Archive for October, 2012

Three things from Rock The Road

1) We need adventure.  Although I personally knew where we were going and what we would be doing for the weekend, it was a blast to see the leaders and youth in a constant state of wondering what was next.  Everything was an adventure to them!  I think too often we get into our schedules, routines, and plans and forget what it is like to be on an adventure.  I wonder what would happen if we viewed our walk with Christ in this way – trusting that He knows the way and we are just along for the ride.

2) Kids will remember the oddest things.  During our debriefing session, we ask the students what their favorite part of the trip was, and the students frequently answer strangely.  It is rarely the new cities they got to experience, or the stops along the way that they mention.  It is usually the embarrassing moments, the funny thing the leader did, or an off-the-wall situation that makes the list of favorites.  Although we went to Pittsburgh this year, it was not mentioned as a favorite part of the trip.  (Last year, we went to Niagara Falls, and that didn’t get mentioned either!)

3) After attending the Rock the Road weekend, and handful of students came to Youth Group for the first time this school year.  I have to admit, it was a bit crazy going from a 48 hour youth event straight into a 2.5 hour Youth Group night, but it was completely worth it.  It is great how God can use special events to draw students into our programming.  I pray and hope that those students will desire to be discipled!

Blessings,

Josh

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10-28-12 Mark 10:35-45

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Praying for Youth Ministry special events

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It is our goal at Goss to provide an average of one special event opportunity for our teens per month of the calendar year.  A special event is often times a trip in which teens and leaders are able to share common experiences, remove distractions from their normal lives, and have extended time together.  In the month of October, we have two weekend trips on our ministry calendar.  One already happened (Hiatus) and the other is going to happen this weekend (Rock the Road).

I got to thinking this morning about how to pray for these events.  Here are a few of my thoughts.

Wisdom for the leaders.  Not only do leaders face logistical decisions before and during the trip, they also have decisions to make about how to invest in the teenagers.  They need wisdom in what to say, how to say it, and when to say it.  Leaders can have a HUGE role in discipling and encouraging spiritual growth, and we should pray that God will grant them wisdom.

Don’t just pray for safety.  Often times ‘safety’ is the default prayer.  Praying for safety isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, but that is not the main goal of these trips!  If it was, we should all just stay home on our safe, cozy couches.  In the same way that Jesus allowed His disciples to sail in the middle of a mighty storm, He is able to use unsafe situations on these trips to bring about His glory.

Spiritual growth.  We should desire for eternal things to happen on these trips.  Piling into a van for a road trip and going to camp for a weekend is fun and great, but if teens are not growing in their relationship with Christ, what is the point?  Let’s pray for real, spiritual growth for the teens!

Pray for life their return to real life.  Let’s be honest.  It is easy for teens (and us for that matter) to live out their faith when they are with other believers, outside of their normal lives.  The tendency is strong for teens to compartmentalize their faith and only seek God during these ‘mountain top’ experiences.  We should pray that students will live out their faith in a stronger way when they return to their everyday lives.

What do you think?  How else can we best pray for Youth Ministry special events?

Blessings,

Josh

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When frustrated, remember it’s simple.

It’s simple.  It really is.

I know, I know, it can seem very overwhelming at times.  And lots of forces in society can make us feel discontent.

Politicians can make us feel discontent, or poor. Commercials and media can make us feel discontent in many many ways. Facebook, internet etc. — everywhere we turn there is someone or something that can make us feel overwhelmed in the name of not having something.

But remember it’s simple.

Are you frustrated today because things aren’t going right? It’s simple.

Are you frustrated today because you wish you had something? It’s simple.

Are you frustrated today because of a recurring problem that doesn’t seem to go away? It’s simple.

Yes, remember it’s simple.

Jesus is on the throne, God is mighty.  He has created you and given you life and breath.  And whether you’re facing difficult medical news, uncertain future, failing health, financial pressure, insert your own struggle here, . . . remember it’s simple.

We can praise God and choose to be thankful every single day.  Or, we can convince ourselves that God really doesn’t know our problems or care.  I challenge you, wherever you struggle, to praise God for 20 things today.  Yes, 20!  And if you can’t come up with 20, keep going until you do – even if that takes all weekend!  Ask God to help you re-orient your struggles to praise.

In the face of losing everything and everyone he ever had on this earth, Job said . . . “May the name of the Lord be praised.”  Powerful!

Let us look forward to how God will guide our lives and use the gifts He’s given us so we can give Him glory.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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Missions Moment with TRW and Tim McElhaney

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10-14-12 Mark 10:27-34

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Friday Ramblings

Here are a few things that have been on my mind.  Maybe something here will make you think!

  1. TV and internet ads are terrible ways to evaluate candidates for office.  Do some research!
  2. How well do you know the Word of God and what is your plan to increase its role in your life?
  3. I am praising God more and more for the little things.  When the big things seem so frustrating at certain times, it is a real comfort to have the perspective to praise God for the little things.
  4. I have been most thankful over the past couple months for a strong marriage.  I praise God for bringing Julie and me together and for the ways we build each other up.
  5. On a personal note, I am really excited for the baseball playoffs to begin!
  6. Preaching and teaching God’s Word are big time joys in my life.
  7. The book of Romans has so much to say for why and how believers should live to follow Christ.
  8. I am truly praying God will move in the life of our church as we challenge individuals to live out their faith each day through prayer, the Word of God, fellowship, and witnessing.
  9. When was the last time you considered the needs of a different age group than yours?  If it’s been a while, take a challenge to do so . . . and then pray for those you know in that age group!
  10. Encourage someone today.

Have a great weekend!

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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