What I Really Love To Do

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My desk spread as I prepare for teaching camp sermons this summer. I love my job!

It may look like I love to juggle – which I do. But there is something about my job in life that I love even more – teaching kids about God and the Bible.

Every summer, I have the privilege of speaking at camps and churches across the country as the “camp pastor” or the Vacation Bible School speaker. I get to do a whole lot more than juggling. Juggling is the flashy thing that gets the kids initially interested and paying attention. But what I’m really there to do is to share about God’s love for them as revealed in the Bible. And my attempt and prayer is to do in in a non-preachy, non-pressure way.

Some people wonder if I went to school to be a juggler. I didn’t. I studied Biblical exegesis, Greek, Hebrew, theology, and (currently) Educational Studies. So when I get the chance to prepare teaching sessions for preteens and put together curriculum material for camp, then I get excited because I get to use all the things I was trained for. I love digging into the original Greek of a New Testament passage or the historical background of a teaching in the Old Testament.

This summer, one of the theme verses I will be teaching is 1 Peter 2:9: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, so that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

I have had so much fun digging into the meaning and background this particular verse. And I’m going to share with the kids the process of how to study the Bible in this inductive way as I go along in the teaching. For example, this verse is a direct quote from God’s words to Moses at the foot of Mt. Sinai:

“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,  you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex 19:5-6a).

I love the unity of the Bible! So we better understand what Peter is telling us in 1 Peter 2:9 by first understanding the context of God speaking to Moses at Sinai before the giving of the ten commandments. So we will talk more about that as well as about the life of Moses, the life of Jacob, and the life of Peter (the author of the text). Why Jacob? Because God changed his name to ‘Israel’, which later becomes the collective name of God’s chosen people, holy nation, royal priesthood, and his special possession. So knowing the life and story of Jacob helps us better understand the people of Israel and (in the new covenant) both Jews and Gentiles who are part of God’s kingdom by grace through faith.

If you’re a person of faith, I appreciate your prayers this summer. Pray that God would speak through me in a way that is clear, concise, and Biblically grounded. Pray that I would step out of the way and let God do what He does. Thanks and have a great summer!

If you want to see my summer tour schedule, check out my travel calendar here.

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Jesse

Jesse Joyner travels nationwide performing a comedy juggling act for family and kids events. He is also working towards his PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL). He enjoys playing the piano, bird watching, and old houses. He lives in Richmond, VA with his wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Kezzie.

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