CCA Director of Discipleship, Steve Mayo, shares about the theme for the 2018–19 school year and practical ways you can apply it to your Christian walk.
Distinct — Distinguished as not being the same; not identical; different in nature or quality; dissimilar
Every year, the Calvary Christian Academy community focuses on a specific discipleship theme. It provides students, parents, teachers, and staff a common goal for spiritual growth. This year’s theme is DISTINCT and is inspired by Romans 12:1–2 which says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
When we think of the word “distinct” from a spiritual perspective, it can take on a whole new meaning. In many places we are told that in order to really have success in your Christian life you have to get more from God. But these verses tell us to be living sacrifices, to give back to him everything we are. Now that isn't easy, but that it is absolutely necessary if we are ever to know the true fullness of the blessings God has in store for us and be able to give to Him the service that is due to Him and bring Him glory. When we give ourselves up to Jesus fully we find a true transformation and joy that we can’t find anywhere else—it makes us distinct.
Christians can live distinct lifestyles in many ways. Here are three that we’ll be focusing on this year:
Be uniquely you. Dr. Seuss wrote, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” God has given you unique gifts and a unique personality for a purpose. Identify those gifts and strengths and use them!
Renew your thoughtlife. Have you ever stopped to think about what you think about? Or why you do the things you do? Evaluating our thoughts and actions is something that many of us neglect to do. It’s easy to become complacent, doing the same thing we’ve always done, just because that’s way we’ve always done it! But when we pay attention to what we think and meditate on God’s truths, it can change our lives and our faith. If you are bored with your faith, for example, it is probably because you are a not paying attention, asking questions, or serving others—really participating.
Stop trying so hard! In America, there is an intense pressure to perform, to secure success, to be an elite member of society. Everything is earned. Naturally, it’s easy to project this idea onto God. But when we take off this mentality so often practiced by our culture, we’re able to be transformed. We become less concerned about earning approval from God and “getting what we deserve” and more grateful for His unconditional love.
You can be distinct wherever you are. Imagine if we embodied what it meant to really live in a distinct way for all the world to see. I believe transformation would begin right here in our own backyard. My encouragement would be for all of us to examine where we have not fully given ourselves to Jesus and start there. May God strengthen us as we strive to carry out our spiritual act of worship.
Steve Mayo serves as the Director of Discipleship at CCA. In his role as director of youth discipleship he also assists in overseeing the CCFL six78 and HSM ministries. He and his wife Morgan have three children, Titus, Quincy, and Maxwell, who all attend CCA.