Monday, December 05, 2005

SEMP -> Merge

I just noticed in doing some research that Sonlife's week long high school evangelism training movement that used to be called SEMP (Students Equipped to Minister to their Peers) has now been renamed to Merge.
Merge is a week ?long experience challenging high school students to...
Merge with God's Story
We are a part of the greatest story ever told a real story of a Creator's loving pursuit of his creation and the story continues with us.
Merge with God's Way of Life
we can walk with Jesus and allow him to shape our ways. He will transform us into the people we were created to be inside and out lovers of God and others.
Merge with God's Mission
We are called to live beyond ourselves, bringing God's love and restoration into our world. With God's Spirit alive in us, we can give people a glimpse of what it is to live in the Kingdom of God.
I took a team to SEMP in Baltimore in 1999 and had a good time - and still one of my favorite memories of the Inner Harbor are seeing a student Mary grow from total fear to worthwhile risk when talking about Jesus to strangers. (My other favorite memory - of course - is getting engaged in the Inner Harbor.)

What I think SEMP missed, and am hoping Merge takes care of, is this idea of students engaging in serving. Not just going out there to talk about Jesus, which our culture isn't exactly too fond of in case you didn't notice, but of making an impact on a community and blessing some strangers. Just talking about Jesus doesn't cut it anymore.

I've sent off an email to someone at Sonlife to see what the actual difference in the two programs are, we'll see what comes of that.

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