Last Friday I got a chance to share with our Friday Youth Service leaders about a Valentine month ender message on Healthy Boundaries and Purity. I will be blogging about that message soon but I have learned so much just simply bouncing off and getting feedbacks from other people I want to share that experience first.
Studying the Bible
There are just countless of verses to use and numerous angles to take to discuss this so though it took lots of time, there’s just a joy wrestling with God’s word knowing how it will cut your heart first before your intended audience. At the end of it there’s just peace in finally understanding, this is what God wants to communicate from this verse for this specific group of people. Then prayers would flow and now you are really pumped up to finish the whole message.
Early on my first years of doing campus ministry, my pastor in Victory Los Baños really trained us on the diligence of writing a message. He challenge us to prepare well and try writing it verbatim, I know this is not for everyone but for me it was really helpful as fully writing it clearly shows my thought pattern, the clarity of the message and the strategy of delivery. Plus it also helps in making very smooth transitions, adding and editing things based on the time given and grammars can also be easily edited as we have a very unforgiving crowd of UPLB students back then. Next is the diligent process of asking feedbacks, I remember he would really challenge us to finish our messages early, that way we can practice it with him and or the other staff, our messages really comes out way way better than it started. Though this task may seem quite strenuous for some, the saying remains true: “two heads are indeed better than one”
Collaborating with others
For this specific message my first life line was Mye, one of our pastor’s wives and a campus missionary by heart, I know she just spoke about this topic a week ago so I got a copy of her message right away. Her notes really helped me focus on the verse I need to zero in and I got a lot of power lines as well such as: God’s standards vs. people’s opinion and experiences You cannot live on borrowed convictions Your standards determine the way you act
Maya was next, she’s one of our diligent theologians in campus ministry and as we have just been from a Systematic Theology class I want to make sure my Bible interpretation was spot on. I’m really glad I passed the test. (yay!) The basic premise of my message was really embracing purity as our God-given identity. Maya expounded my message by explaining to me that its God faithfulness that He gave us standards on purity and He did not leave us clueless on our own. She also emphasised on the rewards of purity
Next I got to call Fidel, my campus director at EN Campus Fort to find out if I’m on the right tract for what he intended the purpose is of the Leader’s Huddle. He added in that he wants the student to really go home hungry for more of the Bible and he wants them to have greater accountability in the context of community. Perfect, it has helped me channel all my applications to really gear towards a deeper understanding of His word and a push for more transparency and vulnerability from our student leaders.
Wrapping things up
Final touches on the message and added in one of Dove’s commercial: When Did you stop thinking you are beautiful? and posted this question in the end “When did you stop thinking you are pure”? Also inserted some of my I learned it the hard way moments and lots of my past mistakes. I got to bounce it off to Em as well, one of our campus missionaries atEN Campus Fort and she added in this concept of faith, fact and feelings, which was really so good I wish she would blog it as well. One of her powerlines: “Your feelings are valid, but its not always right” (boom! pak!) I’m glad for her affirmations as well on where the message was headed. She wrote a perfect one-liner summarising what I want the students to bring home that night: “Purity is not a status to be attained. It is an identity to be lived out.”
Questions and Answers On the actual talk itself, Im super happy that Sonjia (Fidel’s wife) was there along with our other campus missionaries, Ella, Reynette and Em. The discussion was really a joy as all of us are really excited to interact with our leaders and hear their hearts. We all come from different backgrounds and seasons and it made the answers a lot richer.
Overall I think more than the students learning from us, We got to learn a lot from each other as well.
Indeed we are better together!