8 Lessons Clayton Jennings Taught Me About Ministry

8 Lessons Clayton Jennings Taught Me About Ministry

"The greatest need our world has today is Jesus!"
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Clayton Jennings is a well known evangelist from Noblesville, Indiana, he travels the world to tell people about Jesus and to share the Gospel. You may have seen his videos floating around Facebook, if you haven't you can find them on YouTube or on his website http://www.claytonjennings.com. Clayton took some time in March to visit my communications class at IUPUI, his alma mater, and I got the chance to sit down and talk to him. I was expecting to learn about communications and how to apply that to the ministry I'm in (shout out Young Life), Clayton taught me that, but more so about God and communicating with Him within ministry. Here is what I learned from Clayton Jennings about ministry:

1. Push The Limits

Pushing the limit means getting out of your comfort zone. For Clayton, pushing the limit was writing a book, he then made a movie and is now touring the world. Pushing the limit could mean getting coffee with someone new and just sitting down to talk. Pushing the limit could mean starting a blog. Pushing the limit can be different for everyone, just do something so that others can hear about our awesome God.

2. Back & Forth

Don't just tell people about Jesus, get in a conversation with them. Clayton said, "you're not engaging them so you can take off and say 'see ya later,' you're engaging them so that they can then engage back." Growth and discipleship happen when there is this back and forth communication. Progress can't be made when one person speaks and the other just listens, it happens when conversation happens. Be open to hearing what others have to say.

3. Give It To Him

When we give it to God in prayer He will start opening doors. "God, I want that back and forth communication, I want this ministry to grow, I don't know what it will look like, but show me." When we give it to God beautiful things happen because He makes it work.

4. If It's On Your Heart, Do It

"When God puts something on your heart, just do it." Why wouldn't you? Those are some of God's greatest moments, at least they have been in my life. When you start listening to God you'll notice these moments more, never let them pass by.

5. Keep It Centered On The Cross

"Your heart is to reach these people, to help these people. You can't tell me that God's not going to honor that when you step out to do it. You can't tell me He's not going to make a way. It's successful already because it's centered on the cross." Here on earth humans judge your success or popularity by the numbers, the number of likes or followers, the number of wins. God judges us on how much we did for His glory. When we put Him at the center in whatever we do, it will be successful.

6. "Show Me, Lead Me"

Never stop asking God to show you more, to lead you further. He hears you and He is waiting for you to ask Him to show you, to lead you. He wants to be at the center, He wants to be a part of your life. Ask Him to guide you and He will, every time.

7. God Doesn't Want My Ministry

Our God is a jealous God of His own glory so of course He will use our ministry to reach those who don't know Him. But, God doesn't need my ministry, He doesn't need your ministry, He doesn't need Clayton's ministry. He can handle it all. He just wants our hearts. He wants me, He wants you, He wants us all to come to Him and love Him as He loves us.

8. It's His

This is His ministry, God is in control at all times, not us. Our God is not going to let something of His fail, so give it to Him, let God do His thing and for that He will use you in amazing ways. "Trust in Him, ask Him and let Him lead you." He is the one opening doors and leading us in every direction. "At the end of the day, none of us who are called to these ministries are in control."

Clayton Jennings not only taught me about communications and ministry, he also taught me what it looks like to be a genuine human and to have a heart for Jesus. Thank you Clayton for pushing the limit and for sharing God with so many people. Keep it up and #telltheworld.


Photo taken by Clayton's wife Jamie


Cover Image Credit: Trevor Potts

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Warriors' Fans May Need To Be Concerned About Stephen Curry

The six-time All-Star point guard's PPG has dipped over the past few games.

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The Golden State Warriors have been the most dominant NBA team over the past five years. They have claimed three NBA championships in the past four seasons and look to pull off a three-peat as they currently hold first place in the Western Conference more than halfway into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been one of the primary reasons for their sustained success and is regarded by many around the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time and one of the best point guards in the league today. However, his points per game (PPG) total has dipped over the last few games. Should this be concerning for Warriors fans?

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However, Curry's consistency and point total have slipped over the past few games. He only put up 14 points and had a generally sloppy three-point shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 2, and only 19 points four days later against the San Antonio Spurs, who were resting two of their best players, Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge due to load management. In addition, he only managed 20 points against a hapless Phoenix Suns team who made an expected cakewalk win for Golden State much harder than it should have been.

Perhaps Curry's numbers have dipped because he is still adjusting to having center Demarcus Cousins in the offense, or maybe I am simply exaggerating because Curry's standards are so high. The Warriors have won fifteen of their last sixteen games and are currently in cruise control heading for the top seed in the Western Conference. Perhaps the Warriors will ask more of Curry if the situation gets direr.

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