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Logo of ASI 2018: Business Unusual

The Power of Influence

Amy Ratsara
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Description

This presentation will focus on the key values embraced by some millennials over the last decade and a half, long before they possessed power or position, and how these values helped them influence the Seventh-day Adventist church. The story will illustrate how abandoning “business as usual” leads to unique and cutting-edge developments that yield results for the growth of God’s kingdom. 

Presenter

Amy Ratsara

Attorney in Michigan

Sponsor

Conference

Recorded

  • August 2, 2018
    9:00 AM

Series

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Copyright ©2018 ASi Ministries.

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Good morning. Well as Naomi introduced me to you my name is Amy Wright Sarra and I have the privilege of sharing with you a little bit about what it is that God has done in my life now when I received the invitation from airside to come and speak at this convention I asked them OK well what would you like me to talk about in my role as a lawyer the facts are usually given to me about any presentation I have to make to a jury I don't have to decide on the subject content I just have to figure out how to present it in a convincing way well they said we want you to share your testimony and we want you to share in the context of the theme this year BUSINESS UNUSUAL so I thought to myself well. Do you know how my testimony fits into the theme this year and if so could you let me know so that I know what to say. I thought about presenting about something else about talking something about something other than the things that God has done in my life but the more I resisted it the more I was convinced that no this was what God wanted me to talk about I don't know why some of the stories feel a little old in terms of the distance and time that's gone by but the Spirit of God has blessed me and thinking about these things and remembering these things and so I just pray that this morning it is a blessing for you now the reason I may hesitate or why I was curious as to why my testimony would be something you might want to hear is I grew up a 7th Day Adventist I grew up in various Springs Michigan University with Adventist parents who taught in Advent to schools I attended ave to schools myself and I never really wandered far from the faith now I know that doesn't mean that I don't have a testimony each and every 1 of askew. But I just wondered how would my testimony be relevant or interesting to a group of people who are coming to listen I don't have any radical conversion story about being plucked from obscurity or something like that and I haven't gone to an exotic mission field to talk about the wonderful things that God has done and worked in obviously miraculous ways my testimony just seems kind of run of the mill like everyone else but the fact of the matter is I really shouldn't be here and it's not just because of the fact that I didn't know what to talk about this morning I shouldn't be here because at least the the buzz in our church these days that my peers are not here I am a millennial and the talk seems to be that millennial are not present in our church today whether either they're there but they're not active or they're not there at all and so as I reflected and thought about well why am I here why am I still a 7th Day Adventist Why has God been able to keep me with that faith that I grew up with and I realized that's what he wants me to share with you this morning so before I do why don't we pray together and then we'll spend some time together looking at God's word and also just seeing how God has worked let's pray Dear Heavenly Father we thank you so much for bringing us together here in Orlando Florida for this opportunity for us to spend time with 1 another Lord I just pray that you would be with me now as I speak that you would share something from my life Lord that you have done that would bring encourage men and peace to those who are listening and father that it will encourage us all to be faithful to you in everything that we feel we thank you Lord and we ask these things and Jesus' name amen. So as many of you are probably aware social media is kind of changing the way things that are growing everywhere there's a group of people called social media influencers and what they are many of them are millennial they take their phones and they post pictures they post tweets they post things on Facebook and they get many many followers as a result of getting all of these followers businesses are starting to leverage their social clout in order to try to get their brands out in front of other people or get their business in front of other people these social media influencers have been so effective at changing the way that marketing has been going that they've Spondon new class of wannabes and copycats who will go on to these different social media websites they will pay for followers to make it look like they have 80000 people following them and then they'll e-mail a luxury hotel and say I want to stay free for 2 weeks and I'll do 2 posts about it so all of my followers can see. These luxury hotels they're starting to get really frustrated with these young people and what they're doing but it does go to show that those who are legitimately exercising this are using their influence in a way to change business as usual and they're remodelling the way that people are going forward with marketing I'm sure many of you with your businesses or with