And it's likely that most of the students walked away feeling like they had encountered God - some for the first time, others for the first time in a long time.
Inevitably there's a student who approaches you and wants to rededicate his/her life to Christ. What do you tell that student? It's a bit awkward, honestly.
When a student first expresses faith, they receive the fanfare of their family, their pastors, and their peers at church. They get baptized and everyone claps. It's exciting for everyone involved.
Rededication is exciting too: the student recognizes that he hasn't been faithful to a prior commitment he made to Christ, and now he wants to go at it again. But the excitement is tempered by the obvious fact that there has already been a commitment made to Christ that was left to the side for some length of time.
What's different this time?
Here's what I tell that student:
There are no fireworks for rededication.
There is no baptism for rededication.
There are no cards that come in the mail from your grandparents:
We're so happy you rededicated your life to Christ.
Rededication is just a commitment to live by a commitment you've already made:
to fix your eyes on Jesus so that for each situation you're in, for each conversation you have, for each action you take, you make a conscious choice to honor Jesus rather dishonor him.
It happens one situation at a time, one conversation at a time, one action at a time, one day at a time.
Rededication is about repentance: turning from our way to God's way...day by day.
If that happens, this time will be different.
'Round and 'Round We Go (Why "Fleeing" Isn't Enough)
Working (and Praying) Through the Psalms