Posted by: mylifeisepic | March 3, 2008

The Power of “Story”

We finished our “Jesus is for Lovers” series last Wednesday night, and I think we saved the best night for last.

We did service a little different last week. Here’s the service order:

6:55 – 10 minute countdown video
7:05 – Worship (Opening Song)
7:10 – Welcome/Fellowship
7:12 – Video: Rules Video
7:14 – Announcements
7:16 – Small Groups
7:30 – Acoustic Worship Set (2 songs)
7:43 – Panel Discussion/Testimonies
8:15 – Prayer with students
8:25 – Dismiss

Simple service. No fluff. No flash. But, the real deal came in the Panel Discussion/Testimony time. Aubrey and I were on stage with 4 different church/youth leaders who all shared their story about growing up, dating, and sexual choices.

Libba shared how she waiting until she got married to have sex, and how AWESOME that was for her. I was so happy to have her share her story because she can be an inspiration to all the girls out there that it IS possible to stay pure. It’s ABSOLUTELY possible! Wow!

Then Stephanie shared her story of growing up in church all her life, but never really knowing why to do it or not do it. She made it to college without “giving in” but got pressured in by her “big man on campus” boyfriend and gave in – and it’s something she regrets to this day. BUT – that bad decision didn’t necessarily lead to a life of promiscuity and other bad decisions. She is now married with two great kids and is serving God and is setting an example for all our students at Epic. I love how she was completely transparent and opened the doors for dialogue on bad decisions, but that they don’t have to end there.

Then Casey shared how he gave his heart to God back in high school, and took dating very seriously. In fact, he still does. Now this is a dude who is probably the healthiest guy I’ve ever met. He works out every day and is a great looking fella. He could have any girl he wants – honestly. But, he is 24 years old and is sticking true to his commitment to not have sex until marriage. He is a 24 year old virgin and is proud of it. Now that is a real man. He is waiting for the perfect woman to come along. I am so grateful for his willingness to share his story, because all the guys in Epic can now see how it is possible to be a COOL guy, a good looking guy, and still honor God with our decisions. Thanks, Casey!!

Finally, Rachel shared her heartbreaking story about being raped at age 12 and having that innocence and decision taken from her. She was so strong and impacting. It is a tough, tough story to share. But I got to pray with a ton of kids after service, and I saw a ton of them crying – I know for a fact it made a great impact in their lives. Thank you Rachel – your story is going to be a lifesaver and a story of HOPE for so many of our students.

It was amazing to see our leaders praying with students after service on Wednesday. It was a perfect way to end an awesome service. For many of these students, this series was the first time they heard a message about purity and making good choices when it comes to sex – and honoring God and themselves with their bodies.

I pray that it sticks. Thank you GOD for a wonderful series!

(AA)

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