The following post was written by Ben Trueblood, Director of Lifeway Student Ministry
When I played football in high school (no this isn’t going to be an old high school glory-on-the-field story because, well, the story wouldn’t last too long)… At any rate, one of the things that I remember most about Friday nights in high school was the song that played at the end of every home victory. The song was “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. If you’ve ever heard this song then you know there is just something about it that makes you want to stand up and, well, celebrate. To this day when I hear that song I can’t help but smile and remember the times of celebration.
Celebration is an important part of life, yet too often we don’t stop long enough to appreciate the good things that happen. Ferris Bueller said in the classic 80s movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.” With the Christmas season upon us, you have a good opportunity to stop and celebrate the past year. Take the time to slow down at some point over the next few weeks and celebrate what God has done.
Celebration is something that the Old Testament believers knew well. There were many times when God directed His people to celebrate by building memorials, altars, and having feasts. Celebration helped the people of God remember the great things He did for them and gave them an anchor of God’s greatness for future struggles. It works the same way for us.
Here are some ways that you can begin to practice the discipline of celebration this season:
- Celebrate with your family – teach this discipline to your children, if you have them. Take time to make a list of the ways that God has moved and provided for you throughout the year.
- Celebrate with your volunteer leaders – spend time building relationships with the volunteers that have joined you in student ministry. Thank them specifically for something that they’ve done over the past year that has been impactful to the ministry or to you personally.
- Celebrate with your students – help them to see the big picture of what God has done over the last year. Show them the part that they have played and explain how God has used them.
- Celebrate the Lord – celebrate who He is. Spend time meditating on the magnitude of who He is, what He has done, and how He is shaping you into His own image.
- Celebrate in the midst of struggle – the reality is that the past 12 months have been very difficult for many people, maybe even you. God it still on the throne. He is still working. He is still there. He is with you. Sit in His presence and celebrate that you don’t struggle alone.
Celebration, done well, will lead us to worship. It will lead you to worship with your family, your ministry co-laborers, your students, and personally. Allow this time of worship and celebration to fuel you as you approach another year. Think about the excitement that awaits you as you consider what God could do in another year’s time.
I would love to hear from you! What are some ways that you stop and celebrate as a family or as a ministry each year? Leave a comment below so that we can celebrate together!