I want to first say thanks to Greg Stier for a morning full of the basics, and a chance to reflect again on the calling we have received.

For many years I have had annual evaluations, and opportunity to sit down and look at the year that is past and look to the year ahead.  These times of review are often time to establish and review ministry goals.  I have been very blessed with great youth over the years, and a ministry that most years saw a growth in numbers.  But I also have had years of numerical decline that I have counted as my most productive. I hope that no one reading this is hung up on the numbers of ministry.

One of the goals that often gets glossed over in these annual reviews is perhaps the most important.  What is the goal for my life?  My life seems to intersect with my ministry a great deal.  Today I was reminded of the importance of personal growth as a first and foremost goal of ministry.

Greg Steir calls it his first Game Changer.- the motivation of the coach.

Philippians 3:10-11 (NIV)
10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

In these simple yet profound words of St. Paul we find his personal spiritual growth goals.  “I Want To Know Christ!”  It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day work of ministry, caring for those entrusted to us, producing mailings, Bible studies, newsletters, worship bulletins, servant trips, and more.  My desire to go into the ministry was “to know Christ and help youth to know Him too!”

Today I was reminded of that fundamental truth that we all nod in agreement at, our first calling is to Know Christ.

I also grabed a great quote that I can milk for many years as I am called to call others into a passionate walk with Christ.

“If you fall in love with evangelism you will burn out…

Fall in love with Christ and you will evangelize.

-Greg Steir

As I watch our numbers grow, as more and more students come hungry and thirsty for Christ and the truth that He is – may I be filled and full of Christ, knowing and living in the power of His resurrection, and prepared to share in his suffering, becoming more and more like Him!

Philippians 3:7-8 (NIV)
7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Humbly desiring after God…  <>< Craig