Project Isaac Update

February 22, 2010

I thought I would just leave a quick post about project Isaac and something that God had shown to me last week and this earlier today.  It’s almost the end of February and for the longest time I had no idea why God put the idea on my heart.  Sometimes I asked myself was it just a pointless idea that I thought I would challenge myself to complete?  Until last week I might have answered yes, but then God opened my eyes to something and allowed me to see a little into the past and into the future with the respect of Facebook.  Without going into personal details here is some of what the Lord showed me.

I had allowed my desire and passion for relationship with the youth and others to get to me to a place where I thought I had to be constantly connected to them via, Facebook, texting, and other ways and had put way to much emphases on the relationship with the students as well as giving them the truth of God’s word.  A good relationship with the students you minister to is ok, but you can’t allow it to get out of balance. 

In his book, The Disconnected Generation,  Josh McDowell has a formula in his research that says;

Rules + Relationship = Positive Results.

This relational formula works for parents, teachers and ministers.  This can be also seen in the area of teaching students God’s word.  I think a similar formula would be something like the following;

 Teaching the Word of God + Relationship = Positive Results.

You need both to create that hunger and thirst for a growing relationship with God, but if you have them out of balance you don’t get the same results.  If you have too much relationship it can lead to a too comfortable relationship where you lose some of your teachable position.  If you keep the proper distance, you can maintain that in a good way.  If you have too much Teaching of the Word of God and hardly any relationship then the students can often lack the feeling of affirmation and other feelings that you as the student pastor care for them as a student.  The old saying goes “They don’t care what you know, until they know how much you care.” 

In my recent past I have made some mistakes in this area and I think that God has allowed me to see again through Project Isaac the folly of my past mistakes.  I have recognized before that i must keep a good balance between my relationship with the students I teach and continue to preach the Word to them week in and week out.  I have a big burden upon me about the way I had interacted with some students this past fall and how I treated them.  I will have to answer to God for my actions with them and I hope that maybe some day I might get the opportunity to make it right with them and sit down and talk with them again about what I have learned.  I only hope that my actions don’t have lasting consequences for those I may have hurt.  That would be the worst fear knowing that I pushed someone away from the Lord.

So in closing, after the month is over you can expect me to not to be back on Facebook as often as I was before and the same goes for texting, emailing, Instant Messaging, Faxing or any other new way they come up with in the future.

Project Isaac

January 23, 2010

A few weeks ago  I started to look at challenging the youth in some different ways through the Bible studies on Wednesday night.  The Theme of “Tests” came to mind and I thought we would compare some of the people of the Bible and see how they were tested.  I started with the scripture “the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (James 1:3) where it states that the tests we go through are for our benefit.  God begin to bring back different places in the Bible where He tested the faith of various people.  One of the first people to come to mind was Abraham and how he was tested with his willingness to give up the one thing that he had hoped for all his life.  (Gen. 22)  Once he got it, would he give it up for God.  Just what was his one thing he wanted most?  Why a son and someone to carry on the family name.

I’ve thought a lot about what I might do if I was in his shoes. I’m not sure I’d be as obedient as Abraham was. I’d have to know without a shadow of doubt that that’s what God wanted before I moved one inch. Abraham waited 25 years for God to fulfill his promise and even after trying things on his own, God kept His promise to Abraham (Gen 12:1-3) and years later it came true. If you want more back ground on the Bible story you can go to the Bible Study tab and download the PDF.

As I was laying out the details of the Bible study I felt led to try something similar to what Abraham experience. I pondered what do I think that I just can’t do with out, What brings me real joy and satisfaction? The first answer I came up with was my job, I love working with students and building relationships with them. I realized that I couldn’t quit my job and still keep a happy house so I looked for something else in the same arena that I might give up for God. Facebook/Myspace came to mind. I really love talking and interacting with the youth, but does that stand over my devotion to God? Do I spend too much time on the internet and not enough time in God’s word? I decided that in the month of February I would sacrifice my time online on Facebook and Myspace and give more time to my relationship with God. I nic named it Project Isaac after the example of Abraham. I am really looking forward to what it may do for me and for my family. I may even get a few more hours of sleep. I will keep a running journal from time to time and may even post a few of the entries here.