Thursday, March 10, 2011

the curse is broken

{disclaimer: i wrote this weeks ago & this mainly for our team & family to remember...just like joshua 4}

i've been leading younglife since the fall of my sophomore year at uk.  may will mark my 3rd year out of college, so i've got 6 good years under my belt.  however, until last night {two weeks ago} i had never given a club talk.  club is basically a big party where all kinds of kids from the high school are welcome to come over; we sing, dance, play games, and laugh {hard} all in the hopes of breaking down barriers with our friends and sharing the glorious good news of the gospel with teenagers who desperately need it.  {see this video if you want a better picture of what the mission is about}.  at the end of club someone speaks.  a leader gets up and speaks truth in a way that will relate to students.  not a watered down message, a powerful one. 

for my first 3 years of leading i was at a private school here in lexington.  we were starting up and small.  {and we stayed that way}.  for the first little bit we partnered with another school in town and although we helped run club skits, songs, whatever we never took ownership of speaking because it was really the other school's club we were crashing.  then there was a time when we ran no club at all & just went to be with students.  if you don't have a large mass you can't really run a traditional club.  you still get to share the gospel with kids, it just looks different.  i hate public speaking with a passion so missing out speaking at club wasn't really something i was mourning. i should talk about sayre school another day.

after marrying ben i moved on over to lafayette so that we could lead together.  {doing ministry together is really fun by the way}.  my first year there i think i got out of talking mainly because i'm not gifted at speaking and 3 other people on my team were awesome at it.  why not go with your strengths right?  then last year there was a big ol' group of girls that i was close with that kept coming around and my team thought that it would be good for them to hear me 'preach it' from up front.  i felt panicked and nervous but i prepared my talks.  i was supposed to have 2 that year i think {which isn't many out of all the clubs but like i said, i have a physical, very real fear of public speaking}.  both of those clubs didn't happen, i can't remember the reason, maybe bad weather, cancelled school, district bball games, not enough students...i can't remember.  i just know they didn't happen.  i was sad that we didn't have club, but again kind of relieved to not have to get up in front of a big crowd and stare into their faces while stuttering with dry-mouth.  embarrassing.

this past fall, i again had 1 or 2 talks planned out.  ben insisted that i must give a talk.  i love preparing for the talks, i think God teaches you a lot if you have to teach other people.  i would just prefer to teach small groups of people rather than a large one {wink wink}.  so again, i prepare, read, pray...get ready and club.  hmm...maybe God doesn't want me to give a talk.  that's what i thought.  maybe we're forcing this and i'm really not meant to speak in front of club.  God makes people for different purposes, maybe that's not mine. 

this spring, about a month ago it happened again.  we run consistent clubs and then when my turn rolls around, no club.  it was valentine's day, so maybe everyone was on a date.  maybe it was cold.  maybe God just didnt' want me to talk?  but we pushed it back one week, everything from v-day club we were going to keep the same for the following week.  sidenote: not having club stinks.  i know some schools have never / will never experience a time when you plan for club or a hangout and not enough people come to run it, but let me tell's rough.  it's this awful feeling that there are literally thousands of students out there that you're not reaching, not investing in.  that's hard.  and you feel like you've failed, which if you really have been faithful, i know is not from God but it's a thought that's difficult to avoid.  but all we can do is show up, speak truth & pray hard so that's what we did {and do}.  we prayed hard, we gave our campaigners a charge to go after it, care that your friends hear the gospel and then....aaaaahhhhhhhh

the following week....we had club! and it was awesome.  so many new faces.  so much energy.  our team and our students that partner with us got to see God move and got to be a part of it.  that was such an encouragment to them and to us.  i pray that our faithfulness would never be dependent on results but if i can say was just the boost we needed.  i think God sometimes allows hard things so that we know we can't do it ourselves, so that we are broken and dependant because that's when he shines through, he gets the credit, he gets the glory.  that monday night, there was no question, God got the glory.  and i gave my first club talk.  i didn't feel shaky and my face wasn't red {that used to happen to me}.  i'm sure it was the holy spirit quieting my heart.  so maybe i kind of got all scrambled at the end and finished my club talk without some of my favorite points but i think it's ok.  i know that those two minutes i accidently left out God can handle ;)

so the curse is broken.  my first club talk complete.  i'm sure i will get better with practice, well at least i hope to.  i hope that God will use our feeble efforts to advance His kingdom.  that's my hope.
and an update on our club situation: the past two weeks have been incredible.  we're so encouraged & have been blessed beyond belief to see how God is using the tool of young life to draw people to himself.  please pray for our friends at lafayette, that they would see God, his huge heart for them & see His salvation! {isaiah 40:3-5}


  1. That is so awesome girl! It is such a neat experience when you do something out of your comfort zone and God totally does it for you. We truly have "feeble efforts" don't we? No matter what they are feeble compared to His! Much better to let Him have it, though much easier said than done.

    I'm so excited to hear more of what God does through you guys!

  2. JEN! We got burritos yesterday and I had NO idea you gave your talk! I want to hear more one day! I'm excited for you. And I love this :) And you. K, bye!

  3. yay! wish i could've been there to hear it!

  4. I've been talking to you for days & you didn't tell me THIS! This is the most important thing that we could have talked about! I know that those kids are so blessed by your faithfulness & love. You are such an encouragement to me. Love you friend!

  5. Yay Jen!! I bet soon you will LOVE giving club talks :)


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