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Exploration 2009

I just returned from a whirlwind weekend in Dallas at Exploration 2009. 500 high school seniors and college students from around the country spent the weekend deciding if God was calling them into ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church.

The highlight of the entire weekend was during Saturday night worship. I was helping collect offering and Mark Miller's band went from Sanctuary into a mash up of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing!" Everyone jumped to their feet, dancing and singing along.

I was honored to have Yesnia, Taylor, Caitlin, Felicia and Caitlin in my small group. They are five college students who are seeking after Christ in passionate ways. They will each make amazing missionaries in the world. I would love to attend a church that they led. All five of them could easily be very effective deacons or elders in the United Methodist Church.

We spent four different sessions sharing, listening, praying and laughing about what it means to hear God's call and arrange our life so we can answer. It's a crazy and frustrating process at times. But once we identify a place God has gifted us to serve, it makes all the difference in the world. I can hardly describe the joy I have in serving the ways I do.

We opened our time together by creating skits that illustrated how we ignore God's call. On Sunday morning, we wrote out our plan for our life before Exploration (our career, spouse, where we wanted to live, kids, etc.). Then I asked them to rip the paper into pieces.

It doesn't mean God's not calling to us to the things we desire. We may definitely circle back to those dreams. But is it possible we're missing a whole new dream because we're so focused on our own plan?

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