Stories from a Bible study leader: Soccer and Jesus

Casa Chirilagua soccer

Rain, snow, cold, hot — no matter the weather, Tuesday evenings begin with a rousing game of high-octane soccer. Soccer brings goofing around together, camaraderie and competition, and flexing athletic prowess. Then we gather as a group and walk over to Mark’s house to begin bible study. Just like a memory verse and a bible story are part of our Tuesday evening liturgy with the middle school men, so is soccer and pizza.

I am one of the bible study leaders with the Casa middle school Tuesday evening group. Serving in my second year as a leader has been a rich growth experience for me. The Lord is growing my ability to love, teaching me to be more childlike, instructing me in His Word, taking me outside of myself, and simply shaping me in a way I could not do on my own. I am doubly blessed to be serving the Casa guys with my brother Parker as well. At the drop of a hat Parker agreed to join me as a leader last year, and we jointly agreed to lead again this year. It has been incredible to see Parker grow through this Casa study — I have particularly noticed his confidence and skills in public speaking that have really gotten good!

Casa Chirilagua middle school boys bible study

I love working with kids in the spirit of Jesus — they always remind me to be less serious, love better, and keep my priorities in order. Maybe Parker and I will be great fathers one day as a result of our Casa experience 😉 The Lord’s charge to me in the Casa studies is to rely more on Him and His strength than my own. The best way to practice this is to pray before, during, and after our studies, continually inviting the Holy Spirit. I’m also learning that growing with God is not a passive experience — it takes a liturgy, discipline, trial and error, and faithful active pursuit. It’s been awesome to be leading the Casa studies with Parker, Matt, Mark, and Ryan and I look forward to the rest of the school year!

– Austin Clemens