Discussion Topic

The son of man came to seek and to save the lost salvation has come to his house today for this man also is a descendants of Abraham (eph 4:7-32) living a spirit controlled life (ROM 8:1) accept Jesus Christ as your lord and saviour ( roman 10:9)living in union with Christ and build your life in...

July 21, 2017 0 1 comments
Blog

Our first unofficial week of camp brought together IMPACT Club members from Armenia, Albania, Moldova, and Romania. IMPACT Clubs work to create positive change in their own communities through service. 

July 18, 2017 0 0 comments
Blog

The hope is that the environment of a microbrewery and a community of equally inquisitive young adults will attract some of those people who wouldn’t normally attend a meeting affiliated with the church.

January 25, 2017 1 1 comments
Blog

I'd like to propose a question: Can a one-week experience actually change the trajectory of a young person's life toward Christ?

December 22, 2016 1 0 comments
Blog

For the last several years, groups of young people from several of the local schools have blessed the CRC staff at "1700" with music of the Advent and Christmas season! 

December 15, 2016 2 0 comments
Blog

Do illnesses, failed classes, divorces, cruel bosses, or financial ruin seem like giving us a hope and a future? There are times when God’s promises feel more like lies than truth. 

December 7, 2016 2 0 comments
Blog

We are living in a cultural season in which a kind of “stand alone authenticity” is celebrated and encouraged everywhere. It’s a false idol that needs to be discerned, named and rejected.

November 16, 2016 3 2 comments
Blog

If there is one thing running rampant in this culture it is negativity. People are more anxious and fearful than ever. In the midst of all of this, I have one statement to make: I choose hope! 

November 8, 2016 3 2 comments
Discussion Topic

A friend and colleague recently noticed that the faith and campus life resources I shared were all written by men. Thankful for her observation, I want to share some great resources written by women.

October 25, 2016 0 0 comments
Blog

Is signing up for a service project because my friends did still a good action? Is giving to a good cause still good if it’s out of guilt? Is it even possible to be a "good Christian?"

September 27, 2016 1 2 comments
Blog

The busyness and complexities of college may make being truly involved in a church difficult or unappealing for some, but there are still simple things a church can do to encourage and affirm students.

September 1, 2016 1 1 comments
Blog

As we send off our students, it's a great time to talk about what makes a good church and about the importance of being part of a worshipping community, even if it will be temporary.

August 28, 2016 1 0 comments
Blog

Do you long to see teens and young adults more solidly connected to your church? Are you a preacher or do you belong to a church that has a preacher? If so, I invite you to take the “Preaching Tag-team Challenge.”

August 17, 2016 3 1 comments
Blog

For most people the idea of being interviewed by the church council is somewhere on the spectrum between anxiety-producing and utterly terrifying. Here are a few ways to make the interview a more joyful, life-giving process. 

August 17, 2016 3 0 comments
Resource, Lesson or Study

Momentum is designed for young adults who are looking for intentional discipleship as well as an opportunity to serve for a month internationally with Christian Reformed World Missions.

August 17, 2016 0 0 comments
Q&A

Has anyone come across resources or study materials on hermeneutics? I am interested in starting a series with my high school students and would appreciate any ideas.

July 26, 2016 0 2 comments
Blog

Growing up as a missionary kid, I observed and helped host many short-term mission teams. From this experience I learned a few things about being well prepared, which I want to share with you!

June 16, 2016 3 4 comments
Blog

This past week I was asked to coordinate a dialog among the Bible class students at a Christian High School on the subject of how to think Christianly about sexuality in our local context. The opinions of the students were frankly expressed and they lamented the fact that their school often...

May 21, 2016 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

It is hard not to be involved in a conversation these days about young adults or campus ministry without hearing the question “how do we keep our young adults in the church?”

February 3, 2016 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

Frodo commits to the task saying, “I will take the ring to Mordor. Though, I do not know the way.” Is this a good parallel to profession of faith? 

August 11, 2015 0 0 comments
Blog

It’s easy to be critical of social media. It’s particularly easy to be critical of the person using their phone in church. Are they checking Facebook instead of listening to the sermon?

July 23, 2015 3 2 comments
Q&A

I'm in the first month of my position as "Director of Youth Ministries" and have been approached to suggest some Bible Study resources. Any books or materials that worked well for you?