your ministries have even tried to figure out how can we use social media and are there young people who could help promote what we're doing and what in what we're doing but in this generation who has figured out how to market so effectively on social media can oftentimes seem absent in the 7th Day Adventist Church today. Maybe it's because they're not here or maybe it's just because they're not active. I praise God for Blessing Me with the family that I grew up in as I indicated before I was born to parents who are 7th Day Adventist I went to Rupert Murdoch elementary school an interest Academy in Varian Springs Michigan while in high school I became a Sabbath school teacher and I worked with summer day camp programs through a church where I was able to teach children about the love of Jesus as well as 2 summer activities with them but many of the friends who I grew up with are no longer 7th Day Adventists themselves they're not in the church and some of them are even and taken a stick against the church and that's despite the fact that we sat next to each other in elementary school we sat side by side at Sabbath school we taught together at the summer camp and we did all of these things together we studied for baptism together and yet they're not here. I don't claim to have perfect knowledge to know what happened to my peer group and why they are not in the church or why they're not active in the church but my reason for being here is not to give some sort of scientific analysis or explanation of the cause and effect of what's going on I'm here to talk about what it was that God has done for me and how he led me along the way and the joy that that has brought so having grown up as a 7th Day Adventist in a 7th Day Adventist college town I assumed that when I finished Academy Of course I would go to a 7th Day Adventist University I also thought I would go to Andrews University my dad by that point was a professor at the university my mother taught enters Academy why would I be going to school and he were else but the place where my parents were that's what a good 7th Day Adventist would do. But to my surprise. In an answer to prayer that I was not expecting and a full tuition scholarship I ended up that fall at the University of Michigan instead of Andrews University and making that decision to go in following God's leading there I became a statistic of the young people in our church the vast majority of whom and when I say vast majority I mean at the 70 or 8080th percentile of the young people in our church I was at a secular institution of higher learning rather than 1 of our institutions for higher learning in order to continue my education. And it was that fall of my college year that I encountered 2 things that completely changed my life forever campus ministry and G. Y.C. I'll tell you in just a minute what you meant to each but I just as I discuss each I also want to share with you a portion of Scripture that spoke to me in those moments and how I think the word of God acted to keep me not just in the church but in the careful watch care of God. My last Sabbath that my home church P.M.C. before I leave before leaving for school was the 1st Sabbath of the school year all the freshman were on campus and these would have been my classmates my dorm mates the people I would have been going to school with during the whole service my mind was wandering wondering if I had really made the right decision if God really was calling me to go to the University of Michigan rather than staying in that place this place where I felt comfortable where I assumed he would want me to be. The pastor's message that day was on being a missionary where you are and he was encouraging the students to encourage 1 another in the Lord even though they were on a Christian university campus he event erected us to turn our Bibles to Isaiah 496 and I'd ask that you do the same thing right now and this is when my wandering mind finally perked up and started to pay attention Isaiah 496. And in this verse that says he says it is too light a thing that you should be my servant to brace up the tribes of Jake up to bring back the preserved of Israel I will make you as a light for the nations that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth as he read that scripture it was as though my heart stopped and I could sense the spirit of God telling me this is why you're going to the University of Michigan you've been in Israel for long enough it's time for you to be a light to all nations. This was a complete paradigm shift for me even though I knew God was leading me to the University of Michigan I didn't know why I thought for whatever reason he needed me to get my education there instead of somewhere else I could not have been more wrong because the education that they give there we know is not true education. But God was directing my path to that university so that I could be a missionary now this perspective was soul new for me but I thought it was an original idea surely no 1 has ever thought of the fact that if they go to a secular university they should be a missionary to my surprise and joy bill when I found the 7th Day Adventist group on campus that is exactly what they were about and I jumped right in I started attending the weekly Bible study as they had both large group Bible studies and small group Bible studies I CERN I soon learned how to give Bible studies myself and became a regular and began regularly giving Bible studies to people on campus I remember my sophomore year it was the 2nd semester I had maxed out the number of credits that I was taking so I was very busy but I wanted to continue my ministry as well so I think I was approached to paying into different small groups and giving an individual Bible study only to find out that the president of our student group was leaving and that now the responsibility of leading the group was also going to fall to me. I committed myself to God though and said Lord I don't want to suffer academically I don't want to suffer in ministry I believe you've called me to do all these things so please help me and that's exactly what he did he created time out of nowhere it seems and he also gave me a 1 mind quick for learning that turned into 1 of my most successful semesters academically but also 1 of the most rewarding spiritually as I saw how God continue to work in the lives of my friends on campus and the way that we were able to influence what was happening on our campus. 