When I first went to university and joined Power to Change – Students (P2C) three years ago, I quickly immersed myself in all that it had to offer. I recently found my planner from first year, and in the “to-do” section, I wrote in big block letters, “get involved with P2C! Top priority!!”
I quickly did this, and by the end of first semester, I felt like I was thriving. Through my bible study, one-on-one discipleship, prayer meetings, outreach events, and sharing my faith on campus, I grew so much. I felt I was on a path that just kept getting better and better, as I became more and more in love with Jesus. As I went into my second year, I was excited to see how God would continue to use P2C to bring me closer to him, but I never thought P2C would take the place of God.
As I continued on to my second and third year of University, I continued to immerse myself in P2C. While I would plan to spend one-on-one time with God each day, this time was usually replaced by going out for coffee with younger students involved in P2C, praying for P2C to make an impact on campus, brainstorming P2C events, and reading articles on the P2C blog.
There have been times when I felt like I needed to stay home during an evening to rest, but I usually wouldn’t, because P2C came first. I thought these things were what I should prioritize, but they quickly became a problem. The thing is, I genuinely enjoyed these things (especially going for coffee with P2C pals!), but the problem is that I was using “Jesus activities” to replace my time with him. This was actually crippling my faith.
The work of God had replaced my love for God.
I got to the point where I felt so exhausted. So one morning I decided to take a sabbath. I decided that I wouldn’t leave my house and wouldn’t do any schoolwork, and I would spend the afternoon with God. It started well, but soon enough, I found myself making a graphic for a P2C event. An hour into playing around with different ideas (during the time that I had planned to spend in Bible-reading, prayer, and worship), I remembered what my pastor from home often says: “idolatry is when you make a good thing an ultimate thing.” I realized that P2C had gone from a good thing to an ultimate thing–and it had taken priority over God.
As I reflect on this, I now realize that I’ve had the mindset that ministry is more important than God. I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking I need to spend a certain amount of time each week on ministry (whether that be serving with P2C or other “Jesus activities” or engaging in “Christian conversations”) in order to be fulfilled.
Don’t get me wrong, “Jesus activities” are important. Community is important. Corporate prayer and worship are important. Evangelism is important. P2C is a good thing. A great thing, even. But it isn’t the ultimate thing.
With three years of university finished, I’m now getting ready to enter my fourth year. As I continue to be involved in P2C leadership, I’m praying that I remember the following:
- Studying the Bible to find the perfect verse for your talk at a P2C event is not the same as meditating on Scripture.
- Asking your discipler for advice on how to deal with your challenges is not the same as crying out to God.
- Sharing the gospel with strangers on campus is not the same as believing the gospel for yourself.
- We are called to serve, but we are also called to rest.
- Talking about God is not the same as talking to God.
- P2C is good, but P2C is not God.
Join me in praying that you and I both remember these things as God uses P2C to bring people closer to him. P2C is good, but God is great. Let’s remember that.