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CBC Youth Direction & Vision: October 2014

Part of our journey on this “foundational” year must include a visit to understanding the Bible. It’s one of those things where we vaguely remember some 3rd grade Sunday school story or some Awana memory verse. Honestly, most of us forgotten this basic piece to our spiritual depth. 

For the month of October, we’re going to revisit this extremely important piece of depth. So here’s the big goal for the month:

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Lessons From Remodeling

Recently (well maybe 6 months ago) I was tasked by the staff to renovate our church parsonage (aka “missions house”). To give you some background, this house was originally our pastor emeritus’ house turned church office turned parsonage. I actually lived there for a few months when I was “homeless” and it was alright but wasn’t the prettiest out there. The furniture was pieced together by random donations or leftovers and the appliances were straight out of the 70s…maybe 80s. Anyways, the church has been talking about this project for years now and finally I decided we needed to get things done. Little did I know God had more lessons for me than I expected. I share them with you now:

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Forgive us…

Today was a hard day for us as a youth ministry. Perhaps it seemed like any other Sunday where conversations were filled with anxiety over the coming school week and attentions were divided. Our hearts were not focused on the glorified, risen Son of God…instead, they were fixed on ourselves - how we felt, what we liked, what we didn’t like…schools, tests, tiredness, clash of clans…Like i said, today was a hard day. 

Maybe you’re frustrated with our growth or the lack thereof. Maybe you’re frustrated with yourself because although you know better, all you can do is blame everyone else for not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. 

But the right response now is not for us to blame or complain or to quit. Right now, we pray for forgiveness. Humble yourself before the Lord and pray…

  • Forgive us for coming into your place of worship and completely worshiping ourselves. 

  • Forgive us for having an attitude of entitlement and misrepresented the Gospel in front of everyone

  • Forgive us for not giving you the attention or time you deserve today and instead we chose homework, gossip, complaining, and sleep as our god today. 

  • Restore to us again the joy of our salvation, the joy that comes from the fellowship of the saints, and the nearness of the Spirit. 

CBC Youth Update (Sept. 15, 2014): For Leaders

What to focus on:
1. We can see that many of the students are extremely excited about youth group this semester (esp. the younger ones) Again, this is exactly what we’ve been praying for. So we need to slowly fuel that flame. Right now many of them just want to be a part of the program…which is alright for now. We don’t have to smash those dreams because it might lead to playing the game…but for right now, let’s focus on connecting them into the ministry. We need to build these bridges for later on where we can fortify their foundations and be able to disciple out of trust and relationships.
2. This week with your mentor/mentee(s)…the foundational element to work on is that of: BRIDGES. Find one or two things that you can actively do to build some bridges in your relationship (call, text, send a note, etc.) Remember those 3 people you’re assigned to connect with? Take these next two weeks and do these things. 
blessings everyone. 

CBC Youth Ministry & Philosophy: Theme & Vision for 2014-2015

We started praying back in the Spring of 2014 for God to give us some direction for this coming year. We were coming off of the theme and core value of “Community” and we were trying to figure out what came next. “Community” exposed a lot of things to us as a youth group and were crucial for us to go through as a ministry. It revealed to us that we (individually & corporately) were more self-centered, self-consumed, and self-reliant than we wanted to admit. When you have a theme that consistently reinforced being together, sharing your lives with one another, and loving others more than yourself…yeah, it starts to reveal things about where you are. 

So as the summer came and went, we tried to observe where God was taking this youth group. We knew there was going to be huge changes in the demographic of the youth group with a huge senior class leaving and a larger 6th grade class entering. So we took to our knees and prayed. We’ve said this from day 1 that our ministry, budget, and events better be led by prayer or else we’re doomed. So we had 2 separate meetings - adult leaders & youth leaders, and just prayed for vision. The praying led to our theme and vision for the 2014-2015 year. 

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Membership While Away

I’ve been approached by many students who are either going to college or are already at college about staying faithful to the church while away. I’m actually pleasantly surprised by their question because it shows that they’re heart is in the right place and hopefully they want to remain consistent in their understanding of the Gospel and church membership. 

But practically, this is what I would say to you college students who are members of a church back at home:

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Since Jesus Christ is the only way that God has provided for us to be saved, we sin when we find our meaning and worth in anything other than our identity in Christ. This sin is a form of idolatry, a refusal to believe the good news that God has saved us in Jesus alone, instead looking to and relying on someone, or something to give to us what only God can give.
Thomas, Scott. Gospel Coach (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 47.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
C.S. Lewis The Four Loves (1960)
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