Lots to cover this morning so let's get to it!
Last night.....and last week!
Last week we began a new series entitled "FLIP MY HOUSE." This series will lead us to looking at our spiritual houses. Our spiritual houses, just like our physical houses, need constant attention. When little things are left alone they tend to get worse.
Our phrase of the year is this....Because Jesus is greater the greater life is possible. We spent all of September understanding why Jesus is greater. He is the foundation of our house.....He makes our house a home for His glory. But then this greater life is not just something that comes about. This greater life is not meant to sound like we'll have a mansion of a life with little to no problems. We must re-program what this greater life looks like....that's coming down the pike. For now, through this new series, we hope to help students understand that the greater life takes constant work. We constantly evaluate where we stand, the shape of our house and offer daily attention to that which matters most.
I've attached the last two weeks of sermons for you. Hope they allow you to follow along with us and see what we're teaching the students. I also hope these will challenge you to take a look at your house, room by room.
Below are some things we are working on that will be here before you know it. Also in the list are some thoughts we have of get togethers but simply need some help working out.
One event we would love to have is a bonfire night. We are early in the stages and are having trouble with a location. Does anyone have a good, close location to have a bonfire. Keep in mind we could have 15 students or 80 students show up, you really never know. So we need a location that could entertain the maximum and not run off any neighbors with the noise and silliness of the teenagerisms that will unfold.
We all know the struggles of teenage life. The awkwardness, drama, relationship struggles and fights with pride seem to never end. Unfortunately a student ministry is not immune to these things. While it's true the church should be the last place this is found unfortunately it shows up here just as much, if not more. How do we work against this? Jesus, give them Jesus. Show them how Scripture calls us to live and then help them in this way. It's really all you can do unless we just place some major restrictions on them. But even then their heart will be unchanged. So in an effort to remind our students of the need to EMBRACE one another in Christ I've listed some things that I'd love for you to be reminding your student about. All in an effort to ensure everyone who steps into the doors of The Rock is noticed, spoken to, treated with respect, and ultimately finds a place of belonging. My heart is that each person who comes hears the truth of God's Word. But that battle is hard when they see the opposite in the place grace is meant to dwell the most.
REMIND THEM THAT:
This list can go on but I think we need to constantly help our students in how we embrace people. Both here and outside the church walls. My worst fear is that someone comes to the church and leaves without ever feeling loved, accepted and befriended. It's especially hard when I meet a shy student. The worst part of my job is helping that person find a home here. The best part is when I notice a group of students embrace that shy person and accept them in....much like God, through Christ, once did to us through His unconditional love and acceptance. Even in the midst of our sin and chaos. He brings peace.
I wished my love for that student was enough to keep them here but their heart is crying for the acceptance of their peers. Right or wrong students will often prefer the church or ministry their friends attend. This makes sense right? We can't make kids be friends with one another. I can't change who they connect with. I can't ultimately control how a student is accepted or make connections work. But we can lead them to see the importance of how we relate to one another, especially as followers of Christ. But this is a part of growing up, learning. And this process often stings, stinks and passes.
One day these students will understand the importance of our church home being decided because of Biblical content rather than relational structures. As an adult I understand that Biblical content is first and then once there the relationships begin to form, over time. As an adult I could attend a church that was solid in doctrine and Biblical teaching and allow that to be the reason I am there. But I understand that is not the case for all, especially teenagers dealing with identity crisis, puberty, drama and the stuch. But in this we pray, help, lead and model to our students how we are to embrace others and seek Christ in the midst of life. This is the hope of our ministry after all.....lead students to know Christ and make Him known. To know and follow Jesus.
I don't remember my teenage life being this hard...but I'm also a hermit!
Love you all and pray for you daily as we attempt to parent teenagers in 2017!
Come Quickly Lord Jesus!
Why a blog?
A great way for parents and ministry to connect and continue the conversation of what's going on at The Rock.