A Split Pumpkin Surprise
The end of October marks the end of our Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser at St James. Once again many members of our church have come together to make this years patch the most financially successful to date.
Each Wednesday night during the patch students have spent time moving good pumpkins, removing bad pumpkins, and making sure the patch is ready for visitors to come. Since tomorrow is Halloween, and the final day of the patch, we decided to spend tonight together as a ministry celebrating the work that has been done.
We splurged a bit for Chick-fil-a trays, and planned a laid back night of not much programming centered around a few games, a lot of hanging out, an obscenely large bowl of candy, and an attempt at splitting a pumpkin in half with rubber bands.
I was surprised by the determination of a few of our students who stretched rubber bands around a pumpkin watching it's shape morph under the pressure.
I was amazed at how quickly our group went through 300+ Chick-fil-a nuggets.
I was shocked to see the entire bowl of candy gone as we were getting ready to head home.
And I am always thankful to create an environment where students can let their guards down and relax together.
Often, on nights like these I worry about whether or not we are accomplishing anything spiritually at all. We didn't have a bible study, or a lesson, and other than a couple of prayers, and a reminder that God loves each of them, there was nothing in our plan or program that could be seen as overtly "Christian".
But still, without our planning, those spiritual conversations have a way of breaking through like that pumpkin being split in half. Each week spent together is like another rubber band added that eventually leads to conversations about who/what God is, or about why it is important to have trust and not live in fear. Conversations about what salvation means and why should we be baptized
Each week we work to create a spaces where students can be known. Where they don't feel like they have to perform. Where failures aren't seen as final. Where they know that God loves them.
Some nights, when expectations of spiritual content are low, our expectations are split open and the gospel is still shared. It is shared through kindness, through a not so well balanced meal shared with friends, and through surprising conversations with students who are eager to know God, to grow in their faith, and to go through their daily lives sharing the love of God.
I am thankful for a God who meets us where we are, and leads us to somewhere better.