Today I started the Thirty Challenge with my small group. If you haven’t heard of it, here’s the main idea:

Spend 30 minutes with God for 30 days.

This isn’t something our student ministry requires (although it’s encouraged), but it’s something I want for the girls in my group. Why?

  • Because reading the Bible (the actual Bible and not just devotionals) is important.
  • Because challenging yourself to do things that seem hard is also important, too.
  • Because they’ll never have more free time than they have in the summer.

This time of year, the excuses of homework and sports practice loosen up a bit. And, I want them to have the best chance of actually completing the challenge so I’m making it as easy as possible. But you know what I like most about the challenge?

It’s hard for me, too.

Can I say that? As a professional Christian, is it okay to admit that spending thirty minutes with God is sometimes hard for me? I asked myself that question this morning as my mind wanted to focus on anything BUT the quiet time journal in front of me.

Sometimes prayer comes easy, but other times my mind wanders.
Sometimes the Bible passages grab my attention, but other times it feels like something I’ve heard over and over.
Sometimes 30 minutes with God is easy. Other times, ten minutes is like defeating Goliath.

And you know what I realized this morning?  As much as I want the girls I serve to see that I love God, to see that I enjoy spending time with Him, I also want them to see when I struggle. I want them to have an example of what it looks like to keep going and keep growing even when it isn’t all easy.

So, I live-texted my quiet time this morning…honestly.

Thoughts from Day One

  1. Luke. Ok. Here we go
  2. But just one quick look at Insta
  3. Aww my friend is the cutest
  4. So relatable
  5. That girl is nice. I should like her…but beyond annoying
  6. Wait, I just wasted 10 min. Ok. Starting over
  7. Luke 15- there’s so much here. Can I just stop here and think about this?
  8. I love /hate the prodigal son parable. I’m never sure which one I am but I think most days it’s the older brother. I’m beyond annoying
  9. Ok praying
  10. Why can’t I focus on one thing…ever?!
  11. Psalm 51- oh I know this one. This is the “I messed up and I feel like crap” Psalm
  12. “Create in me a clean heart…” I’ve prayed that like a thousand times
  13. Maybe I should pray that after eating a burger. Like clean my heart and arteries.  I’m hilarious.
  14. Ok… praying again. Let’s make a list. Best friend. Husband’s job. Boss. Other boss… Wisdom for me to do what’s right
  15. Ok where’s my journal.
  16. Ugh my leg is numb
  17. I don’t have time to journal! Does this GroupMe count?
  18. I’ve been here like 20 min. That’s not too bad.
  19. Why can’t I stop singing the Hamilton soundtrack?
  20. I’m so late. Gotta go. bye

I’m a mess. I’m doing this anyway. And I think you should too.

The Thirty Challenge

What if your students spent 30 minutes with God for 30 days? Sound impossible? It’s not. But it is a challenge. And that’s a good thing.
Research shows students are actually more likely to complete a challenge than doing something that seems easy to them.  That’s why we’ve created the THIRTY CHALLENGE.
Each day they’ll read scripture (10 min), write, think, or talk about the passage (10 min), and pray for themselves and others (10 min).
Thirty is designed to be more than a devotional. It’s a challenge that your students can do together.

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