Tag Archives: Evolution

This Generation Needs the Truth

The longer I am in youth ministry, the more I realize how much this generation needs to be reminded of the truth of the Gospel.Picture3The Gospel…

A Gospel that tells them they are loved.  Not just a little bit of love – but love that would send an innocent man to His death…for them!  That they are worth dying for!  A love that does not change – nothing they can do can lose any of God’s love and earn any more…it is perfect!

A Gospel that tells them they have hope.  Even with the bullying, with the feelings of loneliness, the difficulties in their academics…there is hope.  Philippians 3:20 says our citizenship is in heaven…we are just visiting this world that is full of sin & destruction…there is so much hope that awaits you.

A Gospel that tells them they have a purpose.  Their purpose is to spread this GREAT NEWS.  They have a voice, they have something to share, they have the key to LIFE…which leads us to our passage.  Read I Timothy 6:19-21.

Remember these two verbs from this passage:  Pursue & Avoid

Pursue:  Check out the end of verse 19 – “TRULY LIFE”

First, little background/context here – this is a the end of a message Paul was giving to the rich – not to care so much about earthly treasures…but to care about the eternal.  Live for what truly matters – “take hold of that which is truly life” – How?  Pursue the eternal.  There is so much out there for this generation to hold onto…just hoping it will bring them LIFE.

They are out there searching – hoping life has so much more.  Thinking…this can’t be all there is…emptiness just filling their souls.  Like they are hanging on the edge of a cliff and reaching for something…anything to save them.  But they keep grabbing for things that don’t hold up, sending them further down the cliff.

Pursue LIFE.  Eternal life.  Let me ask you this:  Do we give this example to this coming generation?  When we show them – the Christian life – it’s where it’s at!  This is THE life!  According to Pew Research – Rise of the Nones (those with NO religious affiliation) that is growing in this country – Most given reason for breaking off w/ religion they were raised in because…they become disenchanted.  They were disappointed in Christianity!  Why?  Could it be we aren’t living like this is the ONLY way?  We live like there are other options.  Is it worth it to us?  Worth dying for?  Is it THE LIFE?  OR Do we live boring, risk-free, non-committal Christian lives?  Is it any wonder this generation is saying no thanks?

The Christian life is HARD, takes sacrifice, will produce persecution…it better be WORTH IT!  Does our life, our passions, our speech, our actions…do they prove to our children that the Christian life is worth it?

This is how we pursue – 5 steps

  1. We talk about God in our home – According to the College Transition Project – 1in 8 teens talk to their moms and 1 in 20 to their dads about faith in their lives.
  2. Serve Together – Let’s drop off cookies at the neighbors together, come paint VBS sets together, and visit the elderly together…and then get ice cream after. Ok?
  3. Church is a priority – Not in a legalistic way…but in a “We love the Bride of Christ” kind of way…and we WANT to be there to learn, serve, and worship.
  4. Share your faith – Not just daddy or mommy…but all of us share. In our schools, our jobs, our ball teams, our band concerts our neighborhoods…LIFE of faith.
  5. Love Others – Jesus said “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love others, love the lost…and prove it by your actions.

Avoid

End of verse 20 reminds me of:

  1. The philosophy professor at the secular college that wishes to disprove religion
  2. The rants of the atheists in our media aimed to humiliate anyone that believes in a higher power
  3. The theory that many call “science” claims the world was formed by a big bang & the existence of the universe was result of millions of years of chance

The world will call this knowledge – it is false – and our children need to hear the truth from us.  Avoid pointless arguments that get you nowhere…instead live by faith, share about what faith has done in your life, and love others – these are hard to argue.  We fight on FB – when we should offer a conversation at a coffee shopWe badmouth a child’s friend – when we should invite their parents out to breakfastWe get worked up in politics when we should be on our knees in prayer

What we want for our kids – verse 20…so we can do all we can to avoid verse 21.  The minute we water down the Gospel at our church or in our home – is the moment we fail.  We fail our Savior, we fail our responsibility, & we fail our children.  We guard the Gospel and avoid false teaching in our homes – with the hope of them staying firm in their faith.  Is this full-proof, money back guaranteed?  Not in this fallen world…but…  The more you talk about God in your home, protect the truth, and live it out…the greater the chance this coming generation will follow and stay firm in their faith.Picture2

Listen to the entire sermon here (9/4/2016)

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Youth Curriculum Review Series (Cont.) – 2013-14 Edition

As I prepared to do a series on Creation vs. Evolution, I discovered there are not many non-DVD series curriculum out there. With my interest in the study, and desiring to teach it myself, I decided to purchase books and develop my own curriculum (most of which were purchased here).

