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‘You don’t have to do it alone’

College/Young Adult ministry leader tells PMA chapel-goers about ‘our divine GPS’ who accompanies our transitions

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

Jasmine Evans

LOUISVILLE — When Jasmine Evans reads Scripture, she often imagines what the people who are not heard from in the story are thinking and feeling.

During Wednesday’s online chapel service for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the pastoral intern at Faith Point Fellowship, a 1001 New Worshiping Community and college/young adult ministry in Greensboro, North Carolina, put her self-described “holy imagination” to work.

Preaching from Deuteronomy 31:7–8, Evans focused on the one who didn’t speak in the text — Joshua, who only listened as Moses told him with all of Israel present that he would be the one to lead the people into the land God had promised them.

“Moses is 120 years old, saying, ‘Listen I’m out of here, you’re now leading this beautiful thing God has for us,’” Evans said. “Meanwhile, Joshua is thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do this. Why did you tell me in front of everybody?’”

Evans helped lead worship using the “God is With Us in Every Season,” resource which she co-authored with the Rev. British Hyrams, campus minister at North Carolina Central University. The resource was written for UKirk Collegiate Ministries in partnership with the Office of Christian Formation. OCF invited Evans to preach at PMA chapel before College and Young Adult Sunday, August 8.

Relating to what Joshua might have been feeling as Moses announced this leadership transition plan, Evans spoke of feeling alone and questioning one’s ability to lead.

“The weight is heavy on us, the weight of leading and moving people,” she said. “Strategizing, vision and mission work, all of it is a hard load to bear. Like Joshua, we might be saying to ourselves, ‘I don’t feel ready.’”

And yet, Evans pointed out, Joshua is now in charge. So, for all who have a new project, or new work, or whatever is on one’s plate, Evans had this promise to impart: “You don’t have to do it alone, for it is the Lord who has gone before you.”

“We think we’ve got to figure it out ourselves without a blueprint or plan,” she said. “We think we’ve got to get from point A to point B and we’re the only one steering the ship. So, we start from scratch.”

But for Evans, in this story of Moses telling Joshua he is now the leader of the Israelites, God’s people have been given a word — that what God starts in us, God will complete, no matter where we are.

“It’s like our divine GPS. The Holy Spirit walks with us,” she said. “The God who made us is in you. You can make that first move with faith that God will carry you every step of the way.”

Shemiah Curry, ministry coordinator for faith formation at Faith Point Fellowship, and Rycal Blount, Faith Point’s social media coordinator, also participated in Wednesday’s chapel service. You can download the free “God is With Us in Every Season” worship resource to help celebrate College and Young Adults Sunday in the PC(USA)  by clicking here.

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