June 19, 2015 1 8 comments
Blog

Don't get me wrong: being perpetually left behind for bigger and brighter dreams has been a difficult adjustment. But now I see that it it isn’t about us and our church but about HIM and HIS church...

May 21, 2015 3 2 comments
Discussion Topic

A Millennial shares his take on what will draw his generation to the Church...and you might be surprised. But what do you think? Is Jonathan right?

May 20, 2015 2 1 comments
Blog

The influence of youth in missions and development is often overlooked. But even though we aren’t making donations or writing books, young people like myself are doing big things.

March 9, 2015 4 2 comments

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Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and saviour it is not to late

Providing a safe space to talk, and to be able to share authentically without fear of judgment and shame, goes a long way toward building community. And deep community is the context designed by our Lord for faith development. It doesn't happen sitting in pews on a Sunday morning. It needs to be built in to other church venues, for example small groups and adult classes. It seems very important to me that the Church lead the way in being able to discuss differences honestly and respectfully, as different parts of one body, especially in the divisive culture in which we live.

A number of our churches are engaged in learning about how to rightly understand godly authenticity through the Ridder Church Renewal Process. To continue to build on what you have shared, Syd, I'd like to share some of the insights from the Ridder Process.

True authenticity happens when you bring all of what you know about yourself to all of what you know about God. I find that this fits perfectly with what you share under #1. Such a life of reflecting and growing through various avenues of spiritual formation/practices leads to continuous transformation of our knowledge (as well as directly impacting how we live) of our self and of God; which is connected to your second point.

A third value to consider when discussing authenticity is the growth point to challenge our strident individual practice: authentic community, that is, a community of people who share and sustain a common purpose with one another. It is in these small communities of individuals supporting one another in the practice of authenticity that the Spirit works to admonish, challenge, encourage, and help one another in truth, with love and patience. (1 Thes 5.14) Others helps us see our blind spots, being in community helps us live in God's design (i.e. relationally) and helps us to experience the very fundamental Christian truth: transformation does not happen without submission. In particular, such communities are the only safe place to be authentic before others because they are the only place where we might hear that what we know of ourselves is not true in light of what we know of God. 

When we "fill out" what we understand about authenticity in this way, we see that the key value is not simply saying what's so for you as you are right now, but coming to understanding and action surrounding where Christ through the Spirit is leading you to be transformed to the Father's design. In authenticity, we are coming to terms with the old that needs to go and the new creation that has come (or is coming!) (2 Cor 5.17)

Thank you for this Syd. In my church over the last few years I hear a lot about wanting to grow in authenticity. That sounds like the "stand alone authenticity" you describe. Knowing that true authenticity is linked with spiritual practices gives us a path forward to developing real spiritual community.

Thank you, Jolene, for this prophetic word on hope.

posted in: I Choose Hope!

Christians have been "believing in" hope for 2,000 years, Jews for 6000 years.

I hope that young people (under 30) can learn to live with this world as they find it. It isn't the world I was born into 75 years ago. The major alternate is a shooting war for/in the western nations.

posted in: I Choose Hope!

I have come to see and understand that, along with the truth that Jesus died in my place, he also lived in my place - lived that wholly faithful and sinless life that I cannot.  Still, to know Jesus and to listen to Him, to 'live in his neighborhood' as someone put it, I can't miss the push to imitate Him, to do what he says and what himself does.  I am coming to see that the closer I am to Jesus, realizing what it took for Him to deal with sin, the more I can come to see what sin is, especially in my own life.  Separating law and gospel has always led to problems, but seeing them united in Christ seems like the best way forward, at least to me.

Nice article Brianna.  It has a nice balance to a concern that many in the Reformed tradition seem to feel.  I think that concern has something to do with the legalistic perspective of the Reformed faith.  Reformed people have always placed a certain emphasis on law.  I’m recalling, in my mind, Calvin’s three uses of the law.  The using of the law as a rule of gratitude seems to easily backfire and result in guilt, whether warranted or not.

When Reformed Christians speak of the law as a rule of gratitude for Christian living, it easily disintegrates into a measuring stick for Christian living.  And when you don’t measure up, the result is guilt and guilty feelings.

