Graduation- July 13, 2008
Posted by gkaiser on July 14, 2008
The classes have ended, mission trips concluded, Cornerstone Festival over and grounds cleaned up. We were back to Chicago’s inner city and P12’s JPUSA base for a final gathering.
Last night Project 12 celebrated it’s third graduation- very special time- and we’ll post pics soon as we can have a thorough look at them and pick a good representation of the event.
Many friends and family, some even flying in from overseas to attend seemed quite encouraged by the apparent work God has been doing in those they love.
I was blessed by the evening in a deeper way than I’d imagined for a number of reasons.
One I’ll mention here is that our support staff (those who had finished Project 12 terms and decided to stay on at JPUSA in various areas also serving the current P12 staff and students) were also just super gifts to all of us. We have been, in a word, blessed!
A P12 tradition is giving a small gift and accompanying verse of Scripture that relates to each graduating student’s individual attributes. Brian and Ami Moss lead that part of the evening and they’re both excellent encouragers. What was unexpected is that the grads also presented each staff person with a gift, and an encouraging word of thanks
as well. Further, they filmed together two short but very cool and truly funny videos relating to the P12 year that were both a riot to watch.
By the way, the gift they gave me was a fire starter… I can’t imagine why (Ha!).
My short message to them follows here, verbatim.
It was another amazing year of bonding, spiritual growth and struggle- exactly what Jesus continues to do for all who follow Him. I think I can safely say for all staff and students, it was an unforgettable year of growth and learning.
Thanks to all who read this and your prayers as we pray, talk, go over all the good input the students gave us, and prepare for the upcoming P12 year which will begin September 20th here in Chicago.
By the way- our sincere apologies for not getting the 2008-2009 schedule posted here yet- it will be up in the next few days… all of us were out at Cornerstone Farm and the festival took a lot of effort pre-during-post!
GLENN’S PROJECT 12 2008 GRADUATION MESSAGE
On behalf of the staff- it has been our pleasure to attempt to serve, teach and interact with all Project 12 grads this year. You know you are only the third graduating class. Knowing all of us on staff as well as disciples in P12, it’s quite an accomplishment that we made it through! I want to thank each of you and each of the staff for an amazing year! Congratulations to us all!
You already know this- but no genuine follower of Jesus Christ ever really “graduates” from HIS school of discipleship. And so I say to you all- finish what you started.
In his letter to the Colossian church Paul wrote: (4.17) “Tell Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you fulfill it.”
You decided to hang in, to stay put, to study, to learn, to try to get some spiritual growth in the Word of God, in right relationships. For many of you staying put for this long in one place, really listening and growing in the Lord has been a rare and unusual thing. Well done!
No matter where He calls or sends you, JPUSA, elsewhere in the U.S., Europe, a third-world country, no matter what stream of the church you end up in, no matter the spiritual gifts you have- understand that you’ve only just begun. Stay on the path!
Run the race, do the work of ministry, let love make you serve one another.
I’ve told you and have said publicly that we in Project 12 have worked to “ruin you for the world”. By now I think you know I mean the only job description all Christ-followers have is “servant”. It’s not about personal fulfilment.
No matter where you go or how you serve the relationship you have with Jesus is more important than your hopes, dreams or personal goals. It is more essential than your acceptance from or popularity with others.
When Christians have been faithful to God, one another and to the lost during the most difficult times in church and human history, it was due to a burning, growing love for Him, obedience to His Word, The Bible, to the Holy Spirit- right where they were, regardless of personal sacrifice.
Living a status-quo Christianity is not only shallow, it’s false because being a disciple means you both listen AND learn. Love is an action, not just a concept.
Keep your hand on the plow He calls you to and don’t look back.
With love, in part as warning and in part as an encouragement- I beg you to finish what you started. Jesus did and will.
Thank you for your service to Him and JPUSA, and for the pleasure of seeing you each grow in the grace and knowledge of Him this year. God BLESS and guide each of you in living your lives for Jesus Christ! Amen.