Worthy of Celebration?
The holidays are quickly being thrust upon us. The day after Halloween, my local shopping malls had already erected Christmas decorations. Thanksgiving has been pushed aside for the shopping holiday, Black Friday. All of this has left me pondering all the other things we celebrate.
We live in a culture a “bold fans”, those who cheer on their sports teams on no matter what the outcome or situation. In fact, Guinness Black Lager beer is holding a contest to determine who has the “boldest fans”, trying to find that “unique” individual that goes the extra mile to show devotion for his or her team. Fans of celebrities line up hours, even days, before an event just to see their favorite, and latest, star. I live in Southern California, the land of the “rich and famous”, most of who are now celebrated more for being “infamous”. We have created a whole economy around celebrating, hiring specialists (i.e. event planners, publicists, agents) who are able to create “bigger and better” extravaganzas that have now conditioned us to expect BIG celebrations for the minimalist occurrence.
My question however is: what about this team, situation, person, is worth celebrating?
Truth be told, we fall into the same “celebration trap” in ministry. While even the angels celebrate the salvation-life-change of an individual, implying we do too, are we guilty of “unworthy” celebrations? Instead of inducing more guilt and finger-pointing debate, may I suggest the following list of worthy celebrations we can all join in…
We should celebrate:
- When students share Scripture with one another, for then it has become internalized and applied.
- When friends bring their friends to our programs, as this is evidence of their trust in us, and of their spiritual concern for their friends.
- When parents take initiative and responsibility to spiritual nurture their children, utilizing our programs as reinforcement and partnerships rather than substitutes.
- When leaders have significant conversations with students outside of our program, as these are the building blocks to life transformation.
- When students serve others in need, using their gifts and talents to make a difference in the world, as this could propel them to discover a calling in ministry.
- When churches/ministries collaborate instead of compete (you all know what this means), increasing our cultural influence.
- Young adults who are still walking with Jesus in an authentic spiritual journey 3+ years after leaving the high school ministry, for this is much better sign of effective ministry than the “crowd” attendance figure we report to our deacon board.
OK that last one hit a little too close to home, but let’s find truly worthy occurrences in ministry that lead to eternal celebrations. Let us look for God’s activity and celebrate by joining in with His Spirit to increase its impact. May we daily practice the spiritual discipline of celebrating the small but truly worthy work of God, because I believe since we serve a BIG God, even when we are discouraged, God is worthy of celebration!
"(1) For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: … (4)a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” Eccl 3:1, 4
Continue the conversation, what is worthy of celebrating? Post your thoughts in response.