I’ll never forget what a fellow youth pastor shared with me years ago regarding his wife’s wonderful prayer life and “ride” with Jesus. For work purposes, she had to DRIVE once per week about 1 1/2 hours each way and as she got into the car one morning just after kissing him goodbye, she reached across the passenger seat, grabbed the seat belt and while fastening it she said, “Buckle up Jesus, it’s time to go to work together!”. Then she rolled up her window, backed up smiling and was already talking to Jesus (not to herself) as the car drove out of his site. As much as he was energized by his wife’s strong faith, I too was forever changed in my perspective on praying while driving. Ok, although I admit I haven’t actually clicked the passenger side seatbelt for Jesus like she did (I figure he’s going survive anyways!), I speak to him often while DRIVING in my car and in my life. I think for all of us, we need simple reminders such as this to include God in our normal daily life and routine. Even for you that take the train to work here in Swissland, just wait and see the reaction when someone approaches the “empty” seat next to you saying “Ist der Platz frei?” and you reply, “No, Jesus is sitting there next to me!”
Taking the DRIVE in life to the next level is truly figuring out how to put Jesus in the DRIVER’s seat and not just passenger seat! (Don’t try this in your real car, but you get what I mean). That is DRIVING by faith and takes more than just a license but also practice and experience. In fact, when one has grown up with learning to let Jesus DRIVE in their life, it’s much easier and the journey has often seen fantastic roads of glory along the way. So it’s wise for us as a church to start DRIVING lessons early in faith! Bedros has shared the truth about GPS for those that think modern technology is the best route, as we all know we’ve “arrived at our destination” only to realize the satellites deceived us as the empty parking lot in front of the car is NOT the intended shopping mall!
By now, I hope you are asking yourself, why are all of the DRIVE-ing words emphasized. LIFT’s new youth ministry for students ages 11 and up, called DRIVE has recently left the garage and enter the streets of real life! I have been so excited to see the calling and passion of Dave and Jami to launch such a ministry at LIFT. As we look around on Sunday mornings it’s clear we don’t have many students that are of these ages (about 3-5), so one might think that we should have the students first and then start the youth group. Praise God for the faith of Dave and Jami to first step out in faith to start the ministry and give God the glory when He brings the students. It reminds me of the Best’s and the Eales’ a few short years ago in our living room having “church” although just our two families showed up on some weeks. Three facilities later, the Best’s and Eales’ are still gathering together to worship as a church, but with the glory of God’s faithfulness in seeing many of you each week alongside us! So if you are a teen, I encourage you to LIFT up DRIVE and build your youth ministry together with Dave and Jami, even if some weeks there’s just a few. If you’re a parent of a teen or know of other families with teens, I encourage you to get the word out, every other Friday night is DRIVE at LIFT.
At heart, I’m still a youth guy who have tremendous confidence in what teenagers and young adults can do for the LORD! I’ve seen some amazing acts of love, grace and courage from those under 20! As a church, let’s pray (even while DRIVING) for the next generation to continue to work the harvest field around us. I can already envision some of our DRIVE students some day getting into their real cars, reaching across the passenger seat and buckling up the seatbelt, while saying, “Buckle up Jesus, it’s time to go on a DRIVE together!”
Proverbs 22:6 -Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
In His grip and grace,