Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It Takes Two

A family and youth ministry should reflect its title. If it is made up of just the youth and their friends, there is a very important element missing. The parents must be actively involved and become the backbone for any successful youth group. Are we really so naive, that we would think that someone who saw our kids 2 or 3 times a week would have as big of an impact as the ones who are raising them and hopefully leading them to Christ all along. I believe our philosophy should be a simple one. The youth minister will partner with the parents to decide what exactly we want these young men and women to know before they leave home. In Proverbs 22:6 it says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” The youth minister exists to help equip the family to accomplish the spiritual goals they have set for their children. We must see the need for one generation to pass on the teachings of God to the next. In Judges 2:10 is says, “After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.” We see in 2nd Timothy 1:5 the deep faith that Timothy had that was passed down to him from his family. 2nd Timothy 1:5 says, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” We are here to assist the youth in finding and developing their spiritual gifts so that they can use them to build up the body of Christ.

Reaching out to the Families of Scotland

Lord willing we will move to Scotland in the summer of 2010. I see my goals for Scotland as very similar to what I think my goals would be if I was working with a church in the states. Scotland is hurting for strong Christian leadership in their families just like America is. My first objective will be to figure out what their current way of doing things is. I see no need to come right in and begin to change things that are already working. In the beginning I am there to learn and observe. Something that struck me was the fact that an entire generation of young adults was missing from the church there. That means that the church will begin to die out soon unless we can begin to reach out to this missing generation. I think our team fits perfectly into that role because who better to reach out to young adults than a team full of young adults.
Another goal I have is to be able to get to know each member intimately. The churches in Scotland are small enough (20 -30 people) that it allows for some real one on one time with the members. A goal I have in doing this is to learn about each member and to find out about what each of them brings to the table. Some might be good at relating to the youth group but maybe have never been asked to do so. Some might be very good at personal evangelism and bible study. I hope to help them discover their spiritual gifts that God has blessed them with and to help them use and develop those gifts for the glory of God. We have used several good Spiritual Giftedness tests here at school, and I hope to use some of those with the Scottish brothers and sisters as we begin our work together. I would also like to use some form of these tests with the youth of the church. The earlier they can see the gifts that God has given the better.
I want to build very close relationships with the elders of that church. Jenny and I were blessed during our time in Scotland to stay with an elder and his wife. Dick and Anne were an amazing couple who really taught us a lot about what the needs are of the church there. Dick is very open to fresh and new ideas and I really see us getting along very well together. There are only three elders in the congregation there, but this will help to be able to get to know them very well. Jenny and I plan to spend time in their homes and to learn as much as we can from them. I see the need for these men to be actively involved with the youth and their families. I want to work with them to design curriculums and teaching materials for the youth.
The church in Scotland regularly meets in each other’s homes on Thursday nights for their mid-week service. So I would try to find an additional time to meet as just the youth. Maybe this could happen on a Tuesday night every other week. It would need to be flexible with their schedules. My goal at the meetings would be to cover the issues that the teens are facing in school and with their friends. I think the format of this would not be like a regular Sunday morning church class. It would need to be more interactive and filled with application and practical things that they could take with them. I also see this meeting as a great way to help them reach out to their friends. This type of environment would be great to bring their friends along to. I want to be sure to stress to the youth the importance of reaching out to their friends with the Gospel of Christ. They need to understand the circle of influence that each of them have. This will help not only to grow the youth group but it will also help to light a fire under the parents when they see that it actually can be done! I know that it is a lot easier to make plans than it is to actually get them done. I understand the importance of being flexible with all plans that are made, especially those that are made before we get to the field. I know with God’s help we can accomplish great things for his kingdom in Scotland!

Where has the Family gone?

One of the biggest downfalls in the family today is the lack of male leadership in the home. When I think of a strong Christian family I think of one in which the father is leading his family to a deeper relationship with God and with each other. The sad fact is that this ideal biblical model is becoming harder and harder to find. We have all been cut to the heart by the stories that we have heard throughout our brotherhood. Families are and have been falling apart for quite some time now. Divorce is so common today, that there is almost no negative stigma attached to it anymore. We even find this to be true in the church. Have we forgotten how God feels about all of this? In Malachi chapter 2 he reminds the people that the Lord acts as their witness when they enter into the marriage covenant. They are not to break faith with the wife of their youth. Then God himself speaks in verse 16, “I hate divorce….guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.” God makes his feelings about breaking the marriage covenant very clear in this text. As someone who has experienced its devastating effects first hand, I think I begin to understand why God speaks out against it so strong. Let us agree with God, and do everything in our power to keep our families from falling victim to it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

8 Months old!

It is hard to believe that this little guy is 8 months old already! Lucas has been trying to crawl lately (that is a little scary for me) and his little personality is shinning through. He is such a happy kid! He is also sitting up on his own like a pro and he LOVES bath time. :) We are so very blessed!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Scotland bound!

Since my last blog (which I just now realized was before Christmas!) we have made some really big decisions regarding what we are doing after we graduate from SIBI. We have officially joined a mission team that will be going to Scotland in the summer of 2010! Our dear friends and classmates Robin and Chrissy Vick are the ones who first told us about the need for workers in Scotland. Robin is from Scotland and his father is a missionary there. The Lord has been working on our hearts about this for over a year now, we kept saying that mission work was not for us and that we were not cut out for that kind of work but it turns out that God has different plans for us than we thought ( it always seems to work out that way thankfully! ).
We will be taking a survey trip in March for two weeks to look at a few different churches that are interested in having a mission team work with them. Our vision for the work is to find a congregation who is interested in partnering in a church plant in their area. We will work with that church for 6 month to a year helping them to build up in numbers and help them to reach out to their community. During that time we will be looking for a place where the church plant will meet and start the ground work for the church plant.

As of right now our team is made up of 12 people, four couples and 4 singles. The team may be more or less when we go over in 2010 but we are praying that everyone is able to go. Please keep us in your prayers! Also if you are interested in supporting us on our survey trip in March or if you would like to support us in our long term work please let us know.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas!

WOW! I can't believe that it is Christmas time already! We are getting ready for our Christmas break at the end of this week and we will be off for three weeks. We will be driving to Wichita Falls and staying the weekend and then we will be driving to Tulsa to spen Christmas with Jeremy's family. We will be there for a week or so and then we will make our way back to Lubbock.

This will be Lucas' first Christmas! Of course he wont know what is going on but it will be fun for us. :) I have realized that I don't really want anything for Christmas because he is the best gift I have ever gotten. Being a mommy has been so wonderful and I feel so blessed to have this little man in my life.

We hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!! God bless!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our trip to Arizona

We just got back from our first trip to Arizona to see Jeremy's dad and step-mom and their family. We had a blast! We left last Friday afternoon and drove to Albuquerque NM and spent the night there. The next day we got up early and drove the rest of the way to Mesa, AZ. The drive was absolutely beautiful! It was so cool to see the landscape change from flat farm land to majestic mountains, God's creation is truly amazing!
We spent the week relaxing and playing with Jeremy's two younger brothers Dylan and Dayton. Lucas soaked up all the love and attention from Grandpa Aaron and Mimi and he did great on the long car rides there and back. We had so much fun just spending time with family and relaxing.
This week we start a new term in school, please keep us in your prayers as we continue our studies.
Here are a few pictures from our trip!