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Family Ministry Moments - June 2024

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Discipleship is an important topic, especially in conjunction with raising our children. Recently we finished our AWANA year on May 15th.  AWANA is our children’s discipleship program where we teach children the Word of God.  It is a great program, but it has its limitations.  AWANA is only successful if the church and parents take the mandate to disciple children seriously. Discipleship only happens when loving parents and caring adults teach God’s Word to children so their lives can be changed by it.  As parents, and as a church, we must make discipleship a priority. I recently read a Family Life article and thought I would share some of the insights from it (https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/parenting/foundations/spiritual-development/4-reasons-you-should-intentionally-disciple-your-children/).

4 Reasons We Should Prioritize Discipleship in Our Homes and Church?

1. We are Commanded to Disciple Our Children
There is no better example of this than in Mark 10. People were bringing their children to Jesus and the disciples thought it was a waste of Jesus' time, but He rebuked them and said, “Let the children come to me.” (Mark 10:14-15) Discipleship helps provide an avenue for children to experience Jesus.  We are helping to bring the children to Jesus when we show them God’s Word and we share the gospel with them. Paul takes it one step further in Ephesians 6:4, “...bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” We are commanded to bring our children up in the instruction of the Lord.  Where will they learn it if not from us?  We must be vigilant in teaching them the truth from God’s Word.

2. Your Child will be Discipled by Someone
The reality is someone will disciple your child.  It will either be by you or the world. Culture backed by Satan has no qualms about teaching your children to think and do what they deem as right. Much of what the world wants to teach your child is contrary to God’s Word, especially in the moral arena. We must realize that our children are vessels that will be filled with something.  As a Christian, I want to fill my children with God’s Word. We must take this call seriously.  At our church we use AWANA, it is a tool to help aid in discipleship. The system or program doesn’t really matter so long as it points to God’s Word and seeks to instill that Word in the children. Considering the way the world is going they will need it; there is no sign of our culture letting up any time soon.  However, discipleship is not just for our children, we need it as well.

3. You Need to Grow in Your Faith as Well
Discipleship is not easy.  When my son and I sit down and do the weekly AWANA study together, sometimes he doesn’t want to do it, and sometimes neither do I, but we do it and through that process we both grow. Discipleship can be mundane sometimes, just like working out.  You don’t go to the gym because you see immediate results but over time you build muscle and get stronger.  The same is true in your faith. Sometimes it seems like nothing is happening, but if you persevere and keep trusting the Lord you will grow in your faith. This is true for our children, but it is also true for us – we adults need to grow in our faith as well.  If we commit ourselves to learning and implementing God’s Word in our lives, we will all grow. This is the only way to grow, and it is the only way to fulfill the Great Commission.

4. We Need True Christ Followers to Fulfill the Great Commission
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus gave His followers their mission.  They are to go all over the world and make disciples. We need families and churches to rally around this calling.  We need to be making disciples and it starts with our families. Remember this world is not getting any better, we need people who will stand up for the truth of God’s Word in every facet of life. We need Christians in every job, every place, and every country committed to the Great Commission. Children are meant to be trained up in the Lord and shot into the world to make an impact for the Kingdom (Psalm 127:3-4).  This is our calling as parents and as a church; to raise our children in the Lord to make disciples so they can make a difference in this world.

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

Student Life - June 2024

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Well, since my last article, our youth ministry has had a lot going on. We have concluded our Wednesday and Sunday night gatherings, went on a retreat to Crossings, had an end of the year party, celebrated seniors graduating and will soon be going to Crossings again for student camp. And now, I honestly share with you all that I believe the students really had a good time with these past events.

To start off, I'll share some of the cool things I noticed in the lives of our students from this past semester. Of course, I have only been in my position as Student Ministry Director for a little over six months, but I have already seen so much growth in these students. One thing that I loved and would look forward to would be the questions some students would ask about God. This could be theological questions, church history questions, or questions concerning Christ. But I loved all of these questions because they were genuine and you could see the gears turning inside their heads and for some of them inside their hearts. I would look forward after every Sunday night Student Gathering to sit in our lounge area in the student room and answer some of the older student's wild questions. "What happens if someone sees the face of God?" or "How could Jesus willingly give up His life if He is completely God?". Man, such rich questions from these young students. I'm happy to report to you all that our youth ministry is blessed to have some amazing leaders/teachers. They have done an awesome job working with these students and answering these questions as well. And then, this past week we had an end of the year party on Wednesday night to celebrate the end of the semester. The good news is some students brought their friends and we packed out the house! The bad news is I didn't buy enough hamburgers for dinner. But it was just awesome to see all of these students gathered together to play games outside, talk with each other, and for some specifically, laugh a little too much. It truly was a great way to end the semester.

I'm also happy to report that our retreat in the middle of April was a success! I had a good friend of mine from college be our speaker for the weekend and preach on how the students can have a correct focus of what to pursue in their lives. The speaker's name is Matt, but we called him either Tall Matt or Speaker Matt. One of those titles is obvious and the other is obvious when you meet him, he's just over 6'7". I knew Matt would be a great fit for the weekend, but he truly knocked it out of the park serving our students. Not only did he deliver great messages to the students, but he also sought them out during our time together and intentionally had conversations or hung out with them. Quickly and easily our students gravitated to him and apparently still text him. Oh how dangerous that might turn out, think before you give students your phone number, Matt.

Then, our church had the joy of celebrating and congratulating our graduates this past Sunday. In case you weren't there for one of the services, I'll share with you who our graduates were. We celebrated Tristan Kinsey, Savannah Koberstein, Sarah Lisembee, Brock Butler, Sydney Gotcher, Moriah Ingram, Jordan Mercer, Eli Schmitt, and Taliah VanDeWege. We said it at church and I'll say it here again, congratulations to all the graduates! Your hard work paid off and we are excited to see what the Lord has in store for you next!

Finally, our student ministry now has the summer to look forward to. The first trip will be a day trip to Holiday World in three weeks. Then in the month of June, we will be taking a huge group of students to camp. Currently, we have 48 students signed up and seven brave leaders. To my knowledge, this will be the biggest group we have ever taken. And apparently the students are excited for camp. All of our spots were taken within two weeks of registration opening. So, camp will be very
exciting and very busy, please pray for us.

 His Glory Alone

Posted by Alex Kilgore with

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