The Pharisees, of course, were driven by law.  They would use the law as a measuring stick to guilt their fellow Jews and Jesus into obedience.  Jesus didn’t buy into such a mentality.  Jesus seemed to dismiss much of the Jewish cherished laws.  Instead Jesus’ emphasis was on compassion.  Have you ever noticed how often Jesus was characterized as having compassion on and for people, whether on the crowds, individuals, sinners, or even good people?  And much of Jesus’ teachings focused on compassion.  Have you ever noticed how often the Pharisees were characterized as having compassion?  Not once.  So as to Jesus’ teaching and example, law and compassion seem to be antithetical to each other. 
  
Paul, at times encouraged joyful giving, akin to having compassion.  As Reformed Christians we, instead, follow a measuring stick of grateful giving (legalistic), which gets spelled out as giving a measurable tithe, or an individual quota, a classical quota, and a denominational quota.  It all gets broken down into a legalistic amount that Reformed Christians should be giving, whether as churches or as individuals.  And when not meeting that measure, the result is guilty feelings and guilt.  The law, even as a rule (measuring stick) of gratitude (which the Pharisees would also advocate) becomes a measure of our failure more often than a measure of our success.

Law or legalism most often has a negative effect of bringing about guilt and feelings of doubt.  Even the use of the law as a rule of gratitude is not so different than what the Pharisees practiced.  I’m quite certain they would have seen law keeping as rule of gratitude for the deliverance they felt from God, too.  But they put a heavy emphasis on human responsibility to be law keepers, even as Reformed people have done.  And our failure always seems to bring about guilt.  That is another emphasis of the Reformed faith, human failure.

Christ wants our lives to be characterized by compassion, whether it is forgiving others or doing good for others, but not as legalistic law keepers.  Perhaps the secret to a joyous Christian experience is to get our eyes off the law and instead live compassionate lives of love for God and neighbor.

Thanks for the reminder about college students! Our church participates an English language partner program in which church members are paired with international students to meet regularly for the purpose of practice in speaking English. In the past, as an InterVarsity staff worker, I was always blessed to have my church, with its close proximity to the campus, allow us to use space for various events. It gave many students a very positive view of the church with fond memories of special events there. One year I volunteered for a program where students and church members signed up, agreeing to be paired up for "two meetings and a lunch". It was a great way to connect more deeply with a student who was a part of our church, but whom I had never really talked with before. 

 

Thanks Syd! I like this approach a lot.  All pastors are not capable of doing this.  You are a teacher/preacher and that makes a difference.  Maybe seminarians need to be taught how to do this, and not only with the young.  Many older members could use their gifts in this way also.

Hi Ken: 

Christianity Today has a section on their site called Her.meneutics that might be worth checking out. Though it's aimed more at evangelical women, it still looks like a great resource for finding articles and tools. A line in the "Who We Are" section reads: "With robust theological viewpoints and a commitment to the local church, Her.meneutics strives to equip women (and not merely a few men) to engage the world of ideas, cultural trends, and global news through the lens of Christian faith." 

Could be worth checking out!
 

Let the Reader Understand is an excellent book on hermeneutics, albeit dense. We used it in a college Hermeneutics course at Covenant College. But we shouldn't underestimate our high schoolers. Let them rise to the challenge.

Muchas gracias!

Que Dios les acompanye.

 

Good post!

Steve, I've been asked to give some direction to a Young Adult group. Can you tell me more about what Huddles are about? How are they formed and how do they go deeper? Do you have specific questions that they ask?

Be active!! 

I think most young adult think  churches are lazy! 

They  sit back and do nothing! 

Hate groups have huge rally's, and put together huge protest against Christians , and churches is in silence   and allow God to be kicked out of the country! a nation that was established and dedicated to God!

You are chosen just like I was to take a stand! Make a Difference fight for God !

Form an army for God! Join and spread the 2016 Easter celebration we will be marching around every court house in America celebrating the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of Christians 

We will be demanding in the name of our savior Jesus Christ  that the government allows him back in our schools and federal buildings .

unite the churches and at the least March one time around a court house in the name of God!

spread the word make it happen!

you hear him calling!

Elizabeth Drescher says that "social media is the landscape of communication."

We can grow in faith through social media in the same way that we grow through school, work, and family. 

