Rodeo Cowboy I am not! Wednesday night I stopped by our Student Ministries Block Party. It was an indoor extravaganza. Over 240 students descended on SRC for friends, food, and more fun than is humanly possible in two hours. It was a fantastic way to kick off the new school year. The festivities included The Adrenaline Rush bounce house, Guitar Hero jam sessions, games galore, and a mechanical bull. Yes, I did ride the bull. Let me tell you about it.
I mounted Bodacious Jr (That's what I'm calling him. You will have to click the link to get the back story). I grabbed the bell and held on tight. Bodacious was gentle with me for about 5 seconds. Then he tossed me like a rodeo clown.
"Bucked off" (read that carefully) in rodeo parlance means the bull sent you flying before the eight seconds of ride time necessary to earn a score. Tally it: Bodacious Jr "1" - Rodeo Wannabe "0."
I stepped out of the arena, dusted off my pride (there was a lot of dust) and went back to being a pastor! In the meantime I've been thinking about bull riding.
The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) have a special honor they award annually. The PBR Ring of Honor Award "is reserved for select bull riders whose contributions to the sport of bull riding last beyond their success in the competitive arena." The words courage, dedication, strength, support, role model, and legend are used to describe these unique individuals.
To me, those words describe the men and women who work with our students. It is your courage, your dedication, your strength, your support, and your modeling that God uses to make an impact on our young people. It is an impact that lasts beyond your days in this arena.
Your efforts do not go unnoticed before God. In Romans 16, the Apostle Paul recognizes some of the people in his Ring of Honor. These men and women were "in the arena," giving God their all. And God saw fit to remind of us of just how important their contributions were:
Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. (Romans 16:6-12 ESV)
Student leaders -- especially you at Spanish River Church -- you are the true Rodeo Champions. Just like Paul's friends in Romans 16, your faithful service is so important! God bless you for stepping into the arena. You all belong in the Student Ministry Ring of Honor! And that is NO BULL!
TAKE THIS FARTHER:Pray for our student leaders today. And if you have a student leader "legend" in your life, let them know it. Say thanks!