We had baptisms at Grace Community yesterday. Over 50 people were baptized and it was such a celebration! This picture here means a lot to me for several reasons:
1. It's one of our high school students, Ryan, who is getting baptized. He specifically asked for me and the other adult in the picture, Aaron, to baptize him. What an honor. Ryan really came alive for Jesus at a senior high retreat last year at Kalahari and has really been growing as a part of our church and youth ministry.
2. To me, this picture represents the whole discipleship process. I'm Ryan's youth pastor. But, I'm also the pastor of Aaron, the other adult in the picture. He's a volunteer in our youth ministry, in my small group, and we meet regularly for accountability as well. Aaron meets regularly with Ryan for mentoring and accountability and has really been investing in his life. It's such a clear picture of the whole process ... meet with someone, invest in them, see them meet with someone and see them invest in another, etc, etc. It's a simple picture, but to me it means a lot because it demonstrates a process of how we care for people and help them grow in the relationship with God.
3. The picture was taken by another axis volunteer who serves in so many different ways and invests in so many people. Not only does he work professionally with teenagers, volunteers with teenagers, but the guy takes amazing pictures and he uses his gifts to serve the church.
This simple picture says so much to me. It is a picture of the Church ... people using their gifts and abilities to care for others, invest in them, and help others grow closer to Jesus.