By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director
I never know how God is going to show up. This past weekend 100 teenaged students in Joy El’s 4.12 Leadership Program gathered for the winter Leadership Training Summit. Nate Marshall, the director of the program, planned the weekend around Ephesians 5:15-17:
Be very careful, then, how you live– not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is (Ephesians 5:15-17).
On Monday, Jantzen Hose (front-center in the photo), a level three sophomore in the program, posted the following response to her weekend experience in the 4.12 Facebook group:
This weekend was very eye-opening for me in so many ways. In our last session the level 3’s were with the level 5’s. Our session was titled Spiritual Disciplines. We started by talking about the idea of studying. The video started out with a story about how the speaker “accidently” studied a song, and he knew the song, and the order each song played.
After the video was over Nate said the average time that teens look at their phones is 7½ hours. I was shocked by this fact. I continued to think about this single point. After thinking about this for the rest of the day, I returned home to realize how much time I actually spend on my phone.
I decided to delete all of the games on my phone. I was a difficult thing to do, but I knew that I was “studying” games on my phone rather than studying God’s Word. I decided to delete these apps, because they were making it difficult for me to live with heaven in mind. After deleting the games I began to realize exactly how much time I spent on my phone. Then I decided to read my Bible and study what I read. On the bus ride to school, instead of playing the game I used to have, I talked to another 4.12 student, and looked at my memory verse. Throughout the day, when I used to play the games on my phone, I looked at my verse pack and memorized the verses I was working on.
I began to realize that my mood and attitude changed since I began to spend more time in God’s Word. These apps were a distraction to force me not to live with heaven in mind. I challenge all of you to delete any games, or any apps that you are “accidentally” studying. After you delete them begin to use your extra time to study the Word of God.
Now, that is real life-change! Please pray that God will continue to draw all 4.12 Leadership Training students into a deeper relationship with Himself.
Joy El Camps and Retreats