Soul Devotional - June 18, 2014

Some Benefits From Being Enthusiastic at a Soul Gathering

I honestly love being a part of the Church (not just on Sundays; we ARE the church) and all that God is doing and through his people in this world! As the student ministries director at Soul, I get to attend a lot of church gatherings, events, and conferences throughout the year which I absolutely love. I get to speak at a lot of events and lead worship and different places. One of the things I’ve seen especially at some events and conferences, is that most people play it safe. What I mean is they are more reserved and more self-conscious than they normally would be. Very few approach every aspect of these gatherings, at least to begin with, with confidence and enthusiasm.

What I mean is there are some people who show up to a gathering ready to go and they’re enthusiastic right from the get go. They are not even thinking about how other people might think of them. Other people show up with the complete opposite outlook. They come, but in reality their minds aren’t focused on giving and receiving from God. They are caught up in distraction and self focus (all about me).

When I think of our gatherings at Soul, I know which of these I would like to be! I’m not perfect at all by any means, however my aim is to always be intentional about my attendance in our gatherings (always looking to be involved and participate; not spectate). When I arrive, my goal is to be fully present from the start, undistracted, and with my whole attention on all God is doing, and having the mindset of all He has for those attending, right until the end of the gathering. Basically my hope is that I would allow God to speak to me and make me aware of certain areas I need to grow in and change. 

I believe there are great reasons for coming to a gathering this way. Here’s a few I can think of…

1 - You help bring out the best in other people
When you’re confident in who God has created you to be, and you are comfortable expressing that confidence in any gathering of the Church, it has impact on others. When you are open, warm, and friendly, it helps those around you to be the same. If you like to sing during our worship times, then sing with everything you have! Sometimes your voice becomes the voice of others around you who might be going through a difficult time. It helps encourage and increase faith, especially for the worship and life lesson times. Your energy and passion during these times encourage the worship leader and pastor, to speak with courage and conviction and to lead with confidence. Basically, this helps everyone in our gathering to be built up and inspired in faith. Just by simply giving your best you can help others in our gatherings and allow them to grow and be encouraged. 

2 - You gain way more from the experience
It’s unbelievable what an attitude of openness and receptivity can do. When you are fully engaged and attentive, you take more in and remember more. When you are distracted, or thinking about all the other things going on in your life, it’s hard to gain all that God has for you. However, by choosing to worship God with your everything, to listen to all that’s said with open ears, and to participate in every way with enthusiasm, you end up taking away so much more then you will by just being half-hearted.

3 - You can create a platform for change
I think most of us struggle with change. Without careful attention, working on our shortcomings and improving ourselves can be tough. But when you decide to open yourself to all that God wants you to learn, change and aspire to, you create the perfect platform for him to bring real and lasting transformation into your life.

So as you attend Soul this weekend, my encouragement to you is to allow God to use you to simply bless others. Be open to what God wants to teach you. As well, intentionally take away all you can every time the people of God gather whether it’s in a life group, a youth event, volunteering, or a gathering on a Sunday. You then begin to see God transform the lives of others and in your life as well.

Joe Kendrick