“John Hammond: All major theme parks have had delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked!
Dr. Ian Malcom: But, John. If the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists. “
You have probably seen it: terrified scientists running for their lives as they scramble to get the experimental theme park operational again before they succumb to the appetites of the escaped genetically engineered dinosaurs. You know what I’m talking about. Jurassic Park, the 1993 blockbuster with the star cast and the state-of-the-art special effects. You remember: the ill-fated motorized car tour; the distant roars that heralded the several close encounters with the mighty T-Rex; the adrenaline-inducing escapes from the screeching, claw-tapping “clever girls”, the Velociraptors. Frightening small children and thrilling adults, this movie forever imprinted itself into the minds and imaginations of the Western world.
But Jurassic Park, at its heart, wasn’t about the man-eating dinosaurs. It was about the DNA. Without the DNA – the millennia-old blue-prints caught in the bowels of amber-trapped mosquitos – there would have been nothing. No dinos, no car chases, no story.
You see, the DNA was the key to the entire endeavour because it held the template for what each creature would be. It determined the scope of what each creature was: the physical characteristics and attributes; the diet; the predispositions of temperament, activity, and interaction with other creatures. In short, the DNA expressed the purpose of each creature.
Each individual dinosaur had the ability to choose where they wanted to go, what they wanted to do, which other dinosaurs to associate with (and whether or not they wanted to eat them), but they always made choices true to what they were. A T-Rex would not have eaten vegetation alongside the Triceratops. And the Triceratops would not have hunted small children in stainless-steel kitchens along with the ‘Raptors. It wasn’t what they were.
This was consistent of each creature whatever their stage of development; whether egg, adolescent, or adult. At any stage, the dinosaurs could be broken down to the chemical level and the same DNA sequence would be there.
Arise Youth Ministry has a DNA. It has a purpose, a heartbeat, a scope of potential that, unleashed, will effect life-transforming change. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be discussing with the students what that DNA is and what each component means and how it affects them. I will be discussing with them how we can be purposeful as individuals and as a group to be consistent with and true to our DNA in every activity that we engage in.
So what’s our DNA? Here’s a short overview:
1. Meet with God.
This is our primary purpose. Everything flows from this because God is the one in whom is transformational love, joy, purpose, and life in all its abundant fullness. To meet with Jesus our Saviour, know the goodness of God our Father, and walk in the power and the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We will seek to create and maintain an atmosphere where we can encounter God, and equip each student to create that atmosphere in their individual and daily lives.
2. Discover and develop who God has made you.
The Bible says that God has made each person unique and that He has a superb plan and purpose for each person’s life. We will seek to discover God’s promises for each student; discover and celebrate the uniqueness of each person in an atmosphere of honour and respect; we will seek to develop each person’s skills, abilities, gifts, and all facets of the amazing person God has created them to be; and we will seek to equip each student to walk in the freedom of God’s awesome purpose for them. We will also seek to live out the plan and calling that God has put on Arise Youth, as a specific group within the context of the North Island, as well as within the context of Port Hardy Christian Fellowship and the worldwide church as a whole.
3. Show God to others.
Every person in the world needs to know about God. Every individual needs the opportunity to discover and experience relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Every individual needs the opportunity to discover and develop the uniqueness of how God has made them. We will seek to show the characteristics and love of God to others through our lifestyle and attitude of love towards every person in our sphere of influence. Whether that is through acts of service such as park cleanups or community volunteering, outreach oriented activities, fundraising events, or hanging out, we will seek to display respect, honour, love, and other qualities that will express the heart of God and positively represent Him.
And of course, all of it will be done with FUN!!!!
So with everything that we do, we are going to ask three questions: Is this meeting one or more of our purposes? Are we having fun? And if the answer is no to either question, how can we change that?