I never grew up hoping to be in student ministry. But here I am, and these girls are fierce. They are deep and have real emotions that shape the way they view themselves, how they view God, and most importantly how they think God views them.
Here are some of their honest answers to my question, “when God looks at your heart what does he see?”
“God sees anger”
“God sees my inability to forgive”
“I don’t know what God sees”
Last Wednesday night (not unlike most weeks) we discussed pressures we feel as girls at school and at home. The lies that are thrown at these precious daughters of the King make me cringe.
“I don’t like pink, so I am called a boy”
“I am at the bottom of the social ladder, it’s like an inverted pyramid and I am at the lowest tip”
In the midst of these lies, I wanted to share with them something to refresh their souls. A new way of thinking. A paradigm shift to the negative spirals. This is what God says about us in Ephesians 2:10:
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Masterpiece. That’s the word. This isn’t a crayon scribble coloring page. A masterpiece is the most famous, the most noteworthy. Someone’s greatest work! This is what our Creator calls us.
So why is there so much confusion? Why don’t they feel like masterpieces?
My girls love to create.
Craft nights are the best nights for them. In an attempt to explain to them their worth and importance I used an example I was sure would connect to their hearts.
Look at this tree. You just sketched, defined, and colored your vision of a tree. Now, imagine, if this picture came to life and looked at you and said, “I am not a tree, I am a cloud”. Wouldn’t you laugh? It would be ridiculous. You thought up the sketch. You chose the colors to fill it in. This is your creation. How dare your drawing tell you what it is.
Girls, who created you? Who formed you in your mother’s womb? Who gives you identity?
Not the world, not anything you can see. Your Creator. Your God is the only one who can define who you are, he gave you breath and life.
The Bible makes this point clear for us to understand. We have a good Father who formed and fashioned us to be image bearers (Gen 1:26), God gives us purpose and a plan for living (Gen 1:27), God created us with a promise (Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24).
Students today are faced with more pressure to take on labels than any other generation. What does that mean for us, Church? It’s time to step in and pursue the hearts of students. We have an opportunity to live out Romans 2:4 to reflect God’s kindness and lead students to repentance. To show them how to turn from the lies they are believing and walk in pursuit of the only One who can reveal to them their true identity.
I never dreamed I would be working in student ministry full time, and I certainly never imagined I would take on a volunteer role.
But I will not sit back and let students be told who they are and live their lives not knowing the truth about their identity. I want to engage and pursue the heart of each student God allows me to shepherd.
Where is the Lord calling you in this season? Is there someone in your life who is struggling to find their identity? Reach out to them today and tell them the truth about who they really are. Start a new conversation and let it begin with, “You are God’s masterpiece…”