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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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

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Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

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Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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