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Spare Change - March 2019

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                                                            VBS - It’s Worth It!

Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a week-long evangelistic outreach to children.  It has become a huge event that most churches participate in, however, it has a very humble beginning.  In 1894, a Sunday School teacher, D.T. Miles, started a summer Bible school for kids. Initially it lasted four weeks; over time it was narrowed down to one week.  Other churches picked it up until thousands of churches participated every summer. Recently the question has been asked if VBS is worth it. Is it worth the volunteer hours and church resources?

Lifeway, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptists, did some research and found that of the 60% of adults who attended VBS, 9 out of 10 have positive memories.  On top of that VBS is one of the only intentional ways our churches evangelize. We are in an evangelism  crisis right now-- 48% of church goers are not inviting unchurched people to visit and 61% are not sharing Christ with anyone.  VBS helps with both of those problems.

It is a huge opportunity to invite families in our community to participate in something the church is doing.  It is also a way that we can share Christ with those children and their families. We take seriously the call to share the good news with everyone we can.  Our  teachers intentionally weave the gospel through all their lessons and our Pastor takes time on one of the nights to share the gospel in a way kids can understand.  We have seen many kids respond to the gospel through the years. It is an amazing privilege to be a part of something so gospel focused and God honoring.

Our theme this year is “In the Wild”.  We will be looking at snapshots of wildlife   throughout the different ecosystems, while looking at snapshots of Jesus’ life.  Our leadership team has been to the Lifeway preview conference and we are already so excited. I hope you will be a part of it.  I have listed four ways you can be involved in this year’s VBS:

  1. Pray about who you can invite to VBS, then invite them!
  2. Consider volunteering to help with VBS (a sign-up form will be available in April)
  3. Register your kids early (registration opens in May)
  4. Pray that kids would be saved and families impacted with the gospel

 

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

Student Ministry - March 2019

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Dear Church Family,
I am so excited to be taking our students on our annual Student Ministry Retreat, March   8-10. This year’s theme is “Image.” Who am I? What is my identity? Who do I see in the mirror? Who does God see in me? These are the questions we will be discussing. It is imperative at this phase of life for students to understand and cherish God’s perspective of themselves. Many people spend way more time considering what they think of themselves or what others think than they spend considering God’s understanding of their Image. Because of this some people have an unhealthy arrogance about themselves causing them to think lesser of others and even mistreat them. Some people think too little of themselves thinking they are worthless and  causing them to be distant and lonely. A healthy perspective, though, is a biblical one. God makes it clear to us exactly what He sees in us, and His message is very encouraging.

As we grow in understanding the love that God has for us, we grow in cherishing His opinion more than anyone else’s. This is such a freeing reality, because it allows us to no longer strive for approval. It doesn’t mean that everyone approves of us now. But it does mean that God approves of us in Christ. He is for us! That is His message. That means that, when we have Christ, we need not be concerned with the opinions of naysayers, bullies, unthoughtful friends, disagreeable family members, or enemies of any kind. God is for us. When He sees us who have put our faith in Christ, He sees His beloved children. He sees Christ’s righteousness. He sees restored hearts who are growing in the Image of His Son, Jesus.

Because of what Jesus did for us through His death and resurrection, “there is now no condemnation for us in Christ.” No matter how many “dislikes” others might give to our Image, God’s “like” outweighs them all! No matter what this life throws our way, we can press on knowing that our God is pleased with us as we place our faith in Jesus. No matter who puts us down, the love of God makes us conquerors, because nothing is as consequential as God’s love for us in Jesus!

This is the message that everyone needs to hear. But this is certainly the message that our students need to hear. In a world that tells them that they are the ones who define truth; in a world that says their opinion is the most important; in the same world that tells them they must fit into a mold; in the same world that bullies them and makes them feel worthless; in the same world that promotes social media celebrities; in the same world that lives and dies by the likes and dislikes; in the same ironic world where tearing someone down in the name of feigned unity is promoted as social justice; in the same world where suicide is the fastest way to become popular… the message that, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” is exactly what we need. Do you believe this?

Posted by Brian Van Doren with

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