Monthly Archives: February 2014

Evangelism…Try Something NEW

Evangelism.   Several thoughts, images, and experiences come to mind when you read that word in italics.  There are numerous methods, places, and relationships that evangelism can occur.  Evangelism may happen at a ball game, in the office, on a mission trip, at a church event, or over the fence to a neighbor.

But what is in that conversation?  I hope and pray at the center of that conversation is the unfiltered, pure, non-watered down, precious, incomparable message of the Gospel.  So, when I suggest we begin by discussing something new, I’m not coming even close to suggesting we present a new gospel.  Let’s be eternally clear on that before we move along.

Here’s what I mean.  As I read Revelation over the past month, something jumped out to me.  Maybe it is time we talk about something new.  I’m talking about the NEW heaven and the NEW earth.  When is that last time you had a conversation about heaven?  When have you talked to your students or kids about what heaven will be like?  Do your neighbors have a proper view of what heaven will be?HeavenOrHell

When we talk about something new…the New Heaven & New Earth…there are at least 5  things that happen:

  1. The believer becomes excited about what eternal life is like, and will inspire them to share the Gospel to those that do not have heaven as their eternal destiny.
  2. The non-believer will begin to ask questions, leading to a conversation of how to get to heaven.
  3. Christians will wake-up to the realization this place is not their home, and begin removing distractions and repenting of sins that get in their way of living for eternity, rather than the present.
  4. The non-believer may be more open to discuss eternity when you talk about the end result of glory, rather the alternative of eternal damnation.
  5. When you talk about the marriage that will happen in heaven, you want to start working on your invitations!!

Disclaimer:  For the critic, no I am not suggesting we eliminate the discussion of hell in our conversations.  That has a place, and should never be removed for fear of offense.  I’m merely suggesting we include or begin more conversations about heaven.

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Book Review: Sex is Not the Problem, Lust Is

Book Review:   Sex is Not the Problem, Lust Is by Joshua Harrissex-not-problem-lust-is-393x350

The Good:   The overarching positive of the book is its honesty.  Joshua Harris even brings several personal battles into the book, which allows the reader to relate to its content.  The honesty has a good balance of providing personal battles and not allowing the reader to drift off in their imagination causing more harm than good.  That being said, it does not shy away from topics such as masturbation, pornography, and sexual fantasies.

Also, it provides great value in counseling.  All throughout the book there are practical helps, homework assignments you could give counselees struggling with sexual purity, and Bible verses that combat false ideals and useful for withstanding temptation (chapter 9 happens to be my favorite chapter where it give Bible passages that dispel the lies of the enemy).

The Bad:   The target audience (teens to young adults) took away from some of its firepower.  You were forced to adapt some of the application as an adult reader. 

The Grade:  B+.  The principles were still very solid and practical for the most part.  It paints a realistic picture of the power of lust, and provides Biblical ways to combat and overcome lust.  It provides a solid challenge to any reader, and great tool for anyone fighting for purity.  Also, if you are looking for a book to counsel teenagers or young adults who are struggling in sexual purity, this book would be on my recommended list.

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How to Teach Students to be World-Changers

Last week, I posted an article about doing something to help the world in need.  Well, how about creating an event dedicated to this very topic, of being “World-Changers” and helping those across the world, from poverty to persecution, from sex slavery to sweatshops, and from forced child labor to forced child military.

Here’s an idea that might work for your student ministry…create a World In Need Event or WIN event.  Get out your box cutter and open up this box, and inside you’ll find a kit to create this event.

Purpose

Allow your students to open their worldview from pin hole to wide view lens.  Not just in their sense and compassion of the world’s needs, but also compassion for the lost in far off countries, and faces and names to go with these issues.

Supplies

Over the course of the year, I collect articles & stories of poverty, persecution, and problems across the world.  My primary resource for these articles is Relevant Magazine, with the Reject Apathy project being a huge contributor.  Other resources could include national news publications such as Time Magazine.  Also, it may be a good idea to contact missionaries to see needs in their regions.

Dispatches from the Front DVD Series:  This may need to be edited in some parts, because there are some issues that are more adult.  However, this series is powerful to gain an inside look at other cultural issues, and provide a real view of these far places of persecution and unrest.

Finally, purchase Operation World.  No, seriously.  Put in your order right now, here.  This will provide a valuable research during the prayer time of the WIN event.  Did you buy it yet…do it!

Planning

Opener Video – Choose an opener video to introduce your event.  I’ve used these:  World Edition of How Great is Our God, First World Problems (this one is especially powerful), & Audio Adrenaline – Kings & Queens.

Main Bible Passage – Use a passage that depicts the compassion God urges us to have for those in need.  Click here for some examples.

Presentations – Choose several world regions you would like to focus on helping.  Dispatches from the Front provide numerous options of where there is persecution and needs.  You can use these DVD’s to introduce the region and needs.  Or you can use your research to provide areas of needs.

Presentations can be adult or student led.  I would suggest doing the adult or youth leader led projects with a leadership student assisting.  After doing this a year or two, move to student presentations.

Give the youth leader or student a packet with the research you have compiled over the year.  Provide the location and problem/issue.  Inside the packet, provide a cover sheet of what the presentation should include.  For example:  Project Assignment, Title for Presentation, Bible Verse or Main Passage – Short devotional & How verse relates to topic/presentation, Presentation of World Issue – Present the Problems, Give statistics, Provide visuals – pictures, videos, Provide Solution – What can the audience do?  How can we help?, Close in Prayer

Preparation – Allow for several weeks and half your youth group time for students to collect their data and work on their presentations.  With youth leaders, you will want to provide the material 1-2 months in advance to give them enough time to prepare their presentations.  Choose a month where you can present the idea of helping others or loving others, and take time each week to pray for needs and problems in the world using your Operation World book that you just purchased earlier =)

WIN Event

Travel the World.  Make it special.  Have your leaders dress up as flight attendants and have students “fly” to their location for the presentations.  Use your worship center or gym to provide space between presentations, or use separate rooms.

Provide tools.  Allow each group to have access to internet and computer.  This will allow them to show Power Point and/or videos to enhance their presentations.

Be Creative.  Have each group bring in a cuisine or appetizer from their region.  Bring in a missionary speaker from that region as your main speaker.  Find someone who was originally from that culture who can speak from experience.

world-changers

Summation:  This WIN (World in Need) Event can provide an eye-opening experience for your students.  Did they know about the epidemic of sexual slavery?  Do your students realize the devastation of AIDS in Africa?  Do they understand how good they have it with clean, hot water whenever they want it?  Or most of all, how much do they take for granted their Bible in their hands and their freedom to worship, where many die for those two things?  It’s time we take some time and wake up our young people to the needs of this world…and allow them do to something about it!

 

 

 

 

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