The Great Giver

Written by: Rylie Wistuba

“Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matt. 7:7-8

Every year, I chose a “word of the year” to set my sights on: looking to grow from it. The word I chose for 2018 is “intentional”.

My husband Branden and I volunteer as Youth Leaders at our church, and I also volunteer as a Youth Worship Leader and Worship Leader for Sunday mornings. At the end of 2017, I was struggling with this feeling that I was obligated to do a lot of the things I volunteer for. I decided to self-check to try and figure out my original purpose for volunteering in ministries. I decided 2018 is going to be the year I will try to do everything to the best of my ability, without losing sight of the purpose of these groups.

For the last few months of 2017, I really put Youth Worship on the back burner. I was picking songs I knew were easy to play & ones that we didn’t have to practice much, without much thought & prayer. This year, I began praying over my set lists more, gradually choosing the songs that God was pointing out to me. I started to get excited about Youth & Worship Ministry again. And then, I noticed the Youth Worship team started to grow too.

A couple weeks into January at youth, we were in the middle of our Worship set when one of the other vocalists started to sing a spontaneous song. One by one, each member of the band started to play and sing together, and it turned into a night where the Presence of God really moved.

After that, I’ve definitely seen the leaders & youth come to youth group expectant for God to move again: and He does! Every week, we have been having very intimate moments with Him. Some of the youth have even taken the microphone and spoken words of encouragement over the group!

Through this season I’m in, I’ve started to discover some things I’ve never considered before. I think we can fall into living un-intentionally through 3 ways:
1) Through Timidness: Questions like “What if I put myself out there & God doesn’t move?” hold us back from seizing opportunities to become closer to Him.
2) Through Pride: If we aren’t willing to humble ourselves & be led, we will have a tension-filled relationship that will muddle our purpose.
3) Through complacency: We’re ok with where we’re at, so we’re stuck in a “relationship status” that never progresses into something more intimate.

Branden, our friends, and I were in Oakville this past weekend for a Young Adults conference, and the pastor was speaking about “fanning the flame”, growing in our Spiritual Gifts. He said he’d go camping when he was younger, and would start a fire, but by morning it would be out. When he got up out of the comfort of his sleeping bag to tend to the fire in the middle of the nigh, it lasted & was strong when he awoke. Through the story, he said it’s harder to restart a fire than to tend to a fire already started.
If we don’t check ourselves regularly, coming out of our complacency, pride, or timidness, the fire will die down, and it will be much harder to start a new spark. I encourage you to keep yourself accountable & expectant. He has promised His Spirit to you, and he’s a great Giver!