Friday
Mar122010

What Does it Look Like When Rivals Worship Together?

In every city of every state Christian or Public schools that compete athletically against one another have rivalries.  Sometimes there are sub-rivalries for each sport.  Even the chess clubs and debate teams have been known to have a rival. The BIG RIVALRY usually transcends just one sport.  It’s in every sport!

In the state of Oklahoma the biggest rivalry is Union and Jenks.  These two schools are known as having one of the nation’s most intense rivalries.  They not only compete athletically, but academically.  In fact, from this writer’s perspective, even their school administrations and boards compete.  In the last year Jenks announced a partnership with the local Community College on site that would help their students better prepare for their college experience.  Not to be outdone, Union announced plans for a new college prep wing to be added to their Sr. High building. In fact, I am told the wing will even include a Starbucks.

Since 1996 either Union or Jenks have won the Oklahoma 6A State Championship in football. These two programs have turned out many stand out Division 1 college players and even at least one NFL player. There is nothing about this rivalry that’s not BIG. The annual game is so well attended that the game is played at Tulsa University because neither school’s home field can accommodate the crowd.

  A few months ago in the Bible Clubs of both schools it became evident that God was “moving” in a significant way in the students.  When they would come together weekly, the atmosphere was “electric” with expectancy.  They were (and still are) hungry for God!  They are kids of all denominations, joining together to go after God with all their might.

As I was talking one day to a KFCUSA team member who worked with the Jenks kids I said, “Wouldn’t it be cool to get the two clubs together to worship and pray together on one campus or the other?”  So we began working on it.  We were of the belief that God would use these amazing pure-hearted kids to be the face of God’s love to their schools. 

Last week (March 5th, 2010) they came together to worship and press into God before school.  It was AWESOME!!!  As they were leaving one of the kids from the visiting school had the idea to invite the students from the host school to their school next month.  Kids in both schools believe God wants to use this new found fellowship to reach their schools.  Personally I think they only see the tip of the iceberg! I believe that God is stirring and raising up an army of kids (of all ages) across this land that will become a movement so powerful that for someone to be unaffected by it would be evidence of absolutely rejecting Christ. 

What does it look like when rivals worship God in absolute unity? HEAVEN! 

Wednesday
Dec302009

Great Story, Rewarding Moment

Over the last almost nine years there have been many moments, or testimonies, that have stood out as the kind you want to “share with the world”.  There have been many gut-check moments too. 

One thing that is a goal in this ministry is that Kids for Christ meetings be a true place of connecting with God, or simply stated, a place that kids feel comfortable making a decision to serve Jesus with their lives.  Next, is that they develop a true relationship with God for themselves. 

To that end, as they grow through elementary school and into Jr. High, we begin training them to run the club themselves.  This is because “spiritually” we hope they are growing into a relationship with God and seeing Him as a truly loving father; and “legally” because they will need to run the clubs when they reach High School.

In an effort to accomplish this, just a few weeks ago I asked some of the leaders of one of the High School clubs to go to the Jr. High in their own school district and lead the meeting.  They led worship, and did the message, and the Jr. High kids were captivated.

The girl who spoke to the 7th graders shared her personal testimony, explaining that she didn’t come from a family that went to church.  The very first day of KFC in 2001, she gave her life to Jesus as a 2nd grader.  “Kids for Christ was my church…”  She told how she went through a hard period in Jr. High when her sister was diagnosed with bone cancer.  She dropped out of KFC for awhile.  Her family found great support in a local church that raised thousands to see that her sister got the care she needed. This touched her sisters and Mother deeply and they gave their lives to Christ, too.  Finally my young friend called me and asked me if there was a club in the High School.  She explained that she wanted to start it, so she and a young man started the club. 

She is a junior, and that young man is a senior.  There are six other leaders that work with them to run the club.  She encouraged the 7th graders to stay plugged in to FUSE (the name of the club from Jr. High thru High School).  She did great.

When she finished, she left to get to school early.  She and the other two students collaborated to write a message right there on the spot before the 6th grade students came in. The young man (the aforementioned senior) delivered a story that I read years ago as a “forwarded” email. 

The story goes, “One night the biggest geek in the school was headed home with all his books in his arms.  He tripped and dropped his books all over the hallway.  Other students were laughing and making fun of him, when suddenly one of the most popular guys in the school came and began helping him pick up his books.  When he finished, the “geek” asked the popular kid, “Why did you do that?”  The popular kid said, “Why wouldn’t I, you needed help.” 

A few years later the “geek” was the class valedictorian of their class.  As a part of his speech he told how one day a few years ago he had emptied his locker because his plan was to go home and commit suicide.  When the “popular kid” helped him pick up his books, it gave him the hope to go on.  Great story.

Then the young man proceeded to tie this story and the story of Jeremiah the prophet together.  He told the kids how they needed to choose to take a stand for God at school.  He told them he knows it’s hard when everybody around you is dropping “F bombs” and smoking this and drinking that.  He encouraged them that they need to “be” Jesus for their friends. 

While he was talking I felt impressed to do an altar call with those kids.  As the young man finished, the students were hanging on every word he spoke.  I realized that the story he told paralleled the salvation message, so I tied to his message.  At the moment of truth seven of the twenty-seven 6th graders attending confidently raised their hands to receive Jesus as their Savior.  I have given hundreds of altar calls to kids through the year, but what made this one special is that 6th graders are not like elementary school kids; when they raise their hands, they know exactly why and what they are raising their hand to.  Between that and the fact that the young man speaking was my oldest son, it was one of the most special moments in KFCUSA history…at least for me.

The fact is, there are special moments in Kids for Christ everyday.  For me this one just said to me “This ministry is working, it’s really working.”  I witnessed kids who had been involved in KFCUSA since the beginning who have made their relationship with Christ their own, sharing the love of God with other kids who are coming up in the program, and it was an absolutely rewarding feeling.  All I can say is that I hope that if God is prompting you to get involved in this ministry in some way, that you will not resist Him.  Together we’re reaching a new generation of Kids for Christ.