Going Back to High School - The Spirit of God in Hillsboro High School
I was homeschooled. Throw in that I’m a natural introvert, and that makes crowded high school hallways a thing of which nightmares are made. Thank God the Holy Spirit isn’t limited to places we feel comfortable. He works in places that might even intimidate us. In Joining God, Remaking Church, Changing the World: The New Shape of the Church in Our Time, Alan Roxburgh challenges Christians to remember that God is at work ahead of us. He does not wait till we are ready or limit His work to the church. In fact, He’s already working in our area, and He is inviting us to join Him here in Green Hills.
Over the past two and a half months, I’ve gotten the chance to walk alongside a group of guys at Hillsboro High School. Every Thursday morning from 8:31-9:07 I teach a class for 6-12 guys on teamwork and character. Some of these guys are on the football team. Others have been put in my class by the Dean of Students because they need some positive influences in their lives.
A few weeks ago one student shared that he was not looking forward to Thanksgiving because it was his first without his mom. When I asked about his dad, he told me that he was in prison. He told me he’d been there since the night his mom was shot. That high school junior suffered the loss of two parents this summer.
While this story is extreme, the lack of parental figures is not uncommon. Few of these guys have regular father figures. A few weeks ago, we sat around a table eating breakfast during class and were talking about who we wanted to be in 5-10 years. As we were talking, it became clear, they didn’t want to be like their dads. The words they used to describe who they wanted to be were ones like dependable, loyal, provider, and father. When I asked who had a father in the picture, none of them raised a hand. Some said they only looked up to themselves.
I’m tearing up as I write this because this is where the Spirit of God is. He is at work in the ashes and the dirt. Genesis 2:7 reminds us that we were all made from the dirt, dirt that God breathed into the breath of life, His Spirit, dirt that He formed into something He called very good. Now as we are marred by the stain of sin, we not only notice our mess but we forget that God took the dust of the earth and formed it into something beautiful. As we meet others in the dirt of life, we become tangible examples of God. The Spirit of God does the same life-giving work done in the garden. He takes the dirt and turns it into life. May we not forget this. Our God is in the business of taking dead and broken things and giving them life. Let us see God at work in the ashes and join Him there. He’s moving in Green Hills. I encourage you to join me. If you’re interested in partnering with me to bring food for one of these classes at Hillsboro or another event, please let me know.
Minister of Students
Woodmont Baptist Church