Thanks for sharing this, Libby! This article about the church allowing kids to use social media was really interesting. I especially liked this line: Today’s youth are online – this is where they form relationships, tell their stories and live a significant portion of their lives, including their faith lives. It's a great idea to meet youth where they already are! 

A couple of things have worked well for us when it comes to offering a study that anyone can just jump into on any given week.  We have done article studies using pieces from Christianity Today, The Banner, and blogs.  Each week is a different topic but it fits into an overall theme.  And we also have done straight up Bible studies - either topical or going through a book.  I just picked up a book by Bob Grahmann called Transforming Bible Study that offers some different ways to lead a good Bible study. 

We also have started smaller discipleship groups called Huddles that have been working really well.  They are groups of 3 or 4 people that can form out of a Bible study and they go a lot deeper.  If you want more information on that, just let me know.

 

That's an interesting direction to go, one that I hadn't considered!  I will add it to the list of suggestions for our discussion.  (I also love your enthusiasm for the book- I'm totally intrigued now!)

Thanks for the suggestions, Tim.  That NT Wright book looks promising...!

Last summer, I led a study on Keller's "The Meaning of Marriage", and used two electronic study guides for questions, along with questions and summaries from a small support group from my congregation. Oh man, it was SO worthwhile and the group LOVED it. I passed out extra copies of the book to young adults who couldn't make it, for attendees partners and friends, and so on, at the request and referral of the attendees. While most weren't married, I used the second part of the title to draw people in: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God. I'd highly recommend it.

 

I recently began leading a college group in my church in Visalia.  I began by reading Chuck Bomar's College Ministry from Scratch.  It was helpful for providing some framework and ideas for teaching and programming, as well as developing goals, realistic expectations, and a direction/purpose.

In our Bible study, we decided on a book (first James, now Philippians).  Everyone read the entire book before our first meeting.  We talked about general themes, I brought some info from commentaries.  Then we worked through the book in smaller chunks, keeping in mind the overall themes and purposes we saw when we read straight through.  

A different idea that's been used by a young adult group here is using NT Wright's For Everyone series.  He does each book of the New Testament, and has short devotions/homilies on each section as he works his way through the book.  It's (at times) a bit heady, but overall, pretty accessible for people.  I'm currently going through Acts for Everyone, and it's been really good.

Thanks, Staci- I'll look into that.

Hi Steve: Great question (and one that can be a real struggle)! One possible option (depending on specific age group) is the Sticky Faith Teen Curriculum, though it is a book and DVD study. 

Thanks Dirk.  Great perspective.  We're all just a passing through.  How nice it is to have stopped along the way at a wonderful roadside stop.  Those stops often provide inspiration for the rest of the trip.  Thanks

Anyone who thinks the CRC should grow and/or needs to be reorganized should take a look at Wall Street Journal book review by Michael Shermer of "The Head Game," which begins,"

When President Bill Clinton chose to intervene in the Somali civil war in 1993, the Battle of Mogadishu resulted in thousands of Somali citizens killed, two American Black Hawk helicopters shot down, and the death of 18 U.S. soldiers, several of whose bodies were dragged through the streets of the capital. As a consequence, a year later Mr. Clinton hesitated to intervene in Rwanda despite intelligence before the height of the massacre that Hutu leaders were planning to eliminate all Tutsis. The result was a hemoclysm—a blood flood—of around a million dead. Mr. Clinton said it was one of the worst foreign-policy decisions of his eight years in office.

President Clinton might have benefited from Philip Mudd’s “The HEAD Game,” a book based on a program that the author developed during more than two decades at the CIA, the FBI and the National Security Council. The book title keys off Mr. Mudd’s acronym for his methodology: High Efficiency Analytic Decision-making (HEAD). When faced with an ocean of information or apparently conflicting data, Mr. Mudd says we—presidents, CEOs and the rest of us—need to ask a few fundamental questions. What is the problem? What are your “drivers,” the important characteristics that define your problem? How will you measure performance? What about the data collected in relation to the defined problem? Are you missing important information?"

and ends, "The HEAD Game” is not an academic work: It lacks an index and its bibliography is just a short list of related books. Mr. Mudd himself recommends Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” as the masterpiece in the genre of decision-making psychology. But the author’s many personal experiences in facing real-world threats like al Qaeda terrorists does as much to illuminate the problem of making predictions before the fact as hundreds of academic experiments on undergraduates motivated by little more than beer money. As we face new perils like ISIS, whose explosive growth serves as another example in prediction failure discussed in the book, we would do well to ask the question Mr. Mudd poses to end his book: “Can you please point out an element or two of my analysis that seems weak, or reflects some sort of bias?”

