On Thursday, April 12, 2018, during both Southside Christian School chapels, Pastor Colin Urbanick preached a rousing message of challenge to the middle school and high school students — that they would not sit idly by and would answer Jesus’ command to be missionaries in their spheres of influence. If you would like to read my summary of Pastor Colin’s message, “Ask, Build, Connect, Show, and Share!” please read on. . . .
“Ask, Build, Connect, Show, and Share!”
By Pastor Colin Urbanick
Southside Christian School
Middle School and High School Chapel
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Summary of and Editorializing by Dr. Bob Stouffer, Upper School Principal (All mistakes are my own alone.)
Pastor Colin welcomed the students to Middle School and High School chapel.
Pastor Colin said he wanted to shake things up a bit in the middle school chapel. He asked the students to turn to someone nearby to listen, take at least one prayer request, and then pray for 3 minutes.
Pastor Colin indicated middle school students may be wondering if they can do anything to help build God’s Kingdom, and he encouraged the students with the truth that prayer is one of their best avenues, in this regard.
Again, Pastor Colin prompted the discussion and prayer, indicating he would close the 3 minutes with his verbal prayer over the entire audience.
The students engaged in conversation and then prayer.
Pastor Colin indicated to the high school audience that, while many students are on the Fine Arts Tour next week, the rest of the student body would be serving others around them on Service Day (Friday, April 20, 2018). The students would meet at school initially. They would be signing up on RenWeb. He asked students to keep their eyes open for placements on the balcony bulletin board. If the students had questions, they should go to Pastor Colin.
Pastor Colin indicated we all have the privilege to participate in Christian school with the family of God. Christian school communities can worship with other people, never taking that for granted.
Pastor Colin prayed to close this opening to chapel. He prayed that we are not to be bystanders in the spiritual growth of others around us, partnering with God. He prayed the students would resist any thought that God can’t use students in this way.
Dr. Sam Barfell, Superintendent, introduces a special high school chapel guest, Diane Kleckner. Dr. Barfell, Mrs. Kleckner, Athletic Director Mike Johnson, and Track and Field Coach DeAnn Walpole stood on the stage as a group. Dr. Barfell invited the entire staff to stand in front of the stage. Dr. Barfell indicated that the school track had been dedicated in the memory of Coach Kleckner during the first annual Frank Kleckner Memorial Track Meet in February, and the school wanted to broaden the audience of the people knowing about that honor by repeating a ceremony this day during chapel. [Frank Kleckner died tragically in an automobile wreck in May, 2017.] Dr. Barfell spoke very positively of the influence which Coach Kleckner had on him personally, on his colleagues, on his track and field student-athletes, and on the entire school community. Dr. Barfell read the inscription on the stadium plaque of dedication, and he read Scripture which characterized Coach Kleckner’s life. Dr. Barfell also read about Coach Kleckner’s conversion experience at a Billy Graham Crusade in San Jose, California (a notation from his original SCS application form). Mrs. Kleckner addressed the audience, indicating to the students and staff that he loved all of them as much as the students and staff members loved him. Long, sustained applause came from the student audience.
During Middle School Chapel, Mary Elizabeth Baumgarten (on keyboard and vocals) and Upper School Vocal Music Instructor/Director Fred Barrett (on guitar and vocals) led the student body in a time of worship in song. Mr. Barrett prayed as a bridge from worship through song to worship through the Word.
During High School Chapel, Mary Elizabeth (again on keyboard and vocals), Coby Greene (on percussion), and High School French Teacher Brett Henderson led the student body in a time of worship and song. Mr. Henderson prayed as a bridge from worship through song to worship through the Word.
Pastor Colin Urbanick
I want to introduce two friends of mine, Lucio and Rosita.
[A photograph of Lucio and Rosita on the screen.]
There is nothing particularly unique or amazing about these people, but they live in a place called Juarez, Mexico, which was once one of the most dangerous places in the world, because of the battles between drug cartels. But these people believed God could work in a special way through them to impact people in Mexico, America, and all over the world. Two very normal people decided God wanted to use them for amazing things. Right now, they are missionaries in Juarez, but they move back and forth between Mexico and the United States.
I wish I could introduce you to Mike Stringfellow. He was in his 70s when I met him. He was a tool and die worker before he retired. He had an amazing impact on middle school students day-in and day-out. He wanted to participate in God’s work.
Many of you remember Jack Voigt, our student body chaplain last year, a normal guy whom God used. He’s now influencing others as a freshman in college. God uses him.
Remember the amazing guy, Frank KIeckner. He was an awesome individual. He knew God wanted to use him. I saw tears all over the room when Dr. Barfell talked about Coach Kleckner today [during high school chapel]. He believed he was a missionary sent to do something amazing. He had impact on countless lives. So many of the people he influenced are not in this room over the years he coached and taught at Southside Christian.
