We kicked off our fall ministry at axis on Wednesday and I just could not have been more pleased and thrilled with how things went. Even though we don't shut our ministry down for the summer, there's a significant percentage of kids who do not attend in the summer months. So, it was great to re-connect with a bunch of kids Wednesday and to see them back at axis.
We had some awesome give-a-ways and also had a fun game called Song in My Heart that one of our students led. We also heard from to of our students who were on summer mission trips. I loved hearing how they took advantage of their summer.
But, the high light of the night came when God just sorta took over. Pretty amazing how when God takes something over it becomes a high light. :) Anyway, we our worship time set up Marc Eckel from the Splat Experience. Marc's ministry is to do various paintings that help us reflect on Jesus or the Word of God or various other things. In 10 minutes he did a painting of the crucifixion and it was SO powerful! Right at the end of the painting, he puts one of his hands (which are covered in red paint at this time) right next to Jesus on the cross signifying Jesus paid the price for us. It was so powerful.
Anyway, I had a plan. I had prepped what I thought was going to be a killer teaching time. I was so excited to share. But, as this is going on I'm just realizing that what I had planned is not what God wanted to see happen at that moment. So, I just kept praying and praying and asking God to lead me and give me the direction He wanted things to go. After Marc put his hand on the painting, a girl sitting behind gets my attention and says "Is he the only one who gets to put his hand on there." Well, that kicked off what was to happen next.
I shared briefly about my passion for everyone who was there and how my deepest passion is for them to know God. There's just nothing more satisfying and fulfilling that knowing God. I challenged our kids to respond. If they wanted tonight to be the night where they just say "Ok, God. Enough is enough. I need you. I'm am starting my pursuit of you tonight." I challenged them to come up, dip their hand in the paint, and put it on the painting and then to kneel and pray and desperately seek God. God moved, kids responded, and it ended up being one of the most powerful experiences in axis that I can remember.
Jeremy did an amazing job leading music during the time and just really bringing our hearts before God. So many of our adults stepped up and scrambled to find towels or to organize kids as they came forward to the painting. Adults were praying for kids. It was just awesome to see God lead and kids respond. A great way to kick off the fall!