Monday, January 31, 2011

D-Now :: Becoming

We had our annual community-wide Disciple Now this weekend.  We had over 90 students from the Elysian Fields / Waskom / Marshall community from 5 different churches (Crossroads, New Hebron, Golden Rule, Mt. Zion, and DeBerry) come together for this weekend of Bible Study and worship.  We were blessed to be able to use the new EF Highschool auditorium for our worship times.  It was great.

Bible Study ::  The theme of the weekend was "Becoming."  The question posed through the bible study was "Who are you becoming?"  The students learned about Saul's meeting with Christ on the road to Damascus and how he transformed much more than his name, but his life!

The Message :: My good friend, Jared Greer, delivered the whole group messages.  Jared is the youth pastor at First Baptist Tatum, and has an incredible thing going on in his youth ministry.  In the last year, 20 students have come to know Christ as their savior and master.  Its an incredible thing.   He really focused on a relationship with Christ.  Friday he asked the students, "What are you worshiping more, the created or the Creator?"  If you are putting ANYTHING before Christ, you're worshiping the created stuff, and not the one who made it.  Saturday and Sunday he spoke over 3 elements of our faith, our "Head, Heart, and Hands."
  • Head - Our relationship with God begins with head knowledge.  Things like, "Jesus was God," or "God doesn't like sin," or "I'm a sinner and only Jesus can save me."  
  • Heart - The next thing we have to do is have our hearts transformed by that truth.  We can know a lot of things, but if we don't take those things seriously, they don't do much for us.  
  • Hands - If we are believers, and God is transforming our hearts, that's an awesome thing.  If we are stop there, however, we are stopping short of what Christ intended for our lives.  We were challenged to SERVE others out of love of Christ, and to not just do good things, but ACTIVELY proclaim the gospel message while doing it.

The Band :: The band was a group of 17-23 year old students/young adults called More than a Memory.  They did an INCREDIBLE job!  They lead adult and youth worship in The Colony, TX at First Baptist Church.  Upon arrival, we had a ton of technical issues.  We were using the schools sound system, and nobody from the school new how to even turn it on!  We worked through our issues, and the band did a great job of chugging along.  They were incredible musicians with incredible hearts.  Here's some of the hilights of the band:

  • AMAZING hearts for Christ
  • Young (connected well to the students)
  • Very talented individually, and very skilled as a group
  • Interacted with the students during any downtime
  • Played very fresh and powerful worship songs
I would totally recommend them for any D-Now, retreat, camp, revival, etc. you might have going on.  They would be great for adults as well.

The Mission :: Instead of playing games, on Saturday we gave each small group $30 with the simple instruction, "Go minister to somebody."  This was the hilight of the weekend for many.  Some groups bought cans for the food pantry.  Some groups bought flowers and handed them out at a nursing home.  One group actually wrote pretty long notes on index cards along with a bible verse attached to the flowers.  One group went out and did yard work for an elderly couple.  While another group spent $20 on canned goods for the food pantry, and $10 on juice boxes that they handed out at the park!  This was WAAAY better than a game time!

The Good ::  The word was passionately proclaimed!  I am so grateful for Jared and my small group leaders.  There was no hint of moralistic therapeutic Deism, but hard words from scripture about your faith and God's expectations!  I know I don't need to day this again, but the band was AMAZING!  One of my favorite things about the weekend was the kids putting their faith into practice (the Hands).

The Bad :: I had to deal with a few discipline issues.  With one poor choice, a student was sent to the hospital, and another was sent home.  The injury could have been fatal, praise God that it was not!  This reinforced the idea that students NEED boundaries.  We were created to operate within them.  When those boundaries are not clearly laid out or a student decided to go past the boundaries, bad things happen.  Consequences are real, and discipline is necessary.  Discipline seems like a bad thing, but should also be an instructive thing.  If we fail without learning from it, we've double-failed.  I also seemed to take more of a managerial role in the weekend.  I'm glad that things went smoothly, but I really missed out on the intimate conversations with leaders and kids about God and their faith that you usually have during a time like this.  Also, dealing with these issues left me with little time to take great pictures of the weekend :(


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