1 of the things that a friend of mine and I really liked to do in order to try to encourage our ministry was to take classes together in order to find a student who was searching for the truth the 1st time we did this was our freshman year we took physics together and sure enough there was a young man in my physics class who invited me to study with him 1 night. For us to learn now I kind of sense that maybe he was secretly trying to ask for a date and while we were open to creative types of ministry I did not believe that I should flirt to convert so. I called my friend Eric and I said Erica you need to study for physics to let's go study with this man so we go he didn't seem too upset that I brought a 3rd person along for the study session but as our conversation drifted away from physics it started to drift towards spiritual things I don't remember exactly how but we ended up talking about death and that night we were able to give him a study on the state of the dead and share with him the truth that the Bible has for us that we don't have to worry about what happens when we die as long as we trust in Jesus. We've decided this was so effective we decided to take another class together and this 1 was called 2nd Temple Judaism so focusing on what people would call that interest test of mental period and into the New Testament the Professor in this class with clearly against the idea that the Bible is the inspired word of God and that made us excited to be able to show him that he was wrong. But in the process we found a girl who had been coming to 1 of our Bible studies she'd been making friends with other people in our ministry group and growing close with them and she took and she was taking the class and sat with us as well. She had grown up in a Christian background but she herself on the secular university campus was starting to ask the same questions that the professor was raising about the validity of the Bible about whether or not it can be depended on as the Word of God but we continued to be friends with her we continued to study with her the others in the group continued to do the same a year after that class she decided to keep the Sabbath and a few months after that she made she made the decision to be baptized she has done mission work for the 7th Day Adventist Church all over the world and continues to be as active 7th Day Adventists today more than a decade later. Also we would take this opportunity to write our papers and gear our presentations in a way where we could talk about the truths of God in our classes in that class for example my friend Erika wrote a paper showing that dying or chapter 2 and Chapter 7 actually are talking about the same kingdoms when our professor said that it was not and I wrote a paper talking about how Chapter 9 really does point to when Jesus was 1st advent was and not what the professor was saying that it was we both received excellent marks on those papers and had a captive audience because our professor had to read what we wrote. Another example of this was the Spanish class I majored in history I mired in Spanish and it was 1 of my favorite Spanish classes but I got assigned some poems I had to do a presentation on for the class I am not a fan of poetry in anything which it just it it doesn't resonate with me my husband is a huge fan of poetry but it just doesn't speak to me in the same way but this was like classical Spanish the equivalent of King James English in Spanish in a poetry form and Spanish was the weaker of my 2 languages I started to get very stressed about this assignment and about having to share this with the rest of the class I wasn't understanding it wasn't clicking and anxiety was threatening to set in this was the 1st time something like that happened in college it would threaten me every once in a while every semester to just get overwhelmed with everything that was going on trying to be an excellent student to God's glory in addition to being active in ministry but I developed the habit of turning to the Word of God when that threat of anxiety would come in and specifically I would turn to Matthew chapter 6 you can turn with me there through thick. Matthew chapter 6. And I would read verses 31 through 34. Therefore do not be anxious saying What shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear for the gentiles seek after all these things and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all but seek 1st the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself sufficient for the day is its own trouble so I would read this passage every time I felt overwhelmed by God to help me not to be anxious to depend on him and to seek 1st his kingdom in everything that I was doing on the university and not to worry so much about what particular great I make it. Well