Good morning parents!
I hope all of you are safe and warm today!
This past Sunday, I invited the youth to come to the congregational update and hear about the new structure that is in place at FRCZ. We have talked at length about Winning on Purpose and the Accountable Leadership model, but this is the first time we are seeing the fruits of its implementation. If you weren't able to attend the update, I will do my best to give a short summary with a little bit of character :)
At FRCZ, Jesus is the head of our church. Everything we do as an organization and a congregation should be about moving people closer to Jesus. We do this by making disciples who make disciples. At the top of our chain of command is the Administrative consistory. They set the boundaries for what the staff can and cannot do as we go about accomplishing our mission and keep the lead pastor accountable! This frees up the lead pastor to focus his or her time on preaching and serving as the go-to guy for the staff. He or she will be the person that I can look to to understand where my ministry is and help me if necessary. The staff are now the leaders of their own teams and E teams are looking a little different. They still meet regularly, but now its not necessary for every E team to have a staff member on it. Those teams will meet as often as they see fit and have the ability to directly address the lead pastor to propose ideas.
All that to say, I think this is very good news. I think this give me and the other directors at FRCZ a new sense of responsibility and freedom within our programs and it feels great. I will be able to surround myself with members of our congregation that are passionate about youth ministry and who are comfortable being truthful with me. This will allow for some of my previously shelved ideas to come out, so look for some fun events in the near future!
During IMPACT, we again watched Francis Chan's BASIC series, and talked about the simple challenge of being a Christ follower. Often we tell ourselves that we are following Christ, but we only do so when its convenient or when we are in trouble. The current tend in America away from Christianity is alarming, but it makes sense. We have people who attend church every Sunday and live fairly moral lives, but do so for all the wrong reasons. We need to see a generation of believers who are serious about emulating Christ, reaching the least of these, and living their faith on a daily basis. I encouraged your students to think of ways that they could being to "move closer to the center" in their faith day by day. All of that can have a tendency to instill a little bit (or a lot) of guilt, so we ended with the beautiful truth of Jesus Christ crucified. All who are in Him no longer need fear condemnation.
As usual, thanks for checking in and sticking through this huge wall of text! Have a wonderful week!
Good morning friends!
This past Sunday started to feel like we were hitting a really good groove again for me. Some of our students aren't thrilled with the format of the Sunday school teaching because of the longer videos, but I really believe in the material, so we are going to try and tough it out for the moment. Speaking of Sunday school, we talked about 7 simple mind shifts that we can make in order to be more effective as a church in evangelism. Kevin (the author of Organic Outreach, and the person who we watch speak every morning) is very familiar with West MI culture, and makes some really good points about how we normally think about evangelism. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please feel free to join us next week! There is no reading or prep needed on your part!
Impact took another turn as I keep trying to find or develop curriculum that our students benefit from, but wouldn't scare away those who may not have already accepted Christ. We tried out the "Basics." series by Francis Chan this week, and I loved the simplicity of the message. The title of the video we watched was "Fear God." Francis reminds us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, and that our culture is slowly backing away from the idea of this fear being anything more than awe. He proposes that the fear we should rightfully have of God is a form of proper terror, and then we should take equally deep solace in the fact that every time we see someone encounter God (or an angel, or some other heavenly being) the first thing we hear is "Do not be afraid."
We may tend to minimize the glory of God and fail to see how "big" God truly is. The "bigger" God is to you, the more aware you become of the kind of grace we have been shown, and the greater your gratitude. The same goes for fear, I think. The more you realize how great God is, the more you realize that you should be obliterated in His presence. This naturally causes fear, but it also makes the words "do not be afraid" that much sweeter.
We have our winter weekend coming up, and that means no Impact next week! Thanks for checking in!!
Good morning friends!
This past Sunday was super full! We started a new Sunday School class with the adults called Organic Outreach. The teaching format is a little different than your students are probably used to, but after asking them how they felt, it seems like this class will be a good fit for us. The lesson this Sunday can basically be summed up by saying "Its not about you." One of the phrases that stuck with me from the video was "The truth of God's word will never change; everything else is up for grabs." It is intended to expand our view of how evangelism is done, and I think its a pretty hard thing to live into practically. As we keep encountering hard truths, I hope we can keep our hearts open to being challenged to do outreach more often and more naturally.
Impact was fun too! It was right after our parent meeting (which went super well too!) and Nancy McCleery bought us pizza! We sat and talked briefly about Elijah and some of the things that he is known for, and we hope to continue that conversation next week! After we are done talking about Elijah and his faith, we are moving to Elisha!
Thanks for checking in again! I appreciate you all and the support you give your students, as well as the support you give the youth group as a whole. See you next week!
I'm Noah. I do High School things. Expect this page to update every Tuesday morning!