Legacy Now Blog - Jason Carr Writes

Exploring the collision of everyday life and an incredible God

Month: June 2018

Known

There is that moment when you walk up in the line to check into the flight and they ask your name and take your license and you wait while they type and look at the screen.

The same moment happens when you step into the rental car place and do the same drill. You give information and wait idly.

Then there is the time you check into a hotel and you just wait while they type away searching for your info and confirming whatever reservations you have made.

Those moments can cause just a second of wondering.

Did I fill that out right? Did I use the right card? Did they get my rewards number? What if it’s wrong? What if the flight is overbooked? What if they don’t have the car? What if the room is not available?

It’s in those moments when you really want to be known. You want the person on the other side of the counter to know who you are and kindly accommodate your journey.

I have primarily used the same rental car place when I travel for Legacy Now. Over time, it has been cool when I walk in and they know my name, what I want, and how quickly the process is to get a car and go. It’s likely why I keep using them, I’m known.

It’s true for all of us. We want to be known. We want the comfort that comes when people see us not as a commodity or strain, but a relationship.

The powerful effect of this truth is massive. The God of the universe made us this way. He put a hole in our heart that is filled through known relationships. And that is only fully completed with Him.

In student ministry, this principal is a biggie. We are working with a generation who is relationally challenged. I love my high school dudes that I lead right now, but it’s crazy that the primary way to communicate with them is via snapchat. Being known to a teenager right now is an interesting concept.

That being said, one of the most powerful things you can do in your ministry is help your students move towards the truth that God wants to know them. You do that through truth and through the relationships you create in your culture that points in that direction. It’s why I’m all in on small groups. That relationally-invested leader is a primary connection to help a student be known.

Next time you are in line waiting to check in take a moment and catalog that feeling. Remember the peace that comes if everything works out and goes as planned. And remember you get to offer that peace to others in a relationship with Jesus.

The Whole Story

At this point in my life and ministry I’ve led thousands of small groups and walked through the teenage years with generations of students.

And I’ve changed.

I’m not the 20 something year old leader anymore. I can’t act like that. I have more years of life and scars to prove it.

Something recently happened with one of the guys in my current high school group. After the immediate smoke cleared, I was thinking about how I handled it. And I realized something, 20 years ago I would have handled it way differently. In fact, I did.

I would have taken it on the chin. I would have been hurt. I would be scrambling to make sense of their decision making. In short, I would have taken a students decision super personally.

By all means, I still care and want the best for the students He trusts me with. Yet, I’m at a place where I see that the story is not always about today. Today affects our story. But, there is a long and complete story to be told just like yours and mine.

If you were to unpack my whole story up to this point in my life I could quickly share with you the highlights. But there are a ton of low lights and challenges that made those highlights even more special. There is also a galaxy worth of grace that’s been given to me that I have never earned. My story is not just about the current reality of today. Neither is yours.

Knowing that as I get older helps me see the big picture for a teenager. Yes, I want them to make wise choices. Yes, I want them to become the person He has them here to be. No, I don’t want them making stupid choices or having the carry the scars of bad decisions with them. But I also know that He is faithful and the story is not just about today.

Perspective is a funny thing. We usually are caught up on our current perspective. I’ve learned in leadership it’s not just about today, but learning from what’s behind and thinking about what’s ahead.

The more I’ve tried to do that in my own life the more I can do that with the students and leaders He trusts me to invest in.

There is a whole story being told. Not just the current chapter. By faith, trust Him to help you and your students see the Author and Perfecter’s plan.