this poet who poems I was struggling with was a priest or a monk or something along those lines and as I had turned this passage struggling with that material asking Lord to take the in Zion away from my heart so I could get through this assignment I skimmed the surrounding verses and chapters to this 1st the Sermon on the Mount and all of a sudden something clicked this poll it was making allusions to the Sermon on the mark mount in his poetry he was talking about the fact that we shouldn't be laying up treasures in heaven and he was also talking about finding the narrow way when I realized this I was so excited I went I printed off the relevant portions from the Bible made photocopies and added that to the last part of my presentation for class when I got to class I had to make the presentation in Spanish and in general my Spanish was OK but you know everyone was a language learner in that class and as I made the presentation I was able to give my classmates a Bible study on why we shouldn't worry why we should be putting our treasures in heaven and how we should be finding that narrow way and when it got confusing or my Spanish got a little garbled my professor would jump in and clarify explain what I was meaning to say so really I had a professor who was helping me give a Bible study to a class. Of colleagues there at the University of Michigan. I know many people look back at their college years with fondness tall just her variety of reasons maybe they had great camaraderie with their classmates with their dorm mates maybe that's where they met the love of their life the person who they married or maybe that's where they found that passion for their professional pursuits that they were going to continue on for the rest of their adult life and some of these are true for me too I made friendships that I hope to never ever lose and I found a passion for both ministry as well as the work that I do now. But what brings back the most joy upon me going back and thinking about these years in college was knowing that I was in exactly the place where God would had me doing what he would have me to do and being faithful to him now I don't want you to think that this is necessarily an advertisement saying all 7th Day Adventist young people should go to a 2nd the university it's not by and large our schools are the places where I believe some of they haven't as young people should be. But the Spirit of Prophecy does say that this is a work that will be done and it must be done by those who are taught and led of God And so for some young people God is actually calling them to go into these campuses not to gain an education there but to be a missionary and to be a lie. A final scripture that spoke to me during this time. At college was flipping and chapter 2 verses 2 through 15 and I'll invite you to turn with me there as well Chapter 2 verses 253 I'm sorry not to verses 12 to 15 so flippin Chapter 2 verses 12 to 15 and it reads this. Therefore my beloved of you has as you have always obeyed so now that only as in my presence but much more in my absence work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is a God who works in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure do all things without grumbling in question e that you may be blameless and innocent children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation among whom you shyness lights in the world the values of excellence and a missionary and a missionary mindset are what drew me into camp this ministry while I was in college and God used these values and the community that developed around them to keep me from wandering from the faith that I had been raised in and that I had made a commitment to as my own turning back to the fall of my freshman year the 2nd thing that I was introduced to that changed my life I see several young adults involved with that campus ministry where the founders of G Y C Now for those of you who may not know Joy C. has is our 3 letters that have stood for many different things over the years ranging from the general youth conference generation of Youth for Christ to what is called now generation Christ but regardless of the name the purpose of G. Y.C. has been a place for 7th Day Adventist young people to call be together receive training and encouragement in their personal relationship with Jesus in the fit in teaching them how to be faithful local church members and active personal evangelists in efforts to finish the work in this generation. But I didn't know that back then I didn't even know that the founders of G. Y.C. were the people I was going to church with Somehow I had stumbled upon Joyce's website that fall and as I read the description their theme that year was higher than the highest and it it spoke to that part of me that desired excellence for myself and for those around me and as I read the description of what you I see and saw that it was going to be there in Ann Arbor Michigan that fall I wanted to go I misunderstood I think what they were saying on their I think they put the cap of how many people were going to be able to attend. And I thought that that meant there was some sort of special selective process to go to you I see and I just hope so much that somehow I could be chosen to go to this wonderful place called U.I.C. only to find out that no all I had to do was go and register and I could participate and my friends there at church encouraged me to do so that convention was the perfect way to end the 1st semester at a secular university it was like a spiritual boot camp experience where we were up before dawn that morning devotionals and up still