This week I taught at Nav Night for the FSU Navigators for the third time in the Fall 2010 semester. It was the final Nav Night before Christmas break, and campus director Luke Skeen thought it would be appropriate for me to speak on how to continue to pursue a relationship with God over the holiday. I admit it’s nice to teach something you know your listeners will be able to use immediately. I’d not ever taught this topic in a setting like this before but I’ve been around collegiate ministry long enough to have heard similar messages given numerous times, so I had plenty of ideas.
A Simple Message
I have to be honest; I spent less time preparing for this Nav Night message than on any other I’ve ever given. Not because it wasn’t worth my time, or because what I was teaching was somehow inferior. I was able to spend such a small amount of time on preparation because what I taught was a simple message. I really only made three points: (1) God’s love for you isn’t connected to your performance [Ephesians 2:1-10], (2) the attitude of your heart toward this break should be neither anxious nor arrogant [1 Peter 5:6-11], and (3) be willing to enter into the trials you’ll likely have to face [James 1:2-5]. Three points, three passages, followed by a quick list of practical ideas on how the students could pursue God over the break (which were largely provided to me by Luke). Very straightforward.
I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of Donald Miller’s Your Story Series. First I used it to help me create my workshop at the Nav men’s retreat earlier this fall. For this talk I borrowed his passionate explanation of why God allows trials to exist in your life. That, in fact, He allows them there because He loves us. His words have stuck with me and ministered to me since I heard them for the first time, and I wanted to give them to these students. (While you have to pay for the full six-part series, you can download part five for free if you take this survey. Miller gives the explanation I used in part five.)
If you were at Nav Night when I gave this message (or if you listen to my talk online) and would like to give feedback or ask questions you can do so in the comment section below.