Well, last night was our missions party. I had a few specific goals in mind:
1 - Show kids that they were not alone in venturing out on one of the mission trips. I think they knew that, but it was good to get them all together.
2 - Celebrate people who do something risky for God.
3 - Give them a chance to tell their stories from the summer.
We had some food, gave out some T shirts with the SPACE 2004 logo, and had them write their names and a footprint on a big sheet that we will eventually hang in the Warehouse. We also had some worship and I did a quick (less than 2 minute) talk on Acts 8, which I have been kind of enthralled with lately.
I was pretty happy with how it turned out, mostly. Except for one thing - goal #3. We didn't, and when I say we, I actually mean me, teach them how to tell their story well. They told stories alright. We actually flashed a bunch of pictures on the screens for 30 seconds at a time, and if you were in the picture, you had to jump out and talk about it. It was a great idea conceptually. However, I didn't tell the kids about how to tell their story. I didn't tell them to talk about the passion, the risk, the unknowns, the way God moved in their lives, the people that they met, the difference between where they lived and where they travelled to, how scary it was, how much need they saw, how the Gospel was told, how people reacted to their hearts of service.
All told, we had a big party. There was some really good food, some great worship. People told some stories. But next year, we teach them how to tell a really compelling story about passion, people and Jesus.