Friday, February 26, 2010

SYMC 2010

Rehashing what is done

Questioning the "purpose" after the fact is useless.

Recently while sitting in a local coffee shop I heard two senior gentlemen discussing a local park. I heard one say, "What is the purpose of the park? It's not for half pipes . . . ". So I assume they were a bit miffed that a local park now has a skate park for skaters. My guess these would be the same folks who would gripe that those danged kids are riding their skateboard on our sidewalks.

At what age do we choose to forget about the future generation? At what point do we decide that offering kids a safe alternative is a bad thing?

What cracked me up was the discussion was about something that is a done deal. We are talking the tons of concrete has been poured. So why gripe about something that can't be changed now?

This got me to thinking about the stories I hear from churches who are arguing over letting their youth group paint their youth room some other color than the church's standard color. Paint color doesn't matter. Let the students make the room their own. Perhaps then they will feel more comfortable bringing their friends. There are a lot of petty things that churches waste time debating and if they would turn that energy to reaching their community just imagine what could happen in the life of the church and their community.

Hopefully your churches purpose is clear. Then there is no need to argue about the church "after the fact".

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fiery Darts!

Following a great weekend at The Call we went low key on Sunday night at Contagious. I was "taught" out and the student had enough content from The Call and from Pastor Steve's sermon to chew on all week.

Sometimes you just need a good laugh. So we watched Tim Hawkins on DVD. He is hilarious! I sat in the back and it was fun to watch the shoulders and head of students and leaders shake as they laughed.

We played that Ping Pong game again. It's become an addiction during Hang Time for a large portion of the students, even the ones that couldn't hit a ping pong ball with the side of a barn. I have googled trying to find the real name for this game and can't come up with anything.

It was interesting in the weeks leading up to The Call I was tremendously busy trying to prepare for The Call and get the Kids' Zone wrapped up. Someone mentioned to me that it seemed that the devil always attacked our youth ministry/The Call as we got close to The Call. This year he changed strategy, rather than attack before he attacked after. I recognized it immediately. Following two weeks of putting in lots of hours and being mentally drained and following two nights of terrible sleep (certain little someones decided the day should start at 1am, 2am, 3am, etc....)

There are a few things I know about the fiery dart attacks of the devil:
  • Satan is not omnipotent, all powerful
  • Satan is not omniscient, all knowing
  • Satan is not omnipresent, everywhere at once (so the devil himself probably never directly messes with me, he has bigger fish to fry)
  • Satan doesn't scare me (Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world)
  • I must recognize the attack and make sure the armor is on
  • If Satan is not attacking that must mean we are doing nothing to advance the kingdom
  • Satan attacks the church from within the church. My experience has been that when Satan attacks he uses church folk. (just study some church splits and you will probably agree with me)
My reaction is to remain calm. I learned in my firefighter training that panic only makes a bad situation worse. So I choose to remain calm in the attack, crack open the Bible, pray, trust God because he is my shield and my fortress. Quite honestly I don't like the attack but I'm glad because if we are under attack we must be doing something right.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Student Leadership Weekend

The Call 2010 completed another successful student conference this past weekend! This year The Call went small. Our goal was to equip students to be leaders in their youth ministry, church, home and school.

We had many on the team to help pull it off! Some teammates took my lesson outlines and a chapter from the book, Help! I'm a Student Leader and created small group discussion questions.
Other teammates actually led the small groups. We divided the students from 4 different churches into table groups, the groups were mixed with kids from each group.

The Contagious band led us in worship in music. So we would rotate music, teaching, table groups on Friday night and Saturday with many cookie breaks scattered in between.

My favorite part of the weekend was when we had the students fill out a spiritual gifts assessment. It was cool to watch students discover how God has gifted them to serve Him and His Church.

Slice pizza helped us out with a good deal on Friday night for supper and the table groups ate together as a way to get to know each other. Saturday a couple of our wonderful ladies cooked an awesome lunch of bbq, chicken strips, fries and tots. Barbara, our office admin, volunteered her entire weekend to take care of check in and the most awesome cookie breaks ever. (she rocks!) Many from the church pitched in to provide the cookies and brownies.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What's Love Got to Do With It?

Yesterday was my turn up to bat as Rick is gone on sabbatical. The message was about becoming a church of warm fellowship. Last night at Contagious we talked about love. Here is a little bit from both studies combined into one:

What do we know about love and our responsibility to be people of love?

Love commanded by Christ –

John 13:34
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

As we know commands are not optional. So when we do not love other believers in the body of Christ we are not obeying the very words of Jesus Christ.

Love is a witness to others -

John 13:35

35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Not everyone who walks through the doors of Nags Head Church on Sunday morning has taken the step of faith in having a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Our love for each other shows others that we are following Jesus Christ. This is why it is so important that we love each other at NHC. There are many who come here to check the whole God thing out. They are looking for answers. They are seeking to find the truth and fill the void in their life. When they see Christ-like love in us they will recognize that we are truly following Jesus Christ.

-Love is Evidence

I John 4:7,8

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Do you love other believers? This love that comes from God and a relationship with him? Verse 8 is pretty clear, if the love of God doesn’t exist then the knowledge of God and who he really is does not exist. Love is the proof that we have a relationship with God the Father.

Love is a choice

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails.

Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice, a decision. Read the above description of love and we don't see feelings or emotions we see choices. Choosing to be patient with another, showing kindness, etc. Those actions that come with love are not emotionally based but take a willful decision.

"I'm not in love with her anymore." It's not that they fell out of love it is because the choice is made to not love anymore.

If we truly loved other believers as we are commanded to, if we truly loved those we live life with as we are commanded to, if we truly loved those in our world around us as we are commanded to our churches would not be able to contain the people who would be drawn by the love of Christ.

Who are you having a hard time loving today? What are you going to do about it?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tonight at Contagious

The big news first. Two students put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior tonight!!

Tonight was Contagious Faith night. We started off with Frito Chili Pie during Hang Time. Some excellent ping pong roulette was played by some students, others were just hanging out and talking. To start off our Bible study time we played a game of Copy Cat - good fun was had by all.

Contagious did a great job leading us in worship in music tonight, the introduced a new song "Always". We showed the Contagious Faith video with three of our students sharing their faith story (full video to be posted later this week). I then shared how the students could trust Jesus as Savior.

Even with this being Superbowl Sunday we had a great turn out of students and leaders. Looking forward to next Sunday night!

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