All of those people were unified by the belief that God wanted to use them. We want to, as human beings, be a part of a larger story in life. That’s why we go to epic movies. Young people all over the world want to be a part of relief efforts. That’s the story of humanity.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” These people said yes to what God wa doing in their lives.
People also join the church to be a part of something bigger themselves. We re-tweet. We re-post videos. We want to be a part of something bigger. God ingrained that desire within everyone in this room.
God has always intended to use His people. Even in the beginning in the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve a plan, purpose, and jobs. God is using His people all over the place. This happened in the Old Testament and the New Testament. He wanted to use Israel as His chosen people. He intended for His people to be a blessing to others around them. The Benevolence Project, for instance, is intended for God to work in and through us to serve others.
Unfortunately, we too often create checklists for God. But He wants to re-create us.
How many have you been baptized?
[Numerous hands went up.]
We are normally baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I wondered what that meant when I was a kid. Was it religious jargon? The water brings us into a new identification with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior — firmly rooted in the Father, Son, and Spirit. Remember, we’ve been unpacking the change of identity when we become Christians.
We are baptized in the name of the Father. That makes us family. So everyone around you are brothers and sisters. But we too often act as orphans and actually mistreat others around us.
We are also baptized in the name of the Son. We are servants to the least of these, such as Jesus did.
Finally, we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. We know a lot about God the Father and God the Son, but we get caught up in question marks when talking about the Holy Spirit. How is the Holy Spirit working in your life today? The Holy Spirit prompts us to be missionaries.
Please go to John 20:21.
Jesus had been resurrected. He stood among the disciples. He showed them the piercings of his hands.
And then He said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21)
He breathed on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
They didn’t hunker down and ride out the storm. Jesus was sent by the Father to demonstrate who God is, and He then sent the disciples to do what He had done — like Lucio, Rosita, Mike, and Frank. We are sent people. We must not be idle people. He chooses to use us.
When we’ve been baptized by the Father, we are family.
When we’ve been baptized by the Son, we are servants.
When we’ve been baptized by the Spirit, we are missionaries.
Let’s have a quick family talk here.
Maybe you’ve bought into the lie that you’re just a bystander in God’s Kingdom work. We judge each other’s friend groups. I hear this from middle school and high school students. Maybe we think we should be “judges,” rather than missionaries. But missionaries are loving people, expressing the love they have experienced from the Father. Enough with the judging.
Let’s be missionaries. If you identify as a Christian, you are a part of the family of God. It is not enough to sit idly by. He is intending to use you. He doesn’t have to use us. But He wants to use us as a part of his bigger story.
Maybe you’re waiting for a later time or until you have a new friend group or when you will be more “perfect.” That latter reason was something I struggled with. I believed that for years and years and years. God uses imperfect people and crooked sticks all of the time. We cannot sit idly by. God wants to use us to further His Kingdom. If you don’t believe that, open up the Bible and see how God used imperfect people.
I want to make another point. You are not here by accident. The fact that you’re in this school is not an accident. The fact that you sit next to a certain person in class or chapel is not an accident. We too often think everything is happenstance. The reality is that God is placing you in the lives of others around you. Frank Kleckner was not here by accident; he said yes to God, and he was used by God during his life. IHP students, you are not here by accident.
You are a missionary. You don’t have to go to a deep, dark jungle of Africa to be a missionary. A missionary believes God is sending you no matter who you are or how imperfect you are.
Jesus used imperfect people. Peter, a bumbling fool at times, was a messed-up person whom God used, even though he had denied the Lord.
God is in control. He is placing people in your spheres of influence. Maybe you think you’re a bystander, but that could not be further from the truth.
Maybe you’re not a Christian. Maybe you’ve never thought about this. Dr. Barfell told me that some of you committed or re-committed to the Lord during the chapel just before Easter. If that’s so, you are now a missionary.
Maybe you don’t want to be a part of this. The reality is we need God, and He chooses to use us for his Kingdom work and His glory. God is inviting you into relationship with Him.
During the Middle School Spiritual Life Conference, Jonny Mac [the speaker] asked an important question about how you can make God great through you. Maybe our passion has trickled-away.
I have four words of application for you:
Ask God how He can send and use you in the day and many moments of the day. Just one person can make a difference. Address the problems in our school. You can change any apathy or legalism. Ask God to change negative situations. Ask, “God, where are You sending me?” God is faithful to show you. Want to be His missionary and to change negative situations.
Build relationships around you. You will need to be more vulnerable and spend time with others, not talking about and playing Fortnight as much. You can’t fill needs without knowing the needs.
You cannot do this alone. Hopefully, you’re in a church and youth group. You have teachers here. We try alone. We fail. We give up. Put yourself around others. Don’t operate in silos. The bond you build with people in missionary trips causes you to believe you can change the world. God wants you to do that here, in this place. Your family is your “mission trip group.”
SHOW and SHARE.
Show and share what God has done in and through you. God intends to use you.
Where are you being sent? You are missionaries. You are not bystanders.
We love you. Have a great rest of your day.