way past the even her way late into the evening hours listening to the different speakers present the messages were convicting and they showed me that the 7th Day Adventist message has an intellectual integrity to it that we have no reason to be ashamed about even at 1 of the world's most elite universities that I can hold my head up high in confident that my faith is not just faith but it makes intellectual sense as well. But the thing that really impressed me there was what I saw was young people where the people who were running G Y C I was awed to see that these young people individuals who back then seemed old they were only 3 or 4 years older than me and so they were probably $22.00 or $23.00 at the time. But they were doing a mighty work for God I silently prayed at that you I see that if he wanted me to if God wanted to use me in such a way that I would be willing to do that but I didn't really think anything more of it over the next few years I started to volunteer with you I see in in small ways I would sit in a seminar impress the record button so that that recording could get uploaded to the website eventually I was invited to work on a committee where we developed the printed resources for Joyce C. but it still came as a complete shock and it was a very humbling when I received a call from his board of directors to go and serve on their executive committee 1st as the secretary for the organization and later on as the general vice president I ultimately agreed to take on that role. But did not know what leadership at that level was going what impact it was going to have on my life. Having been intimately involved with for the better part of a decade I've tried to think about what makes. People often think that its unique and its cutting edge ministry that supporting the 7th Day Adventist Church and sees main work is to host annual conventions here in North America and those conventions tend to draw on 4 values I'm sorry those conventions tend to draw on international attendance but what does he do to continue to garner this reputation and I believe that for values have led G Y C to have the influence that it does today on its church on the church 1st of all as I indicated before the thing that drew me in the 1st place is that it is the youth who lead fundamental to see is the idea that the youth are capable of serving other you of reaching their peers both inside and outside the church this does not mean that I see rejects the idea of mentorship or guidance or leadership from older adults quite the contrary in order to help young adults become more effective in ministering to their peers such involvement is not just myth necessary but also desired on the part of young people all over the world what do I see emphasizes still is that the youth are to take an active role to feel a deep sense of duty and responsibility to their involvement in the 7th Day Adventist Church from their local church level all the way up to the General Conference and every Bible in between young people started the 7th Day Adventist movement and we have prophetic understanding that the youth will play a pivotal role at this time in Earth's history. God does not want to see those who are in the prime of life simply sitting idly sitting by he wants young adults actively involved recruiting their parents to the mission. The other thing that has drawn people I believe is the sense of volunteerism of some of sacrifice and commitment sacrifice and commitment have characterized the type of dedication to those involved with Q I see from the very beginning every year the convention center is hosting G Y C are amazed that the organization holding an event of this magnitude is run 100 percent by volunteers I should say 100 percent with 1 part time employee volunteerism though is often coming at a great cost and it emphasizes that our involvement with the movement is not for monetary gain or even for building a resume but for rewards which are tangible yet real and profound The fact of the matter is that no 1 has to be at U.I.C. there is no employment contract there is no paycheck to Inter entice participation Instead members of the executive committee volunteers all the way up to the president pay out of their own pockets to participate in G. Y.C. to attend it to travel to it to purchase the meals and to do everything attendees and volunteers throughout make even more significant sacrifices to further the cause each year besides those that are necessary to attend the Annual Convention and all of this because that she will see the question is not what can I get but what can I give. Joyce He's also a grassroots movement the simple idea of youth leadership exhibited through volunteer is a mess sacrifice and commitment is incredibly sticky and it's demonstrated broad appeal at the ground levels of the 7th Day Adventist Church I see as more than an annual conference it's a grassroots movement with manifestations that have appeared all over the world and beyond you I see doing anything in order to try to see these things happening all over the world. Only to ship the executive committee which I no longer sit on but my husband does inspires that and they're intensely grassroots all of them are either students young professionals or local church pastors all taken from the grassroots level of our church as a result he is able to tailor its programming at the annual convention activities throughout the year to the needs that they know are real in the church because they are involved with parts of the church themselves because that's where they're living. Finally do I see values diversity the grassroots of peal