(This is kinda a continuation from yesterday. Well, the first part is.)

Today we had our annual leader training event - Ignite. This is our first leaders meeting of the year, where all student ministry leaders/volunteers come together for training, planning, and of course fun and food...and there was plenty of that!!

In our 2nd session, Brian spent time talking about mission - our mission statement. Part of that discussion included quoting mission statements of fortune 500 companies ... Like Facebook...

Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. (in light of yesterday's post I thought that was very interesting... To give PEOPLE the power to share and make the WORLD more open and connected... But that's enough about facebook...)

Coca-cola's mission is: To refresh the world...To inspire moments of optimism and happiness...To create value and make a difference... Ahhhhhh. They've achieved that with me... Thanks Coke!!

Then we spent some time talking about the mission statement we have for student ministries. It frames all we do, yet we are, in the midst of everything, surrendered to Him to accomplish His purposes in his way and His time.

The statement says: we exist to reach, restore, raise up and release a generation of Christ-followers devoted to making disciples of all nations.

Pretty simple huh. Straight forward. Four R's. But what does that 'really' mean?

Reach: to tell students about Jesus, God's gift of unfailing love to us... And them hopefully coming to see their need to accept that love, forgiveness... It's sharing Christ with those who don't know Him.

Restore: let's face it - you don't get through life without bumps and bruises along the way - restore is the piece of becoming whole and healed through the difficult circumstances that come our way - some by person choice with consequence, and some that are completely out if our control but definitely influencing us negatively...and asking God to redeem this circumstances.

Raise up: the opportunities we have (both formal and informal) to be transformed into His image - learning more of Him and becoming Christ-like.

Release: releasing students and leaders to go make disciples at home, at school, in the community and in the rest of the world. It embraces serving others in His name... Seeing them step into action in sharing their faith in Christ.

Reach, restore, raise up, release... That's what our hearts cry is. I have to say I see an say this statement all the time. And honestly it continues to ground me into the why of what we do... And convinces me time and again how grateful I am to be called to ministry and that I'm available to be used by him and in any and way He sees fit.

You have the right at any time to ask about what we do student ministry wise and where it fits in the structure of reach, restore, raise up and release. When we all talk about events or programs, they are all down through the lens of these R's... it keeps us focused, purposed, and on track... I hope.

I'm honored to be amidst this group of leaders. I know He has assembled this team for this year. I love having a front row seat to see Him work in and through them all (and me) this next ministry year...

By the way...if you want more details about our day - check out Erik's blog with a summary of all of it...

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