The Heart of Crave

1 Peter 2:2-3 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

With the new school year upon us, Crave Student Ministries is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to welcome brand new “Cravers”! However, with the passion of Crave not only being in the service to students but their families as well, we also eagerly await the brand new Crave parents!

Nonetheless, I am aware that this time can cause more angst and anxiety in the parent’s heart than anyone can fully understand. The thought of my 6th grader entering into a stage of discipleship and worship alongside a 12th grader definitely weighed heavy on my heart just 12 months ago…and I’m “in charge” of his experience as well as everyone else’s! Therefore, I can only imagine the trepidation that is on the hearts of those parents entering into this transition now.

With that in mind, allow me to share with you the heart of Crave Student Ministries. Several years and two student ministers ago the passage above, 1 Peter 2:2, was adopted as the central scripture that captures the heart of this student ministry. At the core, our prayer is that each student in Crave begins to or continues to yearn to draw closer to their Savior. However, we recently added the third verse in this passage as it brings to light a very real truth reflected in the ministry that God has cultivated here.

First, let us consider what is actually being “craved”. In verse 2 we see that we, believers, are called to crave pure spiritual milk. If we’re not careful this phrase can be lost on us and easily filed in the drawer labeled “Christian Jargon.” What can that possibly mean? I know milk, and I love the 100% whole, vitamin D, gotta shake it up every time but not too long because you might make butter, milk. But, I’ve never seen “pure spiritual milk” on the shelves of our local store. We have to dig a bit deeper to answer this question.

Verse 1 of this passage begins with “So…”, so…lets go back a bit further. If we do, we’ll see an exhortation for believers to set their minds and hope on the grace that saved them, and to live holy lives with our hearts being made new by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. But we’ll also see Chapter 1 end with this reminder: “And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”

This word…the word of the Gospel, the good news. How much more pure can any word be? Furthermore, how much nourishment can be had at that very news of grace, mercy, life, and holiness in Him? We are called to crave that pure spiritual milk, His word, His good news. But not so that we may forever be bound to the “dairy isle of life.” The whole purpose of this call may also be lost on us as well. If we’re not careful, we’ll easily be tossed too and from congregations and local churches based on whether or not we’re “being fed.” I’ve been lost in this sensation and can easily see where others may be as well; nonetheless, we cannot settle for this immature and incomplete call. We have to see the later part of this verse- “that by it you may grow up into salvation…”.

There’s a purpose! That we may grow up! This is not a stagnant call for us, nor is it ever described as such in scripture. If we want to be really convicted, lets read Hebrews 5:12 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” But wait! Now milk is bad? Absolutely not! But what are we doing with it? Imagine if your diet, as a growing, maturing person, consisted solely of milk. You wouldn’t be growing much! Nor will our faith and our sanctification if we continue to bounce around between the “all-you-can-eat-spiritual-buffets”! 

So, what’s the heart of Crave? That our students and families may seek to draw closer to God through his word and Gospel, preparing their minds for action, living their lives in pursuit of the holiness brought about by the Spirit, with their hearts fixed upon the salvation paid for by the Son. This preparation, cultivation, and adoration can be found any time Crave comes together, especially on Sunday mornings and evenings as we seek to dig deeper in His word through small group studies and discussions.

However, let us not forget the “if.” This is so very important. “… if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” The very truth is not everyone who worships together in Crave has tasted that the Lord is good. As a matter of fact, I would dare say that there is a portion of those who will rebel against that very declaration. And we have been given the awesome honor of walking down this path and opening the word with them, all the while, praying that they are overcome by the grace that saves.

This is seen, more so than any other time, on Wednesday evenings. We have the pleasure of coming together to worship our Father with many students and parents from across the county and each school district in our area. The real truth of the matter is that there will be some in the group that have not surrendered to Christ’s lordship, and far be it for me to assume that much of any one particular person who gathers with us. Therefore, Wednesday evenings take on much more of an awesome outreach intent for our county and area! This can be seen in our fellowship, intentional focus on building relationships, student-led praise, and a significant emphasis on preaching the word.

Reflecting on the charge put forth in Colossians 3:16-17, Crave seeks to come together in praise and worship of our Father to His glory. In doing so, we pray that each student and parent grows in up in their salvation as they crave His word. For those that have tasted, our prayer is that they begin to teach His amazing truth in due time. For those that have not tasted, we pray for that day of celebration when repentance is made and salvation is experienced.

To those families beginning this transition- welcome, come on in and buckle up! I pray that this will be an exciting ride for all of us!