Have you ever felt powerless to change the world?
I know I have. In a world that often seems dark and bleak, it’s easy to feel like our positive actions don’t matter. Thankfully, that isn’t the truth.
You have more impact than you realize.
I’ll start with this. After serving as the Middle School Pastor for several years and working with young people in student ministry for half of my life, I recognize the power of an invite.
I’ve seen school facilities baffled as they watch a previously troubled student become a positive influence for the entire school because of an invite.
I’ve seen an altar of nearly a hundred students surrendering their lives to Jesus, destinies and families forever changed because a handful of students believed in the power of an invite.
It hits close to home because, in high school, a girl named Samantha was invited repeatedly by a friend on her cheerleading team to Elevate, Milestone’s student ministry. Samantha ran out of excuses and ended up coming to church, giving her life to Christ, and meeting her future husband – me.
Your friend, or coworker, or family member experiencing the same life-changing encounter with Jesus is one invite away.
“Church was confusing.”
Trent had experienced darkness in his life, hurting and pain he tried to fix in his own strength. He had an encounter with God as a teenager but had stepped away for many years. He didn’t know if it was possible to have a relationship with God.
That’s when an invite happened. A couple of friends invited Trent to Milestone Church. Trent encountered Jesus and had his life transformed.
“Things had gotten really bad between my husband and me.”
Mandy didn’t know if things would ever change and was on the brink of giving up after years of turmoil.
But, again, an invite happened. A friend saw Mandy struggling and invited her to a Christmas service. Things didn’t change overnight, but Mandy received the grace to hand her marriage over to God. That would be the start of a restoration journey and God radically transforming her family.
“When I went into high school, I lost my way.”
Jaclynn battled anxiety and depression for many years. She felt hopeless, like many people in our culture today who struggle with mental illness.
But God had a plan for Jaclynn, moving her to a new job where she would meet a coworker who attended Milestone Church. A coworker who would extend an invite that would lead to Jaclynn coming back to Jesus.
“God used my coworkers to bring me back to Him.“
We can’t lose sight of lives being changed. Let these stories be a reminder that in the midst of everything happening in our world, we can make an impact. We’re seeing the essence of what Jesus died for – restoration and healing – and we want family, friends, and neighbors to experience this.
Matthew 9:35-38 NIV
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
God came to build his Church, and He has called us to be a part of that great mission. I believe there is no better time for this than Christmas, a time when our culture looks for peace, a time when tradition is welcome, and someone who wouldn’t usually darken the doors of a church might come and see what it’s all about.
And that’s where we come in.
We are those workers that Jesus instructed His disciples to pray for. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in our communities, at our workplaces, and in our homes. We can play a role by inviting someone to experience God’s goodness and peace in this season through a Christmas service.
You’ll be surprised who would say yes if they were just invited.
I would love to hear your invite story.
Comment, share, or reach out – we’re in this together.
Middle School Pastor