As Vickie and I were stepping down from being Trinity Church International’s children’s pastors this past July, we had so many conversations with the children who had been in our ministry over the 25 years.  It  was amazing to see that in many cases we were now pastoring children of the children who were in our ministry 25 years ago. We were now ministering to our second generation. So, you can imagine that there were a lot of stories to be told.
ojIt brought me great  joy to hear young adults tell about how they would groan year after year as I drove the church vehicle by an orange juice factory in central Florida. During these trips past the the factory, I would break out my stories about how seeing the factory brought such sadness to me because it was at that factory I was canned because I couldn’t concentrate. And, it CIMG5060was heartbreaking to remember that the seedy bosses squeezed the very pulp (life) out of its employees. Soon, the job wasn’t appealing to me. To be honest, telling these stories and hearing the groans of Trinity’s kids as I pulled out those horrible jokes was one of the highlights of my year. Throughout our final days, I loved hearing the stories about the Gross Out Saturdays and messy games culminated with a massive shaving cream fight. Tears came to my eyes as many children told of me of my being a second, and some cases their only dad. There were so, so many stories shared during our final few days and weeks at Trinity.
CIMG0648But, the stories that meant the most to me were the ones where a child or now young adult told of how it was through our ministry they were born again and fell in love with Jesus. My heart was filled with thanksgiving when I was told that they too had developed a relationship with the Holy Spirit. With tears beading up in my eyes I listened to a young man named Matt tell about how our emphasis upon the Person of the Holy Spirit caused him to desire being baptized in the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit has changed his life. I received a lengthy text message from a young lady named Christina that I’ve read and reread over and over again in the past months. She wrote ” … you taught me when I was young about the Holy Spirit and how He is always there …” There was the young man named Aaron who is now a fiery Holy Spirit preaching evangelist who told of the impartation of our passion and love for the Holy SpiritExpectationer. It was story after story being told about Spirit-filled world-changers that came out of our ministry.
Please know that I haven’t shared these stories to bring us honor. Any and all glory goes to Jesus. I just wanted to emphasize that your tomorrow stories are being created by your today actions and ministry. What will your stories be? Will they just be about the trips and fun events? Those are important, they really are. But, will there be people lined up to tell you about falling in love with Jesus? Will there be people who tell that they now have your same passion for the Holy Spirit? Again, those stories are being created today.
So, go create some stories! Destinies are waiting on you.