Seek the Peace (Some Thoughts on Small Acts)

Last weekend Hillsong came to Boston University. Many, many college students went to see them sing along. The very next day we took a much smaller group of students to serve and learn alongside one of our neighborhood partnerships.

Quick aside: I don’t have anything against a large worship gathering/concert. I’ve been to see David Crowder several times. It’s a lot of fun to sing really loudly in a crowd of thousands.

But, I couldn’t help be struck by the contrast. Getting up early on Saturday morning is harder than going to a concert on Friday night. Interacting with grade school kids who are hyper and say anything that comes into their minds is more difficult and requires more energy than standing in a room with a thousand of your peers. Listening to people who have lived in Boston’s inner city for 4 decades is not as cool as hipster led worship/rock. Spending an hour and half in a quiet reflection is more unnerving than “Oceans” at 120 decibels.

I’m not trying to bash Hillsong. I am trying to honor the choice made by those students who came along to serve on Saturday.

Jesus said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed.” Friday was awesome, I’m sure, but Saturday was mustard seed stuff.

What I get concerned about is the chasing of experiences. It’s way easier and cooler to chase experiences, to run after the next big thing, than it is to settle down, make roots, and seek the peace of the city.

Our event on Saturday was not designed to accommodate the numbers that went and saw Hillsong, but what if 1000 students dedicated themselves to seeking the peace of the city? What if 1000 stayed in Boston after they graduated to pursue God’s mission right here in this place?

That seed might become a tree.

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Shoveling Snow And Thoughts on Leadership Development

I’m not a huge college football fan. It’s probably 5th or 6th on the list of sports I care about. But my wife went to a big football school (USC) and so I’ve grown more interested over the years.

When it comes to the college game I lean towards the West Coast. I’d love to see Oregon win it all this year just because I am sick of hearing about the SEC.

But I’m fascinated by the Kansas State Jayhawks for two reasons:

  1. I like old guys. Their coach is an old guy. It sure seems like the K-State kids would run through a wall for old Bill. I hope to be half as relevant to college students when I’m 73.
  2. I love their senior quarterback. Collin Klein fascinates me.

He’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week and I was struck by several of the stories shared about him in the article.

Like this:

“When Klein was a boy, his mother and father expected him to shovel the driveway on mornings after it snowed. So he did. Neighbors driveway, too. Many years later, when he was a junior at K-State, he shared an off-campus house with four other students. In the midst of an excruciating 317-carry season, his faithful center, B.J. Finney, once had to carry him down to his bedroom in the basement after an especially violent game. But none of that had a thing to do with falling snow. Klein didn’t talk about it much, didn’t try to gain credit or leverage or anything. He just got up first and started shoveling.

The best leaders are servants first. They are the ones shoveling the metaphorical snow…stacking chairs, etc. Again and again, as you read about Klein, the thing that stands out is that he cares more about his teammates and his team than himself (even to the detriment of his health).

I believe that one of the primary roles campus ministry plays in the development of leaders, especially future church leaders. Some people can spend their whole lives in leadership positions and never “get” the servant aspect down.

Students who figure this out between the ages of 18 and 24 will become incredible assets to any organization, especially the churches they get involved with.

We need to pray for and work to develop more Collin Kleins.