As I walk through the building, I am overcome by two powerful sensory experiences. The first is smell. I can smell cooking beef everywhere in the office. It doesn’t usually smell like that, but right now, I am driven nearly mad with the thought of getting to a Five Guys, fast.
Our summer residents are doing food prep for our trip to a music festival. That means browning somewhere around 30 pounds of burger for Sloppy Joes. It has been fairly hard to concentrate on my task at hand; which is to pray for that trip.
As I move into the game room, I am struck by a second, and completely overwhelming sight. It is that same staff on their knees praying through our student list. I am humbled, proud and exhilarated at the same time. It is the experience that I feel has most closely replicated attendance at one of the Temple’s high festivals. Fire smoke wafting the scent of roasted meat while the voices of thousands pour their hearts out to a living God. That is when I realized that the cross has made this moment, exactly the same as that moment. Holy.
So many times we in youth ministry put more emphasis on the offering than we do the submission. The place may smell sacred, but it does not sound it.
I have been fascinated by Andy Stanley’s focus on reclaiming the irresistible nature of the first century church. As I wander through the unavoidable scent of roasted hamburger, I wonder if “irresistible,” has more to do with our knees than our altars.