by Nick Tucker – Associate Pastor – Youth and Service Experiences
On November 20th I made the best decision of my life (besides giving my life to Christ), I proposed to the love of my life. So many secrets, so much planning, and finally the execution of creating this moment that Lauren and I would remember for the rest of our lives. There was coordination with both sides of our family, there was coordination with a photographer, the venue, all of it helped to create this moment. Everything added to the moment where I popped the question but, in that moment, when I got down on one knee, all that mattered to me was Lauren. I love being able to reflect and remember the day of our engagement. I love looking at pictures, but there is no picture that could truly capture how I felt, looking her in the eyes and asking her to be my wife. It is a moment that is engraved in my memory and will always remain special.
There are plenty of moments that we can remember. We can remember specific things that happened in High School. We remember funny stories of our aunts and uncles. We remember the moments of pain and hurt. I think that it is fair to say that moments matter! In one regard, we cannot control some moments, but there are other times where we can create moments that we will remember forever. We can create moments for other people that will be reflected on for years to come.
I get a unique opportunity at Covenant Grove to work alongside people, to create moments. Moments where people can experience the Holy Spirit in all its power. Moments where people can gather in the name of Jesus and see devotion like they have never seen before. Moments where people feel comfortable to ask the questions about where they are in their relationship with Christ.
I remember being in High School and can vividly remember the moment that I first experienced the power of the Holy Spirit. I can vividly remember what people gathering in the name of Jesus looked like in that moment. I remember seeing devotion from people I admired, unlike anything I had seen before. It was a moment created for me. I believe that the Youth Pastor who helped create that moment was used as a vessel to reach me through that moment. It took vision, alignment, execution, and expectation to create a moment where I, as a nonbeliever (at the time), was able to experience something different.
So how do we create moments? Through Vision, Alignment, Execution, and Expectation
In creating moments, having the vision of what kind of moment we want to create is important! Just like my proposal to Lauren, I had a very clear vision of how I wanted everything to work out that evening. I had a very clear end goal in mind for that moment and I stuck to it. The vision for us at Covenant Grove is “To transform religious and irreligious people into Fully Devoted Followers of Christ”. With this clear vision in mind, it helps in creating moments where this is possible. This is Sunday morning in the big tent. This is Youth Group. This is Life Groups. There are so many ways which that moment of transformation can happen, so creating the spaces for that moment is key!
With a clear vision in mind, it is also important to get people around you who will support you and help make that vision happen. In my plans for proposing to Lauren, I had to get people to help and support me. I talked with her parents to make sure they were on board. I talked with my family to get them on board. Everyone who was involved in helping create that moment was aligned on what the vision was. I had a system of support around me which helped to create that moment. We are talking about supply lines of support in our message series at Covenant Grove, and man how important is it to have support around you? Especially in creating moments. Getting support around you makes creating moments that much easier.
This is the fun part about creating moments. With our clear vision, and our support systems aligned, we finally get to execute creating the moment. Nike says it best, “JUST DO IT!” It is in the execution that all our planning pays off. I remember the feeling of my heart beating out of my chest as the moment drew nearer and nearer to getting on one knee before the love of my life. It was an exciting feeling, I was more nervous than I have ever been in my life, but I was so excited. Execution is where we get to harvest the seeds we planted. Execution is where moments are created. We can plan all we want, but if we do not ever execute, we will not create the moment.
Last thing we must do in creating moments is expect the moment to happen. I can think of all the times in Youth Ministry where I created these events. Game nights, worship nights, camps, etc. I expected that in these moments, that Christ would show up. I expected the living God to do what only He could do. It is through prayer that we can pray, expectant, of God to move. Through prayer that we can ask for His will to be done. And when He does what only He can do, incredible moments are created.
I think of Joshua and his encounter with the commander of the LORD’s army in Joshua 5:13-15.
“When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”
“Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the LORD’s army.”
At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”
The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told.”
The thing about creating moments is that we should not just create them just to create them. Create moments that cultivate a response. We can see Joshua’s response here. He falls face down to the ground in response and is ready for more! This moment was created so that Joshua would respond and do something more. He was given vision of the walls of Jericho falling. He had to create alignment within the people to march around the city and do as he was told in the verses which follow in chapter 6. After giving the vision and aligning the people, he executed the vision. They executed expectant that the walls would fall as the Lord had told Joshua. They did all this and created a moment where the walls of Jericho came crashing down, and this moment has been reflected on for years to come.
Just like all that mattered to me while down on one knee was her, have the moment engraved in our memory of when we finally got down on our knees and all that mattered was Christ.