Passion for Jesus or camp high?

This week I had the amazing opportunity to speak four nights to the Next Generation at a Youth Camp in North Carolina.  By the way, check out Camp Walter Johnson - definitely a top-notch campground facility! 

Someone asked me how much different is how I speak to students from how I speak to a multi-generational congregation.  You know, I really don't do it any differently.  My goal every time I speak is to surrender completely to the Holy Spirit so that God can communicate what He desires to.  God speaks through the personality and style of the speaker - in my case, it's usually humorous (at least to me), has a good deal of depth (again, at least to me), and is pretty simple to understand (at... least... to... me).  Every time I am presented with the opportunity to stand before any size group and speak forth the Word of God, I take it as a high honor and huge responsibility.  I prepare well in advance (I've been told I border on over-preparation) and I remain flexible to change gears as the Spirit leads.  I tell stories from my life, I get into history, I show videos and images heavily.  There is really nothing at all I do differently when I stand before a group of teenagers and when I stand in front of our very multi-generational Gathering in Hot Springs. 

This is because God is the same and I am the same.  There is not a "Sunday Steve" and a "Youth Guy Steve."  There is just the God who created me as He saw fit, and is transforming me as He sees fit.  I am madly in love with Jesus no matter who else is around!  Which brings me to the overflowing joy of standing in the middle of a group of teens and young adults who are worshiping God with intensity and passion:

Youth conventions, camps, and retreats for me have all been marked with an outpouring of physical and emotional worship to the Creator and Messiah Jesus.  The number of moments like what I just experienced with some wonderful young adults in North Carolina is beyond me.  Singing out, clapping, hands raised, falling on knees, tears overflowing, and dancing (trust me, it is truly holy!) all to express praise to God and love to Jesus.  I... love... these moments!

This Sunday will I stand among people this passionate about the God who loves us unconditionally, Whose grace is amazing, and Whose mercy is fresh every morning?  Will I stand with teens and children and adults who love Jesus so much we can't help but shout it out?  Will I stand with people just like me who are not perfect, but are being made perfect as we go, praising God with a united voice for this transformed life?  Will I stand with people who have discovered hope among the ruins of life?

Or will I passionately pour myself out as a worship offering among those who still haven't found what they're looking for?


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