To this, I would add two more statements we all should be willing to make: “I was wrong” and, especially, “I don’t know”."

Dirk, This is such a great perspective! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is always difficult to say goodbye to these folks, but when we look at the bigger picture of what God is doing in and through them, it gives us a whole new outlook going forward. I love it.

Aaron--Thanks so much for your thoughts! I'm not sure that I quite understand your comment though--do you mean to say that the effort is there we just aren't doing things effectively?

awesome thoughts. i totally agree with them but i think its been my experience that people are trying to reach young people and not forgetting them. its almost a target demographic i feel that the CRC doesnt know how to reach

Hans: Well put.....

In John 21 we read JESUS and Peter went for a walk, were JESUS  gave Peter a job to do, proclaim ME, the apostle John was following, Peter asked JESUS, "what about him" JESUS said never mind I am talking to you, you must follow ME. That also goes for you and me, so what can I say, it reminds me of the song, " Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me" . He has compassion on me, so my role is to proclaim, and have compassion, as CHRIST has compassion on me. You must follow ME , how about simple role modeling, serve the needy in our community, simply rub shoulders. In our case I see so much value in serve trips, Orphanage and drug & alcohol rehab,drag young and old along, have them witness missery in the world, and how it can be overcome by GOD,s grace. It is not my job to judge, only HE can , and HIS grace is Amazing.  Hans Visser

 

Thanks Roger for the added insight. I presume that many more have the same feelings, but just do not know how to express it, or what to do about it. Many churches are waiting for someone to tell them how to get out of the Sheltered Lifestyle. Sometimes, our lives are so busy with meaningless things that we forget/fail to concentrate on what is important. Finding ways to reach out to the hurting is one of those responsibilities that we MUST solve if we want to evangelize, be authentic & transparent and escape our sheltered bubble.

This is a tough topic.  It’s especially hard for Christians, who come out of confessional church background like the CRC.  Our doctrines are so well defined.  Our confessions (the catechism) are structured by the outline of “sin, salvation, and service.” And even though some of our older members mourn the fact that “sin” makes up the smallest section, sin is still a big deal in our churches.  Our members look over the fence and bemoan the fact that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. It’s so difficult for our members to really befriend those on the other side of the fence.  I imagine that most of the adult members of your church have only Christian close friends.  Maybe acquaintances from the other side of the fence, but friends, close friends that they really enjoy being with?  Probably not.  So when your circle of  friends are all within the church how can you help but not to be sheltered?  Our young people are much less sheltered, of course, unless they go to the Christian school system, which many do.  Just as the parents of our churches want to shelter their children, so they shelter themselves.  We are a sheltered community, and don’t even know how to get out from under our shelter.  Our churches try to formulate programs of evangelism or outreach by which church members approach people on the other side of the fence with a canned approach, even a canned approach of friendship with an ulterior motive.  Or we put up signs inviting those on the other side of the fence to come to our church.  We can’t bring ourselves to really come to those over there, but let’s invite them here into our sheltered community and maybe they will feel comfortable with us under our shelter. There is such a dichotomy (division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups) between the people inside our churches and those on the other side of the fence.  And our young people can’t help but to feel those differences or the hypocrisy inside our own camp so that more are being drawn to the other side of the fence.  As to an approach to a conversation that blatantly attacks our cherished beliefs?  Why not just listen.  Or try to understand their point of view without feeling that we have to correct the opposition.  

I guess I’ve said the same thing as you have in your article, just using different words.  Sorry.  I feel your pain.

We have for some years made a point of including children and teens in our worship teams, whether as instrumentalists or singers, or in technical roles (sound, projection, etc). For younger children (below teenage years) we have no requirement of musical ability or aptitude. Any children who want to participate can. This means that sometimes we turn their microphones off or way down - they are aware we do this, and it gives them freedom and safety to express themselves in worship without worrying about what they sound like. As they get a little older, we try to give a level of training (though I wish we were equipped to do more), and for those with emerging stronger voices, we may give some brief or longer solo opportunities - worship is not necessarily served by having the "best" voice.

