Chapel: Cultivate restorative work in life
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
After Pastor Tim Griffin, dean of students at Grand Canyon University, put together the list of speakers for Chapel in this school year, he sent a group email to try to ensure that there would be no overlap in talks along the “Making a Difference” theme. Each speaker was asked to share what his subject would be and check that it didn’t conflict with others.
It has made a difference. In messages that haven’t been mixed, Chad Moore packed a punch with his one-liners, Jeremy Jernigan used an orange tree to provide food for thought, Tyler Johnson focused on love and Dustin Tappan’s theme was commitment.
Monday, ex-attorney Brian Kruckenberg laid down the law to students.
“The time is short,” the pastor of New City Church said. “I know it doesn’t seem like the time is short when you’re 19, but the time is short.”
Drawing from Luke 17:20-21, in which Jesus said, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst,” Kruckenberg challenged the audience to be aware of how their day-to-day actions affect those around them.
“We are culture creators,” he said. “… What kind of culture are you creating? Are you creating a culture that puts yourself first, that’s primarily about yourself, or are you thinking about the kingdom of God, the kingdom of restoration and renewal that comes when I lay down my life for the good of others? This is what we’re called to do.”
Kruckenberg said restoration needs to be in our hearts.
“From the beginning of time God has set forth a plan to restore things back to the way they should have been, and this is where we come in to make a difference,” he said. “Oftentimes in church we hear a lot about sin and we hear a lot about being redeemed by Jesus, but one thing we don’t often hear about in the story of God is that we are a part of the restorative work that Jesus is doing on earth.”
But the main message was that students have said they want to make a difference, as shown in a recent survey of 4,000 people between the ages of 16-34, and they need to take action to differentiate themselves.
“I don’t think it’s an accident that you want to make a difference, and I think it’s amazing that now, at this generation, you have the technology, you have the ability, and in a place like this (GCU) you’re encouraged and you’re challenged to do just that — to make a difference,” he said.
“But I think from the beginning of time humankind has wanted to make a difference. I think we’re hard-wired, we’re literally given gifts by our Creator, we’re created in His image and we want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.”
And making a difference starts with realizing that we aren’t the main character in the story of God’s world — Jesus is.
“We enter the kingdom in the same way we live in the kingdom — by humbling ourselves,” Kruckenberg said.
● For a replay of Kruckenberg’s talk, click here.
● Next week’s Chapel speaker: Jon Demeter, Ultimate Training Camp
Contact Rick Vacek at 602-639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.