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!"

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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The Patriots Should Fear The Jaguars

Now is not the time for hubris and premature celebration.

After the Jaguars’ narrow victory over Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in last Sunday’s shootout, the shift of focus in Jacksonville has quickly turned to the Patriots. While New England is still the odds-on favorite to repeat as Super Bowl champions, the road to a sixth Super Bowl championship might not be as simple as it looks.

Although Tom Brady and the Patriots embarrassed the Tennessee Titans last Saturday night, the Jaguars are a much different beast. Throughout the course of the season, Jacksonville’s defense has been widely regarded as one of, if not, the best defense in the entire league, as Cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey have proved to make up the most threatening secondary in the NFL. Together, the two deadly defensive backs combined for 10 interceptions, the most among all Cornerback duos in the entire NFL. With the Patriots expected to rely heavily on the passing game, which ranked 2nd in the NFL in 2017, Bouye and Ramsey are sure to give Tom Brady his biggest challenge of the season.

In addition to Jacksonville’s impeccable secondary, the remainder of the Jaguars’ defense will challenge Brady and the rest of the New England offense on Sunday. The Jacksonville pass rush has proved to be the most menacing force in recent memory, as the Jaguars have racked up the most sacks in the NFL with 55 during the regular season and four more that they have managed to tack on during the Postseason. With big bodies like Malik Jackson and Marcell Dareus coming off the line, Tom Brady has much more to worry about than the heavy coverage he will face down the field. In 2017, the Patriots offensive line was very average, as Tom Brady was sacked on 35 occasions and hit another 84 times. On Sunday, the Patriots will be facing the single best defense in football and it would not be surprising to see Tom Brady spend plenty of time on the ground.

While the Jacksonville defense is certainly noteworthy, their young and dangerous offense has looked impressive throughout the course of the season. Led by a dual threat of QB Blake Bortles and rookie RB Leonard Fournette, the Jaguars offense has looked occasionally inconsistent, but consistently solid. Although the Jaguars scored 45 points last week, Blake Bortles played an incredibly average game as he completed 14 of 26 passes for 214 yards and only 1 TD. In a game where the Jaguars scored the most points they had all season, Bortles looked like a lackluster run-of-the-mill QB while the running game picked up the slack. Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon combined for 129 yards on the ground, as well as 4 TDs between the two of them, 3 of which came from Fournette, his highest single-game TD total all season. Together, the impressive RB tandem added 67 yards on 5 receptions, with Yeldon accounting for 57 yards on his own.

While the Patriots have focused their efforts into creating a “pass first” offense, the Jaguars have relied heavily on the production they’ve received from the Running back position, as they ranked 1st overall in rushing yards per game with 141.4. Needless to say, two very different teams will meet in Foxborough on Sunday as a team full of young startups will do everything in their power to shock the world and beat a team composed of experienced veterans. The Patriots are sitting as 10-point favorites with a 81% chance to win, but Jacksonville’s stout defense and explosive offense could prove to be the greatest challenge the Patriots have faced all season.

And although Tom Brady has already certified himself as the greatest Quarterback of our time, a loss on Sunday to Tom Coughlin’s Jaguars would cement the 2017-2018 Patriots’ season as the 2nd biggest disappointment in the history of modern sports. The only bigger disappointment came 10 years ago when the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII to Tom Coughlin’s Giants.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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5 Reasons To Get Hyped For The 2018 Winter Olympics

Figure skating is the BOMB.

I am a huge fan of the Olympics, both winter and summer. I'm not much of an athlete, but I love watching the myriad of sports with such talented athletes competing. It gives me hope that one day I'll be good at a sport of some kind that's not the sport of academia. Anyway, the Olympics is amazing and can be appreciated by people of all ages across all regions of the world.

Here's why you should take a break from your busy life and watch the 2018 Winter Olympics:

1. Pyeongchang is beautiful.

Pyeongchang, South Korea is a winter wonderland. The Winter Olympic resort built specifically for the 2018 winter Olympics is every skier’s fantasy, with the winding black diamond-level slopes carved into the side of a mountain. It is simply architecturally and aesthetically beautiful.

2. It gives you a chance to see sports that you don’t normally see on TV.

Normally we watch football, soccer, and basketball on TV. But once every four years, you get to see the weirdest winter sports broadcasted live. Skeleton, Curling, and Biathlon (a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting) are a few of the sports you can watch instead of the typical Americana sports.

3. Figure skating is the BOMB.

I’ve been watching the figure skating national championships and Olympic trials for days on end. The beauty of figure skating and ice dancing is incomprehensible to someone like me who can’t even stand on ice skates. The figure skaters glide across the ice with grace, artistry, and technical prowess. Everyone must watch figure skating!!

4. It gives us a sense of national pride.

For the past year, our country has been quite divided. The wonderful thing about the Olympics is that it brings the country together for a common cause. We all can support the American athletes, with politics and negativity on the back burner. During the weeks of the Olympics, we have more pride in our country and are supportive of all people in our nation.

5. The Olympics brings the world together.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. The world is brought together PHYSICALLY during the Olympics because they're all in one location. Everyone is not singing “Kumbaya” by the campfire because we all suddenly agree with each other.

However, even though it may be for a brief time, the world is in a peaceful state during the Olympics. All the countries of the world come together in one place (except for North Korea for obvious reasons and Russia because they are banned due to doping). For a few days, the world is cheering for its favorite athletes.

The world, for a short time, is not fighting. We are only fighting for a spot on a podium, not fighting with guns and bombs. This small glimpse of peace comes every four years. Don’t miss it on February 8th.

Cover Image Credit: @teamusa

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