I try as worship leader to talk about what we're singing. Sometimes the words may not make sense to a younger singer, and so we'll talk briefly about it to help them. At other times it is the younger singers who are rekindling the excitement of worship in older singers and instrumentalists by their dancing, or facial expressions (though they can look pretty glum at times too!). I also try to encourage the adults to learn from the kids in this physical expression.

For instrumentalists, we again don't set high standards, other than ensuring that some level of contribution can be made so that the participant can gain an understanding of worship while growing their technical skills - so they need to have reached an intermediate level of ability. We've had drummers (especially), guitarists, and other "solo" instruments (flute, violin, etc) although have found that the solo instruments are difficult unless we're able to write specific parts for them, which is quite time-consuming and not every leader has the musical ability to  do it.

Lastly, most of our readings, prayers, and other liturgical elements are led by Praise Team members, and so we have opportunities to engage kids of all ages in these. We'll offer coaching on reading, as well as help with understanding of what is being read.

In summary, our kids are active and very valuable members of our worship teams and we're tremendously blessed by them, and they also by their participation in worship. I'm convinced that this will bear fruit as they grow into adulthood.

Thanks so much for the info!!!

Hey Rebecca....

It was experimental and fun! You can get a flavor for the conversation here:

https://vimeo.com/49844325

https://vimeo.com/49869680

https://vimeo.com/49870928

https://vimeo.com/49893345

The short answer to your other question is that the questions come from YOU! And anyone else who asks them! Questions can be submitted via Twitter hashtag #yalthangout. Audience is whoever shows up - I'd say our audience is about 50% young adults and 50% young adult influencers (or wanna-be influencers!). So whichever you are, join us!

The next one is coming up on October 17 with Chris Mitchell from New England Chapel. Chris is great and left a lot of questions on the table at re:kindle this summer, so we're really excited.

I appreciate the book version of the Heidelberg Catechism that includes the Scripture texts along with the Q&A's making it very easy to study the catechism and the scripture side-by-side. I wish I had more insight to offer regarding the millennial generation (that's what I came here looking for) but thought I'd share this recommendation. The specific book I'm talking about is available from Faith Alive: http://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/155295/the-heidelberg-catechism-with-scripture-texts.aspx .

Curious if anyone can comment on the September 19 event, what was learned, any information or ideas that can be shared?

Also, who is the primary group that this is for (and that you hope will attend)? Are you primarily wanting Young Adults to attend to meet with the named leaders? Or should any church leader who wants to learn more about reaching Young Adults be encouraged to attend? (In other words - who is asking, and who is answering, the questions?)

Shift is now available, along with a free study guide, through Faith Alive.  Here's a link to the ordering page: http://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/139190/shift-dvd.aspx.  

A good book on this topic is Donald Van Dyken's "Rediscovering Catechism."  I had to read it for a chatechetics class this past week and I am very appreciative of the perspective he gives, and the reasoning for why we do catechism, or why we should be doing catechism.

Correction: A full printing of the Belgic Confession does furnish footnotes referencing Scripture.

Truth is not relative, but our recognition and interprtation is relative due to our finiteness and fallenness.  John Leith has said "The creeds [and confessions] are the record of the Church's interpretation of the Bible in the past and the authoritative guide to hermeneutics in the present.'   Denominations unify around the ecumenical creeds and the confessions of their past.  We would do well to do more preaching of the confessions emphasising their basis in Scripture.  The Heidelberg has footnotes to scripture and the Canons of Dort reference Biiblical sources in the body of the text.  The Belgic Confessionn unfortunatly does not include such references.
We do well to interpret and analyze the confesssions in the light of current understandings of scriptural guidance.  For instance we have pulled back from such references to "detested Anabaptists" and the "idolatrous Mass" as arising from the contentious spirit of the period following the Reformation.  However we must guard against reinterpretation of the confessional standards which may arise from the spirit of the times which reflects only the world or worldliness in any interpretation of Scripture.

