Hopkinsville—After a long day working on houses, students and adults gathered for a time of worship, as Joe Ball, pastor at Russellville’s First Baptist Church, led the Kentucky Changers in Hopkinsville, driving home this summer’s theme: “Connected to the Source.”
International Mission Board missionaries, Jacob and Cara Stevens, spoke to the students on “what it means to have a call from God,” before speaking to individual youth groups during devotional time later that evening.
“I think a lot of us think of a call from God as something that has to be supernatural—I need it to be in the middle of the night, or I need it to be an experience like Paul had on the Damascus Road,” Stevens said. “That’s not how I experienced my call to the mission field, and I kind of doubt it will be that way for you all.”
Stevens gave his testimony and encouraged them to look for ways that God is calling them to serve him. He presented many opportunities for students to serve in missions through the IMB.
Following a time of acoustic worship Monday night, Ball spoke on John 15 and Jesus’ words about the Vine and the branches. He challenged the students to stay connected to the source.
“The vine exists to give glory to the gardener,” Ball said, explaining that Christ is the Vine, Christians are the branches, and God the Father is the gardener.
He pointed out that practical ways to stay “plugged in” are through practicing the spiritual disciplines. He identified two of these as prayer and fasting, mentioning that fasting can involve more than simply food, like social media or phones.
“The more we are connected to Jesus, the more we have to crucify the desires and the passions of the flesh,” Ball said.
He challenged teens, “What is it in your life that you know is blocking your connection? What is it that is more important than your relationship with Jesus that you are allowing to stand between you and Jesus? What are the spiritual disciplines you need to work on? What is disrupting your connection keeping you from glorifying God?”