So rather than review each resource in detail, a short review will be given on the multiple resources. Please keep in mind that science was and still is my worst subject, so my puny brain struggled with some of these books mightily.

Curriculum Review: Creation vs. Evolution Resources

The Good:

Creation or Evolutioncreation-or-evolution-sm by Mike Snavely. This was not easy to find, but boy am I glad I did. Most of my material came out of this book. It is designed for curriculum but I would not suggest using this as your only source. Having said that, if I had to choose one resource for my presentations, it would be this one. Great illustrations, easy-to-read explanations, updates facts and information, and very easy to use. I strongly recommend this book for anyone teaching on creation/evolution.

638990The Lie: Evolution by Ken Ham.  A little strong of a title, but true. This book was very helpful for providing a Biblical foundation to your lessons. While I did not use the entire book, I found it very useful. While it is easy to get caught up in the scientific nature of this subject, this book allows you to bring a spiritual emphasis into your presentations.

The Not So Useful:

Evolution Exposed (Earth Science & Biology) by Roger PattersonWhat is this like? Me feel dumb. This was way above my pay grade, and way above my head. Was there material in the book that I used, absolutely. But, in teaching a survey class that is more an overview, these books are not for you. However, if you are looking to go into great detail on certain subjects, these are winners.

evolution-exposed-earth-sciences

Movie/DVD Ideas:

The Foundations – Ken Ham DVD Series

Evolution vs. God – DVD Documentary by Ray Comfort

Expelled – DVD Documentary by Ben Stein

The Ultimate Proof – by Dr. Jason Lisle

 

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What the Church Can Learn From Disney World

Fresh off my trip to Disney World…I was thinking as I left one of the parks.  With 16 million attending Magic Kingdom alone each year, what makes this place so special, and how does it keep it appeal to generation after generation?  Could the church learn some things from Disney?  Now before you come at me with “the church shouldn’t be like a theme park” or “I’m not waiting in line for communion”, just hold on to your mouse ears for one second…I think there is some value here.  There are lessons the church can learn from Disney.

Friendliness
Everyone had a smile on their face, from the bus driver that dropped you off to the bus driver that picked you up.  Ride workers, photographers, concession workers…they all were so nice…the nicest, well the characters, of course.  Could you imagine a moody Cinderella or a grumpy Goofy?  Why?  Because they were part of something special, people paid good money to be there so they better be nice, and THEY WERE TRAINED.
Lesson for the Church:  Train your people to be friendly to visitors.  Allow your people to understand they are part of something special, the Bride of Christ!  So it should show on their faces and attitudes.  There shouldn’t be short-tempered Sunday school teachers or grumpy God-worshippers…right?

Push Beliefs
The people at Disney believed in evolution, and they weren’t afraid to let that be known in most of their shows.  It’s not like I stood up in Lion King and shouted “Excuse me, but I believe in a Young Earth, and this pantheistic worldview that promotes humanism is smoldering my child’s spiritual growth”.  Sure, in the Nemo ride when they said “millions of years”, I shouted “not true”.  Evolution and tolerance were all over the park, and they were not afraid to show it.
Lesson for the Church:  Don’t be afraid to push your beliefs to those listening in your audience.  Don’t be ashamed of what your Bible says.  The gospel is offensive and people need to hear it!

Main Character
My daughter would say the theme park revolved around Cinderella and Rapunzel, but everyone knows the main star is Mickey.  On the ride home, they end with M-I-C-K-E-Y…M-O-U-S-E.  His picture, the ears, his emblem is everywhere.  In fact, there is a book you can get and find all the hidden Mickey’s throughout the park…if that’s how you want to spend your park visit, so be it (I actually saw a family doing that, so sad).
Lesson for the Church:  Make sure everyone that comes to your church knows who the star is…and that is Jesus Christ.  The pastor is not the star, the worship leader is not the star, and the nursery coordinator is not the star (although they certainly deserve a gold star).  The main character is Jesus and He is the one we should promote all over our church campus!

Timing
Timing is last because it isn’t quite as important as the other three, but still needs to be mentioned.  In the musicals, the transitions were incredible.  There was little pause between sets.  When you would leave a ride, there was someone there with a stand ready to sell you whatever you just saw.   As the day went on, there would be parades that would keep your attention.  And last, but certainly not least, the time spent was something that really got to us.  Each character, especially the princesses took their time with my girls.  Snow White even got out of line to talk to my little girl for 5 minutes because she was dressed in a Snow White dress.
Lesson for the Church:  Make sure your transitions between things are smooth.  Don’t think your people don’t notice when the worship leader and you are looking around to see who is supposed to be next on stage.  Have greeters for welcoming and exiting.  And last, but certainly not least, spend TIME with people.  Let people know you care and that the church is not a magical place, but a special place where the love of God is displayed.

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