In the context you are indicating, I wonder if perhaps the biggest benefit of the confessions, is to use them as a way of teaching about scripture.  In other words, the confessions are really about scripture;  they do not exist unto themselves.   Often we seem to go the other way around, to use scripture as a way of justifying or defending the confessions;  many people would want to bypass this approach, since ultimately the confessions themselves are not the issue.   They want to get directly to what scripture says about God, about Jesus, and about their relationship to God.  The confessions help in this, but are not an end in themselves.  

Hi Keith, 

I'm the editor at Faith Alive working with Terpstra Creative to get the films out.  I just wanted to clarify for your readers that Faith Alive is still working through the details on this project. We haven't finalized anything just yet, so contacting FA won't be of much help.  We have to get final approvals and budgeting done before this is offical and the details can make it to our customer service team. 

For the time being, if any readers have questions about the project, they can feel free to contact me directly since I'm the one managing the proposal for Faith Alive.  I can be reached at datkins@faithaliveresources.org.  
 

Thanks!

Hi, I began a college age ministry at my church in New Jersey and a few months in one of my friends joined me as a co-leader.  It has been going on almost two years now but it has been a slow start.  Do not expect huge numbers, big turn outs, or even great events right away.  We started with a Bible Study during the Sunday school hour and now we do mostly social events just trying to bring people into our group.  Our plan at this point is to turn it into something more seriously focused on the Word and regular Bible lessons.  It has been lots of hard work, especially b/c I and the other leader work full time and are involved with a few other ministries ourselves.  My best advice is pray! Everyday get down and ask God where He wants this group to be and how He wants to shape it then just listen for Him.  Second would be to gear it more towards social gatherings, mini golf, bowling, hikes, BBQ's...whatever you guys like to do.  Then build from there, for us after two years will have a solid group of 8 that attend events faithfully.  I'm happy with the results and feel it will grow as God wants it to.  Best wishes.

I lead a group of collage age singles in Ocala Florida. Looking for tips on new studies.

[quote=Alex T]

We [Christians] Americans are breading ourselves out of existance, we're waiting till late 30s to get married and having on average 1.3 kids!  I argue that if we focus our efforts to get married the earliest possible and have the maximum number of kids, 7 or more!

The only needed requirement is to find a compatible spouse, that's a person from the opposite sex, who accept and respect your Christian faith, accept you as a partner for life, understands the marriage covenant -willing to commit, and raise Christian kids.

Doing so, we not only live a happy life, but also in 30 years we can dominate this country and lead a larger Reform!

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I am going to make two points, one in agreement, and one of caution.

First, while this statement may seem to some, offensive or a joke, it does deserve some consideration.  If you look at religious numbers around the world, Islam is growing rapidly due to immigration, and birth rates.  Christianity is dying out, sadly partially due to low numbers.  Of course evangelism, spreading the gospel, and supporting Christian children in the faith, also are important in keeping the faith alive.  However, the Bible does say,

"God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Genesis 1:28

I do not believe that this commandment ended with Adam and Eve or during old testament times.  This does not mean that everyone is called to a lifestyle of marriage and having children, but there are those who can help teach others children, or support those who do have children, and if you are unable to have your own, there are thousands and thousands of children who can be adopted and raised to have a good strong family who will teach them of the love of Jesus Christ.

Second, my point of caution. 

I am a 25 year old single male.  While I have met women who I believe qualify based on the quoted criteria above, this has never been good enough to just get married and have kids.  I have been waiting for a women who I know has the same values and beliefs that I do.  I have been waiting to be in a position where I can properly support a family with children, and be able to give them a safe and secure environment.  An environment where we can raise our children in the knowledge and values of the Bible, who will see the relationship of Jesus and the church reflected in their parents.  When this occurs I am willing to have as many children as is healthy and possible.

I believe that having children in a marriage that is based on less then this is irresponsible on my part and not God honoring at all.  If there is to be a divorce, (which I am against) or one parent does not believe that the Christian values being taught to the children are as important, or the marriage is no different then a non-christian marriage, then it does more harm then good to have children.

So I will happily marry at a later age, and have fewer children, if it means that it will be a strong family structure that honors God.

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

By being the role models, and by living out our Christian values we will lead this Country to a larger Reform.

posted in: Get married asap

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