Advice From A Super Senior #4

Worley's Senior Speech

By  Worley, J-Dub, or "Rod"  
Hello, my name is Jarrod Worley, to some just Worley, others J-Dub, and to others simply “Rod”. I’ve spent a lot of time in this building, and I’ve sat through a lot of these speeches; some definitely better than others. I hope to come in near the top of the list. I came to First Baptist when I was 4 when my family moved to town, so except for a select group of people in the room right now, I think I’ve got you beat on time spent at First Baptist.

I remember RAs with one of my best friends' dads where all he did was try to wrangle us for an hour while we played dodgeball inside a Sunday school room. He was happy just getting to any scripture in that hour. We were happy pelting others in the face with tiny foam balls.

I remember in middle school when my parents were going through a divorce and I had nobody at school to turn to. Thankfully, one of the other guys in the youth ministry and I bonded about the awkwardness of seeing your parents dating again and just how nice it was to have someone to talk to about it.

I remember mission trips to Ecuador and Long Island getting to serve these small communities of believers who have next to nothing in common except the love for the same God.

I remember coming into the college ministry with my group of guys who thought we were too cool to hang out with girls, leading us to the co-ed family groups we have now, (sorry RJ).

I remember RJ pushing me relentlessly year after year to lead in new ways. One year I found out I was leading a small group in August at leadership retreat and he just goes “huh, I thought I talked to you about that."

Though all of these memories at First Baptist are different, there are key takeaways that I can see in nearly every memory.

There is value in just being here. I didn't know those guys in RAs when I was 6 or 7 would wind up being my best friends down the road. I didn't know I'd stand by their side at their weddings, and Lord willing, they'd one day do the same at mine. But the Lord works in great ways. By simply being in the building I felt the love of those guys, and I knew Grayson Glaze was there for me whenever I needed him. (He still hugs me in the sanctuary anytime I see him because a handshake just won't suffice.) We discussed the Screwtape Letters in our reading group just last night, and how much the people around you rub off on you. Not just their values and beliefs but even the little things like mannerisms. So if you don't plug in as much as I did, please just get your butt in a seat and let the ministry love you.

Be Vulnerable. This is incredibly hard for a guy to hear, even myself who has a playlist devoted to sad music and is a self proclaimed Noah Cyrus stan. I opened up to people in the youth in ways that I never thought I would, but then I turned around in college and walled myself off from an entire gender my first semester here. While there wasn't that much long term damage I can only think of how much closer my class would have been had we not walled ourselves off until January. Jody talked just a few weeks ago about how you being vulnerable does not just help you get through your struggles but it can help you relate to countless others who might be going through the same issues with no clue that they aren’t alone. There is no such thing as a “new sin." I promise you somebody has gone through it before, and chances are, they’re right in this ministry. You just have to open up.

Finally, be passionate. Have things that you love, that make you, YOU. I love Diet Coke, Catan, and card games. Ultimately, these things are great ways to spend time with others in fellowship and just relax (well, aside from Diet Coke.) Mainly though, be passionate about the Gospel. One of my favorite chunks of scripture is 1 Corinthians 15. A group of believers had sullied the Gospel by saying “What if Christ didn’t rise from the dead?” and completely missed the power of Christ. Hear Paul's words here.

"And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."

So as I close out my speech I would be remiss if I didn't give you My List of “Worley’s takes” as we leave. So here we go:

- Random movies everyone should watch: 21, Whiplash, Over the Hedge
- Restaurants: Hooligans is never a bad move. Veracruz is better than La Bamba. Best wings in town are the Korean Spicy at World of Beer. Best pizza is DePalma's plain cheese, split the large for $7 each. Best onion rings are at Buffalo Phils and they take dining dollars. If you get anything other than blue ice at summer snow you might need to be checked into a mental hospital.

That’s all I've got. Thank you for putting up with me for 4 years and a victory lap.

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