Tuesday, June 29, 2010


This is my 100th blog post and I'm excited to share something outside of the Mission Trip. Today is our day of rest-our Sabbeth, time with God. I've been reading two books lately: 'The Christian Atheist' by Craig Groeschel and 'Relationships Unfiltered' by Andrew Root. I have been using some of their insight and sharing it with the youth at campfire-I think God ordained this really...why else would it work so well with our goal, theme, and message for the youth? So this won't be a total step away from the Mission Trip itself-rather a 'behind the scene' type of blog post.
Anyway, for our purposes I'm going to share a story and then give the bullet points about influence. Enjoy!
The story begins with a young lady starting her first month of her sophomore year-she's reflecting on how things are so much better...her grades are up and she likes her roommates. Last year was a mess, but no one would've known by the facade she played. Since 8th grade she knew things were different at home-her mom and dad's relationship went from a playful and flirty kind of love to a coldness that was evident to everyone.
While she was worried, she kept herself busy so that she wouldn't focus on the worry and stress-the low boil the existed among them...but a few weeks into her freshman year she got a phone call from her mother-they were getting a divorce.
She found out that her mom and dad were having an affair for over 4 years with people...and the more she found out, the more her world came crashing down around her. There was a coping mechanism she found though-parties and lots of them. However, when her grades started to slip she decided this wasn't working-she needed to make a change. She began studying again, got her grades up and started hanging out with peers and friends that were 'outwardly committed' to their faith. They became her roommates...however, not all is well in her world...
As she walked into her apartment, she realized all of her roommates were waiting for her...they told her 'we need to talk' and that 'we've been talking and don't think you should room with us anymore'. After the bomb was dropped she asked why...the proceeded to tell her 'because you're a bad influence on us. You used to party a lot not too long ago and you're not helping us grow closer to Jesus. We all have been trying to grow in our relationship-our faith and you're just bringing us down. We thought that by rooming with you we could be a good witness and Christian influence upon you, but you're jeopardizing our faith'.
What sad about this story is that it happens a lot in college...while there are good intentions, people get hurt, but it isn't because they may have tried and gave up, but because of their goal-to influence someone as a means to an end, in this case...having her become a better Christian.
-There's a big difference between relational ministry and plain ol' influence.
Below are some of the reasons why influence isn't the same as relational:
1. it would use the relationship as a means to an end (check out the video below from 'The Big Kahuna').
2. the person isn't important; only that person's decision (or will) is.
3. the incarnation of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with influence.
4. the fellowship of the Trinity is not about influence.

*Perhaps later I will explain more about each point, but maybe I won't have to. Given the story/situation above were the roommates effective in their goal of helping their 'imperfect'-so-so Christian roommate that had made some bad decisions? Nope. Instead, they crippled her-shot her down just as she was gaining momentum, on the outside things looked like it was on the up and up, instead, there were assumptions made and when she failed to pick up on their cues (influence)-they cut her off out of fear they may slip far beyond recovery in their own faith journey. They weren't concerned with her well-being, they were more concerned about theirs. Is that Christ-like?
Thhis is already a longer post than I had intended, but I think it's a good one! Enjoy the video down below. *I apologize for the brieft strong language, but there's something of substance I'd like everyone to marinade on. Ask yourself...are you merely a marketing rep trying to steer a conversation or relationship? Or are you someone who has a real interest in what the other person has to offer-to you and others (on a deeper level than just getting them involved in something)?

1 comment:

pitcher12k said...

Ooh I liked that video :) I find it slightly ironic that the part where he says that the world will keep spinning and that you(I) are(am) not that important, that part made me say, Thank you God! hahaha mostly because of what he talked about earlier, but it is much to better to have God be the important one...rather to realize He is the Important One, and i am not. Coolio, thanks again :) Prayers will keep coming! And if you have anything else that will help feel free to ask!

ps-did you and Chris talk about what you are posting on your blogs? Or are the completely independent of each other?