You're lookin' like GOD today!
October 3, 2011
It’s sometimes frustrating to see and feel the disconnect between Sunday worship and the rest of our lives. So a couple weeks ago I decided to give our college ministry one simple and specific practice to take home every Sunday with the goal of fostering community and discipleship throughout the week. Nothing revolutionary. Just simple practices. But practices that when taken seriously might just transform the way we think about our lives and the way we live them. The first challenge was to observe a sabbath rest (a difficult undertaking during midterms!)
Last Sunday I told a story about when I was living in the Episcopal-Lutheran ministry house at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. (Go Vols!) One morning I woke up to discover the phrase “You’re lookin’ like GOD today!” written on my bathroom mirror. Hah! I sure wasn’t feeling like God that day—what a joke! But when I found the culprit she told me that she just wanted everyone in the house to remember that they were created in the image of God every day of their lives! What a great reminder!
I asked the students in our ministry to do the same—to write “You’re lookin’ like God today” on their mirrors. I challenged the brave ones to even write it on their roommates’ mirrors to see what kind of conversation might emerge!
Amazingly, the imago dei spread like wildfire this week, in our ministry and beyond! I heard accounts of students receiving text messages and facebook posts, finding the phrase on their dorm room doors, and inspiring RA’s to post it on their bulletin boards all week long. One dance instructor who teaches teenage girls with low self-esteem received the note from one of our peer ministers and wrote it on her ballet class mirror! All of a sudden, students had an excuse to contact other students in the ministry with whom they had little in common, and random roommates were talking about God.
And it was so simple. It is so simple. Even in the intellectually rigorous and theologically rich vineyard that is campus ministry, we mustn’t take for granted the profoundly simple and simply beautiful fundamentals of our faith—like the notion that we really are made in God’s image and empowered to be God’s presence in the world.
The takeaway here? In a world where we’re constantly reminded of sin, brokenness, and inadequacy, people are eager to hear God say “you are good!”
What practices does your campus ministry or congregation use to help students build community and “be the church” Monday-Saturday? Leave a comment and join the conversation!
Zack Nyein is the lay chaplain for Project Canterbury, an emerging congregation of college students and young adults in Chattanooga, TN.