This is the first of a series of posts explaining what I did at Rockbridge chapter camp for the last two weeks. I helped staff the Identity Transformed track. This post highlights my role as a preacher.
In the weeks leading up to Rockbridge, I was hard at work preparing to preach on “Rebellion.” Each morning we examined our identity through the big story of scripture in four parts: Rest, Rebellion, Redemption, Restoration. I had the task of expositing Genesis 3 to clearly explain how we are all rebels, and to divest us of the idea that we are OK or doing fine — in fact, we are not doing well, we are really bad and things are really bad.
I explained that there were four sources of rebellion:  Mistrusting God,  Misunderstanding God,  Being deceived (not just be the devil, but by our own desires),  Unrestrained agency. Moreover, there are four results of rebellion that we see in the text:  we now know evil things are continue to do them,  death and grief,  we have broken relationship with EVERYTHING (with God, self, each other, and with creation itself), but  God works to redeem our rebellion.
Both weeks the students received the message really well. Students heard God’s voice pointing out places of rebellion in their lives. During week 2, many came to receive prayer from staff as they recognized how deeply they needed to repent and how much they really needed a transformed identity in Jesus. This was a crucial message because without clear recognition and confession, there’s no way Jesus will have His way to transform us. And students were receptive to these true but hard words.
And that makes me glad. Not because I did a good job or whatever. But because in preaching, before and after all the studying, praying, thinking, drafting, analogies, illustrations, the only thing that matters is they hear God speak to them and call them to what He wants for them.