Friday, June 12, 2015

Q&A w/Chris Hendricks on The First-Ever Saturday Night Deal

Some things start with a whimper, but others start with a bang. For Chris Hendricks, director of student ministry at Apostles, the first-ever Sunday Night Deal not only started with a bang, God did something pretty special. He talks about the experience in this brief Question and Answer: 

Q. Were you pleased with turnout -- and how things went?
A. We had 80 students and 20 volunteer leaders. I was blown away by the turn out! Many of students brought friends, which was really encouraging. I think it says a lot about how students feel about the ministry if they want to invite their friends. 

Q. Any "God sightings" you want to mention?
A. There were a couple of God sightings. First, praying with all the volunteer leaders beforehand for the evening and the students. It was one of those times in ministry were you could just feel God’s presence. This carried over throughout the rest of the night. The student-led worship team did a wonderful job leading us in worship. After worship, we started our first teaching series of the summer, titled “Influence.” I challenged students to think about how they influence others for Christ and how they are being influenced by others for Christ. We looked at Moses and Joshua’s relationship in Numbers 27:12-23, and I tried to get students think about who their Moses is in life (their spiritual mentor), as well as their Joshua (the person they are spiritually mentoring). 

As I was preparing for the message and studying the passage, I realized God was calling Moses out for his lack of leadership. It made me think of how any mentor we have in this life -- and multiple people we read about in Scripture -- fall short of God’s glory. 
Sometimes their fallenness is exposed and other times it never is. The reality is we need spiritual mentors and influencers in our life, but the only perfect influencer in life is Christ. He does not fall short of God’s Glory, but is the radiance of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3). 

Also, I realized Joshua is the immediate answer to Moses' prayer in this passage, but Jesus is the ultimate answer to Moses' prayer. He would be the one to lead God’s people into the promised land (the New Heaven and Earth), and fight the battles of life for us (not social media battles, but more serious ones like sickness, depression, family addictions, any sin, etc). I finished the message by asking the students the question: Does Christ influence you? Do you want to be influenced by Christ? I then challenged the students to read all four Gospels this summer (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and Acts. Why? Because all the Gospels are about Jesus and Acts all about how Jesus influenced his disciples, who then went on to influence others for Christ. 

Second, I heard from multiple small group leaders about how they loved the students in their small groups, they felt comfortable around them (for the majority of our leaders it was first time to meet students in their group), they were really surprised by the turn out and how many new faces there were. I’ve had multiple leaders share with me how students opened up during small group, sharing personal prayers request among the group and expressing desires to mentor younger students in their schools and church. 

Third, seeing students eating Pelican’s SnoBalls, parents hanging out talking with each other, made Kara and I really happy. It felt like a big family reunion! I think that’s the way church should feel. I hope it feels like this every week we have the Deal.  

Overall, I’d say God really did something special during our first Sunday Night Deal of the summer! 

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