Just before Christmas, Moto was in a conversation series where we discussed fertilizing and caring for the “soil” in our lives. We asked questions like, “How do we take care of our heart?” and “What type of “soil” are we giving God to work with?” We were mainly working from Matthew 13 and the parable of the farmer sowing seeds. During the last week of the series I sat down with my Moto mini (small group), and we began to discuss how to best care for, and fertilize the soil in our lives. Now, I work with the fifth grade guys, so I’m prepared for our discussion to be, well, energetic. But this particular night a few of the guys were extra spicy and they had much to say about burps, farts, and everything not of the discussion. I pinpointed one of the guys, and directly asked him, “How can we take care of the soil in our lives?” Annoyed that I interrupted his goofing around, he rolled his eyes and then blurted out, “Read my Bible, pray, go to church, you know all that Jesus stuff!” A few of the guys chuckled, but for the most part it was quiet in our circle. I kind of sat stunned, and then one of the other guys snapped me out of my daze with the question, “Isn’t that the right answer?” I have been thinking about that question and that night quite a bit lately, and so I ask you, “Is that the right answer?”
In admittance, I was quite frustrated with the student’s answer, and I didn’t get much sleep that night. But the more I thought about it, I began to see that his answer runs head on into the vision of why Moto exists. His answer is right, but hopefully like me, you really don’t want to admit it because of the attitude in which it was given.
Moto’s vision statement is, “Equipping the church to move middle school students to understand their U.R.L. (Unique Role in Life) through a relationship with Jesus Christ.” That is, to equip our Moto guides to help students take the head knowledge they have about Christianity, Jesus, and the church, and move it into their hearts. To not just know the right answers, but to live out of a heart that knows God personally. To take the gifts, talents, and passions that God has given us, and be a blessing to anyone and everyone. Not doing this because it’s, “the right answer,” but doing it because our hearts will have it no other way. Because God has filled our hearts with His perfect love, so we can only respond with a life of worship and praise.
I have seen enough gold stars given out for the right answers, and I have also seen enough of the damage it can do later on in life. Moto exists so that students are challenged to move beyond right answers, and they will begin to understand that following Jesus is about living out the meaning of the right answer. In today’s culture, there is much we can gain by having the right answer, but in the kingdom of God we find Jesus asking, why is that the right answer? What does the answer mean to you? What does Jesus mean to you? Is He just the right answer, or is there much more meaning to Him being the right answer?
Sitting with the guys that night is burned into my heart, and I pray it will never leave, because it is why Moto exists and why I love the often-brutal honesty of middle school students. We have had some great conversations since that night, and I believe that God is working in the hearts of these students, and He is pushing them to move beyond right answers. Sometimes you can know all the right answers, and yet miss the point altogether. Praise God for His patience with us, and that He longs for us to move beyond right answers into a right relationship.