Author: Matt Munger
Like most of you I have never been this long without food. Fasting has always been something other people do and talk about but not something I have ever seriously attempted. At times during the week I have thought about being in a survival situation, willing myself to continue because if I were lost in the woods without food I wouldn’t have a choice to be able to eat. Alas, I am not Bear Grylls and lost but am stuck in suburbia with food opportunities staring at me from everywhere.
For whatever reason, I have always been an observant person. It comes naturally to notice details in the world around me. Yet, the longer my fast has gone the more I have begun to realize what a distraction observation can be. I saw the man walking while eating a burrito, I saw that apple in that student’s bag, and I notice the stream of people heading to the microwave to nuke their tasty morsels of leftovers. Can I just close my eyes for the next few days?
But then God slapped me in the face with a realization. Why is it that a simple thing like hunger has sharpened my attention on food yet I fail to notice the myriad of lost people around me and the countless ways God is whispering in my heart?
How can I claim to be an observant person while completely missing the voice of God?
While Jesus was here on earth he was fully God and fully human. Indeed, this is a difficult thing to wrap our brains around. But then I read Philippians 2 which states that while Jesus existed in the form of God, he did not count equality with God something to be grasped. It means that Jesus didn’t cheat. He didn’t do the things he did because he was God. No, he did them because he was so attuned to God.
The truth God hammered me with is this: I need to completely attune my life to God. More to the point, I need to listen to him, I need to hear him and most importantly I need to obey him. My goal is to be listening so closely to God that I need not strain to hear the whispers, but instead his voice becomes the strongest and loudest voice in my life.
Walking around campus you can almost feel the tension in the air. Everywhere you look you see students, either in groups or sitting alone, surrounded by books, notes, calculators and worried looks. Yes, it is that time again: Finals Week! (Queue scary music)
However, the end is in sight with that wonderful release known as spring break. Too often though it seems that during this particular break we tend to shy away from God the most. I find it interesting that after a week where we likely relied upon God the most, as in praying to pass your finals, we then spend it doing whatever our heart desires. Oh how the pendulum swings!
My encouragement over this spring break is to remember God. Remember the things He has done for you. Remember the blessings God has sent your way. Spend a few moments each day of the break thanking God for His provision and comfort. Perhaps, this spring break can be a week of spiritual growth instead of a spiritual plateau.
Get Involved this Spring Break
We have several ways you can help us engage our city this Spring Break. We will have a team of college students from California joining us over the break and helping us in various ways to reach our community with the love of Christ. This is a great opportunity for you to make an impact and help us reach Corvallis with the Gospel. Why not join us? If you would like to get involved, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past weekend Stephen and I took our six student interns for our first ever student intern retreat. It was a time to get away, relax and spend time getting to know one another better. Our student interns will be an integral component in reaching the OSU campus for Christ and growing The Branch, therefore spending time in fellowship is key to creating a cohesive team. My prayer for them is that through things like this weekend they would develop as a group and create a sense of urgency to share the Gospel to the students they spend their time with on a daily basis.
Can I get a show of hands of people who are chomping at the bit in order to hand out flyers to random strangers? What’s that I see, oh wait, I don’t see anything!
Admittedly passing out flyers isn’t the greatest gig in the world. I recently heard someone say they would rather go to the dentist than spend a few hours passing out flyers. If they hate the dentist as much as I do than that is saying something!
All the same, after having passed out thousands upon thousands of flyers, I have made some interesting observations. Here are a few tips that can make even the most novice and squeamish person into a seasoned veteran. Drum roll please!
Things You Should Do
1. Be friendly!
Nobody will take something from you if you look angry, bored, or simply don’t want to be there. A smiling face goes a long way toward making that first impression.
2. Creativity is the key
You have mere seconds in which you must convince someone you have something they would want. The phrase you use to capture their attention is the ticket to your success. By adding in an element of mystery, intrigue, or perhaps even a twist into your opening statement will hopefully be enough to spark their imagination so they want what you are offering.
3. Add an element of missing out
A phrase such as, “Do you have one of these yet?” works wonders. Most likely people do not have one yet and this particular phrase makes them suddenly realize everyone else probably does. Nobody wants to be the only one on the outside so they take one.
4. Find Commonality
It is amazing how quickly you can find common interests with people simply based upon the things they wear or have on their person. A sports team, band or other logo can be quickly and easily mentioned. More often than not the person will pause long enough for you to ask them if they would like a flyer and they have a much harder time saying no after you have established a connection to them.
5. Make snap judgments
Ok I said it. We all grow up being told not to judge, but in this particular instance you must. You can tell just by looking at some people whether or not they want a flyer. If they are doing their best to walk away, look away or simply flat out ignore you, than it is probably best if you don’t even bother.
Things Not To Do
1. Be offended
You cannot take it as a personal attack when someone, or a group of someone’s, refuses to take a flyer. No matter what you do, there will always be people who are unwilling to take anything.
2. Keep offering after a string of No’s
If you have a line of people heading your way and the first person says no, the other people behind that person suddenly get brave. They notice it is possible to say no to the flyer and they too can do the same. If this happens and people right after each other are saying no, just casually walk away and try again after those people have left.
3. Try if they are over 60
I have passed out thousands upon thousands of flyers. My success rate with people in this age bracket is somewhere around 1%. Perhaps they are wiser, perhaps they are professors; whatever the case may be they are a tough group to crack into.
4. Stress Out
It may seem out of your comfort zone to be so up front with complete strangers. However, remembering they are strangers and won’t remember you 5 minutes later can give you the boldness you are searching for.
5. Forget sunscreen and comfy shoes!
The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Whether you end up passing out one or one thousand all that matters at the end of the day is that you were a willing participant in letting God use you. You may never know the impact you can have on the life of just one individual.