader they have over there!

“I thank my God every time i remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among us will bring it to completion.” Philippians 1:3-6

We had a great weekend of partnering in the gospel! Which included playing football and wiffleball on a 70 degrees Saturday afternoon! AMAZING! The theme of the retreat was “COLLIDE - Where Worship and Mission Meet.” We were able to challenge the students to think critically about participating in worship and in God’s mission, while laying a biblical foundation for the interconnectedness of these things. It was a great and challenging weekend for all us!

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2 highlight of the weekend were playing in a vicious tournament of spoons with students and leaders. I might add that i emerged the champion! Many laughs and a few bruises were had but it was great fun! And to cap off the weekend we took communion together, challenging the students to remember what Christ has done, to worship Him fully, and participate in his mission in the world! It was a great weekend and i’m excited about next year!

Earlier in the month i spoke at a Jr. High retreat for Oak Point church in Detroit Michigan. A group of 200 Jr high and 50 leaders converged on Timber Wolf camp grounds, a young life camp in northern Michigan. It was a beautiful and CHILLY setting but we were able to hunker down and open the the bible together, leaning into the teachings of Jesus and the idea that he came to give us LIFE, to enable us to THRIVE!

It was great weekend with a bunch of crazy middle school students. On Saturday night at least 5 of these students gave their lives to Christ for the first time and probably another hundred students raised their hands to indicate that they wanted to recommit their lives to Christ and do more then survive but thrive in their Christian life. It was awesome to see students respond to God’s word and commit to grow in Christ.

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We played octaball, basketball, and even had a snowball fight or two! It was a great weekend of fun and spiritual renewal! I hope to see these students again soon! But for now i am keeping up with a handful of them on facebook! As a response to a challenge i gave to plant themselves in community and begin to read the bible together, 3 different facebook bible studies have begun! It’s awesome to see students respond in practical ways that go beyond our weekend together! Praying that they stick with it and continue to thrive in their lives with Christ!

This has been one of the best months of ministry in the past couple years and I have 2 more retreat in March! Looking forward to seeing what God will do as we pray and anticipate!

Grace and peace erik