The Return: The Experiment

This last week The Return, our college age ministry rounded out a teaching series called Made New with something we call The Experiment. The series had been focused on what changes when Jesus becomes Savior and King in our lives. We become members of a new family, we take on a new mindset about life, and a new mission is adopted for our lives.

The Experiment is simply that… an experiment, a testing of our hypothesis that God proves faithful in the moments we step out and trust Him. The gospel has a way of stretching us and leading us beyond our comfort zones into territory where trusting Him is necessary. Sometimes it’s in a land far away, sometimes our mission is right in front of us.

Here.

Right where God has planted us.

We believe that God has placed us here, in this community, in this season, at this time on purpose to share in the advancement of His kingdom.

So The Experiment is our way of allowing ourselves to be stretched in those every day moments with intentional acts of kindness, trusting that God will do something more powerful with our moments than we will. We just need to show up and trust Him. It’s an exercise in living generously with our thoughts, our actions, our words of encouragement, our money, our resources, our time, and our stuff because Jesus intends to shape all of those areas of our lives when He becomes King of our hearts.

It begins with weeks of brainstorming and conversation within our life groups about creative, intentional ways to love others, serve our community and step into those every day moments.

Like any other experiment, you begin with a hypothesis, with what you think might happen and you identify the controls and the variables…but at some point, you have to test your hypothesis…at some point you have to act and step out of your controlled comfort zone and test your theory amongst the variables.

So we gather, we throw our offerings in brown paper bags, we pray over our steps and we set out with our ideas to love and love well, trusting God will do more with them than we can.

Filling up gas tanks, taking care packages to nurses stations, gift cards to studying students in the library, leaving large tips for servers with encouragement notes, getting in line and paying for someone’s groceries, anonymously picking up the tab for someone’s meal, buying groceries for a family in need and taking it to their house, taking coffee and donuts to police stations, roses to nursing homes, care packages for new families on the maternity floor.

These are just a few of the examples of what I’ve seen God do through our college age young people on these nights. The more you exercise living generously, the more it simply becomes a lifestyle. I’m humbled all the time by what God is doing in and through our young people and the other night was no exception.

Have you ever felt that nudge to chat with someone or maybe meet a need that presents itself in front of you? Then kick yourself in the parking lot because you didn’t? Have you ever embraced the moment and felt the joy that followed? Do you know the tension of these every day moments?

I believe that God gives us moments all the time for us to step into. I believe that His Holy Spirit prompts our hearts to step into moments all around us where needs could be met through us.

When we are faithful with our moments, God makes them movements in our lives and the lives of those we touch.

Bottom line, the gospel will always call us out of our comfort zone to where trusting God is necessary. The more practice we get stepping out of our comfort zone and into these moments, the more likely listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our lives becomes our new norm.

God wants to do a work in you so that He can do a work through you.

Let Him.

Let Him do the cool stuff.

Let Him prove His faithfulness.

Let Him have His glory.

You have no idea what God will do when you are faithful with your moments.

Whether near or far from Him, needs will be met, hearts will be changed, hope will be restored, redemption will be found, love will be known.

#wearethereturn

-Ben Woods