of joy see has not been limited to 1 people group or even 1 country 1 of the marks that distinguishes 2 I see is that it transcends racial and ethnic barriers and is embraced by people from many different walks of life in the church and the diversity is not just limited to cultural There are people from vastly different socio economic backgrounds who identify with you I see there are also people in this day and age with a variety of political opinions from the far right to the far left that are espoused with those who espouse what's called the spirit of G Y C But what brings people together from all these different walks of life is a commitment to our Lord Jesus and then that knowledge meant that that commitment to him takes preeminence over every other identity in our lives. The beauty of diversity that results from this type of common commitment to a higher cause is that it's not artificial as many diversity programs in different workplaces or academic institutions tend to be rather a result naturally and while coming in contact with others may challenge us sometimes to our course it makes us stronger as individuals as well as a church so being on a leadership team of an organization that holds such values was thrilling to be sure but as I reflect at my time at sea and how will that experience God used to keep me in the church it was not necessarily any 1 of those values that God was using rather it was a principle in scripture that continues to astound me turn with me you should still you should be in for be and let's go to Philippines chapter 3 verses 12 to 17. Chapter 3 verses 12 to 17 not that I have already obtained this or already perfect but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own brothers I do not consider that I have made it my own but 1 thing I do forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus let those of us who are mature think this way and if in anything you think otherwise God will reveal that also to you only let us hold true to what we have attained brothers join in imitating me and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us it's especially that last verse that just amazes me. Paul was telling the church and Philip to imitate him and to watch those who walk according to the example that he gave Now we know that that's OK because we know he's pressing toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God but it continues to baffle me that Paul had such confidence in his relationship with Jesus and the influence it was having in his life that he could call on other people to watch him as a person to imitate because he was imitating Christ and yet it's exactly this that ends up being 1 of the biggest pressures for young people who are put in a leadership position particularly at U.I.C. but I believe anywhere where young people are called to be leaders especially in this day and age where so much of the young people's lives are lived on line in pictures and in post on social media and all of a sudden in their face fullness to God in their desire to humbly serve their thrust into a position where you know desire of their own they're made maybe even a mini celebrity this is not a position that is enviable it's not 1 that they desired but yet in this position where there's this new pressure they're called upon to be the same type of person as Paul to be a person who is worthy to imitate because they are following Christ in his upward call. Now I will tell you this has been a challenge for many a young person who has gone through the leadership at U.I.C. And so I know many of you here. I know many of you here love Joy See I know many of you here send your children to see and if all of these things are true for you then I just want to take a moment and ask that you pray for the young people who are leaving joy see they really are the leadership but they need your help they need your prayers that they too can be faithful to the upward call of Jesus so that that pressure is not pressure at all but that they're truly living lives that are worthy of imitation because they are imitating Christ. I faced this pressure too as did my contemporaries and leadership. But I realize that more than just the sermons we heard at the NGO convention and even listening to sermons in preparation for the convention to choose speakers more than the values of the spirit of Jew I see the way God used to keep me was through the community that it built in my life by the time I was on these leadership I graduated from the University of Michigan and moved to Charlottesville Virginia to earn my law degree at the University of Virginia I was now isolated from friends and family several states away and while I would describe my college years as a golden experience both in life and in ministry I felt like I was walking on clouds my graduate studies were definitely not of the same character and I am convinced that if I had been there all alone truly all alone without any accountability with how any community that I have that is the point where I could have been lost in my Christian walk but I praise the Lord that for whatever reason he saw fit to use me to call me to work with you I see and that in doing so he gave me some authentic friendships that called me to accountability that kept me faithful that helped me to remember that I needed to keep my eyes on Jesus because other young people were watching me. Every time that we would have a leadership retreat or some a vent that we would have to go to a who would go kicking and screaming thinking this is taking me away from what I'm supposed to do only to then leave that retreat realizing and remembering