I saw this story a few weeks ago, but it is quite amazing. Brian Banks was a star college recruit and had a promising college career ahead of him when he was accused of rape and then convicted of rape. Because of that, Brian served 5 years in jail and another 5 years on probation, being labeled sex offender.
Then, one day, out of the blue, his accuser got in touch with him. She befriended him on Facebook (go figure) and through a series of meetings confessed to falsely accusing him of rape!!! Can you imagine that? Over a decade being labeled something you were not and no one believing you (although you knew the truth)?
Thankfully, his record is now clear and he can begin to get his life in order. And, he is getting a 2nd chance to pursue his passion. According to Shutdown Corner, he has gotten offers to try out from multiple NFL teams. As of last night, word was that he has accepted an offer by the Seattle Seahawks for a tryout at minicamp. That is great news and I, for one, am hopeful that I will see him playing somewhere on Sundays this fall.
So how does this apply to ministry?
Everyone is looking for second chances. So many people need it as they messed up somewhere down the line. It may not be to the extent of what people accused Brian Banks of, but we all have baggage. Isaiah 53:6 says, "we all like sheep have gone astray". Thankfuly, the great news is that we have all gotten a second chance from the Lord when He died for our sins.
But, on a personal, direct ministry level, there are countless opportunities we have to give students a second chance at life. Being in youth ministry, we have the privilege and honor to show them just how much our Lord and savior has done for us and can continue to guide us through in life. The question is how often are we really giving out those second chances? Are we greeting every new-comer and making them feel accepted and cared for? Are we connecting the fringe student with some of the more "popular" kids in our group? When we are doing contact work, are we seeking our every kid or just the ones that look like us?
Christ was not bias in any way. He looked at all of us as sheep without a shepherd and herded us all in. He gave us all an open invitation to join him in his kingdom. And because he is our perfect model, we should do likewise.
So TAKE A MINUTE right now and...
- Think through all those students you are currently ministering to. Who are the ones that needs that extra attention or a connection that will help them realize their second chance in Christ?
- Think through some of the students you haven't yet been able to minister to yet but are aware of. Think about the partier or the jock or the student student sitting alone at the lunch room table or even that goth girl in the hallway. What can you do now to help reach them and show them what a 2nd chance shot at life is like...this time with Christ at the helm. What is it you can do today to reach that student?
The Kingdom of Heaven is at stake here. Second chances are out there to be given to others. We just have to take that step and reach out to them.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Experiences? Post a comment and let the discussion begin so that we can all benefit from it.
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