Yesterday was one of my favorite days here at First so far. At Sunday School we continued talking about whether or not God discriminates against women. This lead to some pretty passionate discussion, especially when verses like 1 Tim. 2:9-15 and 1 Cor. 14:33-35 came into play. We were slightly sidetracked by the conversation of how the Bible treats women and how culture treats women. Originally, we weren't going to address the culture aspect (see last week's update), but after more careful consideration we have decided to. We think this is an important distinction, so next week we are going to focus in on what the Bible says. The following week (March 12) we are going to look at how Christians are to treat women in culture and how that differs from what we see today.
IMPACT last night was one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed. We started with our usual fellowship time and snacks. It came time to move into a game, but nobody could agree on what to play. As we were packing up Mario kart, Reagan dug deep into our game drawer (which is only four games deep) and managed to pull out a game I didn't even know we had. At some point in the mysterious past of the FRCZ youth group, we acquired Just Dance: The Michael Jackson Experience. And this is what happened.
At the end of this slideshow, you can also find some pictures of the other things that usually go on during our IMPACT time.
After having a few good laughs over our top-notch dance moves, we finished up talking about our identity in Christ. This is something that I am really passionate about, and I believe it matters a lot in the case of our students as well. The world is awfully good at pointing out our flaws and making sure we know every little place that we have fallen short. To combat that, we read out of Henri Nouwen's book "Life of the Beloved." He writes one chapter about what it looks like to be blessed as God's beloved children, and how to live into that reality. I'm going to link a PDF of that chapter alone because I really think everyone needs to hear this message, especially in this day and age. Take some time today and read it. It should take about 15 minutes, and it's more than worth the time invested.
After we finished reading that we spent some time affirming one another in writing, in hopes that it is something that we can revisit over and over to remind us of the truths that God says about us. I think it was really powerful, and I'd encourage you to ask your students about what the others in the group wrote about them. Then take some time to bless them yourself. I'm sure they would really appreciate that :)
Next week, we are continuing the Biblical portion of our discussion on whether or not God discriminates against women, and during IMPACT we are going to hear from my wife Dynelle about Lent. Specifically, what it is and why it matters.
If you've made it this far, thanks! I know this wasn't a short update but I'm glad you made it through. As always, I'd love to hear from you. I hope your week is blessed, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.
Happy Monday First fam!!
This week during Sunday School we wrapped up our discussion on evolution, and moved on to "Does God discriminate against women?" This was easily the question everyone was most excited about thus far. We began by defining "discrimination" and a couple other terms like equality vs. equity just to have a good starting point. The conversation naturally led toward feminism and the world have to say about this issue, and everyone got talking. It was awesome. Luckily, we aren't going to talk about how the world treats the ladies in our midst, rather, we're going to continue the discussion about what God thinks next week. Super excited for this one.
During IMPACT last night we had some Mario Kart, a little bit of human battleship, and a lot of talk about who we are in Jesus' eyes. We continued the talk from the previous week, reminding everyone that it doesn't take a hero to have a Kingdom impact. In living our everyday lives we can have and exercise everyday faith. One of the topics that surfaced in our discussion two weeks ago was that people tend to care an awful lot about what other people think about them. This is what we addressed this week. We heard from Nick Morren about finding the right Facebook or Instagram profile picture, and how we stress so badly to make sure we look good from the outside. We read from Mark 5:24-34 about a woman who for the first time ever wasn't concerned with what people thought but prioritized Jesus instead. And she was healed for it. We ended the night by being challenged to affirm someone this week. I would encourage you to ask them if they have managed to let someone who might be undervalued know that they have worth.
Next week were going to continue talking about women in Sunday school, and were going to keep driving home the identity point at IMPACT. Being rooted in Jesus is the first step to living freely for Him.
Thanks for taking time to see where we are and what we're doing! I hope you all have wonderful weeks!
Happy Monday everyone!
Our Sunday school conversation yesterday was part two of our evolution discussion. We had a few great rabbit trails in there as well, talking about things like the work of the Holy Spirit and miracles that happen in everyday life. It's easy to be conditioned to give credit to people for things that God clearly orchestrates, so we talked about a few ways that we can be a little more observant and have some "God sightings." Next week we will continue this conversations with questions like "Why did God create?" and hopefully wrap up this particular lesson. The following lesson is titled "Does God discriminate against women?" I'm thrilled to say that Liz Boerman is going to tackle that one for us.
Last night during impact we had our usual fellowship and fun. I also taught about everyday faith, and how it doesn't take a special kind of person to share about Jesus. We watched a pretty cool clip from a movie called "Freedom Writers" where Meip Gies (the woman who hid Anne Frank and her family in her office) addresses a high school class, saying that they are all "Everyday heroes." Next week at IMPACT, we are going to hear from Nick Morren on Identity.
As always, I'd love to hear from you! Have a blessed week!
Welcome to another week!
Yesterday in Sunday School, we wrapped up our conversation on contradictions in the Bible, and whether or not they need to worry us. We all agreed that they don't. We also began talking about evolution, and whether or not a Christian can believe in both evolution and the Bible, or if those two things are mutually exclusive. As we continue this topic of conversation, I am going to encourage helpful and open-minded discussion. The goal is not to provide your students with a definitive "Position X is clearly better than position Y, and here is where it says so in Scripture." Instead, I hope that this serves as an encouragement for them to dig into their Bibles and look closely at the miracle of creation. I also hope that this experience will help prepare them to have similar conversations with their peers in the future about similar things.
Also, I'd encourage you to ask your students about what they believe. They have some pretty developed and nuanced beliefs and it was really cool to see them talk about it. You could also start an intentional conversation this week in order to share what you believe and why.
We had a game night last night at IMPACT, along with a short reflection on how different the world would be if people treated Easter like super bowl Sunday. Or if people has as many Bible verses memorized as the number of sports stats they knew. On that note, we had a great time at the Super Bowl party too! we had 44 people in our youth center at one point! Huge thanks to everyone who brought snacks!
Next week, we are doing business as usual in Sunday school, and we are starting a new curriculum at IMPACT! It's designed to be unbeliever-friendly while still staying challenging for our current students. If you'd like to see some of that material, don't hesitate to email me!
Thanks for all you do and have a great week!