that I needed to seek 1st God and His Kingdom. I realize I've said a lot in all of this. But the reason why I have said all of this and the reason why many of my friends as well as myself are still in the 7th Day Adventist Church is simply comes down to this it's because of the power of influence. The influence of those a few years older than us and that they had on our lives the influence that we had on each other the influence that resulted from a commitment to excellence a missionary mindset a sense of ownership of our church sacrifice and commitment being a volved at the grassroots level of our church and embracing diversity and because of the community that God help us build and because of the influence that we have had on each other I have seen the world change I've seen secular friends give their hearts to Jesus and become 7th Day Adventists and I have seen wayward Seventh-Day Adventist youth come back into the church and become active I've seen local churches rejuvenated by active participation of young adults and they have seen millennial take an ownership interest in their church all over the world and I've seen the church take notice of them too and respond to their needs once again I don't know what I'm doing here I pray that something that I've shared with you this morning was helpful to somebody here but I trust once again that God knows what he is feeling and that he did call me to share these experiences for some reason I'm going to make 3 simple appeals right now listen very carefully to each of the 3 and at the very end if any of them seem to apply to you I'll invite you to stand with me as I pray the 1st 1 is this you sense that though you've been an Adventist for your whole life or for a long time. That you've been tempted to wander away the words to that him speak too true to your heart Prone to wander Lord I feel it prone to leave the god i love but today you want to say Here's my heart Lord taken seal it seal it for the courts above you want to say Lord I know you can work in my life and you can use me without me ever having to go anywhere and I pray that you do that today 2nd. You know God is calling you to a special and unique type of ministry calling you to be a light in the world even if it's not in traditional forms of ministry or mission work now I said this at the beginning I'm a millennial I do spend my own fair share of time on social media and 1 of the things I love to do is watch these short little videos where they show people preparing food. And what I wonder is this were the creative 7th Day Adventists making this type of video that could also be a hook into our message to bring people into the church I know there are 7th Day Adventists young people out there in 7th Day Adventist older people out there who have the creative ability who God could use to do this maybe it's not specifically that but you know God has been calling you to some sort of unique or special ministry you didn't know when to start where to start how to start but you know that you want to and if that's the commitment that you make in a moment I'm going to ask for you to stand up as well and finally you sense that maybe you've had a golden age of ministry or of your spiritual walk experience and life has happened and maybe that's not what it is today anymore but you know that you need a community to help you to continue to live up to the high standards and ambitions for the Lord that you want to live and you want to say to the Lord Lord I don't just want to be a part of that community I want to help make that type of community in my home in my local church in my feel in my sphere of influence so if any of those 3 things apply to you ask that you stand with me and we'll close in prayer let's pray Dear Lord were sold to us by the way that you take care of each and every 1 of us Father we know that even if we don't think that it's sensational or flashy or an adventure story that you've given each and every 1 of us a testimony. And Father I pray that you just bring that to every person's hears remembrance as well as my lord that you truly have worked in each of our lives. Father I pray for those who feel that they really have anything to offer the church if they've been here the. Place father showed that they can continue to be faithful to you and that they can thank You can use them in a mighty way. Lord we live in changing times and changing places but we know your gospel is Evergreen and. We pray that you would help us to find the different ways to engage people in today's climate Lord with the age old truth that you've given us whether that's different creative forms of ministry as well as being faithful to the things that we know have worked. And finally Lord I know there are people here today who are hearing my voice who want to be faithful to you who want to continue to serve you may even have wonderful stories from their own past to recount about what you did but they might feel like you're struggling a little bit that they're lonely and that they don't have a. Father I prayed that she would give them that community that they would also help them to be community builders father just continue to be with each of us we long to be long. And so we pray Father that you do everything. In our lives that you help us to be faithful to you for it is that we truly candlelights in this world that we would seek 1st your kingdom and as a result we would see Jesus coming very soon we think you Father we ask all of these things Jesus. Was produced by audio. Services and industry. If you would like to learn more about. Were.

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