Posts Tagged 'Mission'

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Your Backyard Is a Place of Hope




Backyard Kids Clubs offer a real opportunity to love like Jesus in your neighborhood.



Warning! Leap of faith required.

For some, a leap of faith might mean taking on a new leadership role, quitting a secure job to follow God into something unknown, deciding how your children should be schooled or just deciding to have kids. We all have our own leaps of faith at various seasons in our lives.

One of my big leaps of faith in the last couple of years was BKC. When Summitview decided to move from one acronym — VBS (Vacation Bible School) — to another — BKC (Backyard Kids Club) — my heart sank, literally. VBS was hard for an introvert like me: crowds of kids, too much sugar, lots of energy, an incredible amount of noise. I helped out because my kids love all of those things, especially in the context of friends and fun ways to learn about the gospel. But every day after VBS was over, I’d come home and just savor the quiet.

The idea of BKC was even harder for me: a crowd of kids in my backyard, inviting my neighbors, being responsible for running it all, trying to find others to help. Not my idea of a good time.

But it was, and is, my kid's idea of a great time. Plus, we'd been praying for opportunities to connect with our neighbors. So, even though I really didn't want to, I took the plunge and signed up to host a BKC.

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Dorm It: Inhibitions, Insecurities and Loving Like Jesus in the CSU Dorms


 


The scholarship offer from Summitview to live in the CSU dorms came about a week before move-in. I am okay with quick, large decisions for the sake of spreading the gospel, but this faced me with one of my darker inhibitions: Could I be loving in the dorms? Just three years ago, living in Parmelee Hall as an unsaved freshman, I hated the dorms and the mass moral irresponsibility around me (I was very self-righteous).

I dreaded the thought of wasting the scholarship but I told my peers I would surrender the opportunity to God. I was a bit late in the game, but God was already making preparations. I had to find someone to replace me on my current lease, but a friend I had just convinced to move from California filled my spot. I didn’t have many possessions. The only barrier was my heart. God reminded me that he is always with me and that he is more than enough to overcome my heart. Jeremiah 1:7-8 helped me when I thought I lacked the authority or credentials to share the gospel:

 

But the Lord said to [Jeremiah],
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”

 

This is the motif of human life: It isn’t about me or my worthiness; rather, it is about a God who is with and in me. Given that, I decided to accept the offer to live on campus.

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Look Up and Consider the Greatest Challenge Facing the Church and Your Faith


 


Look up. No, not in that way. Literally, just look up. The sky is still there (there's even going to be a "supermoon" this Sunday!); the firmament is still firmly in place.

It's necessary to do that from time to time. In all of the changes and uncertainty in a post-Christian culture, we have to remind ourselves that God is still, you know, God and that the world has not come to an end (but there is a "blood moon" this Sunday, as well). And in all of our talk about hitting curveballs, living as exiles and dealing with sobering realities, it's good to gaze into that beautiful blue expanse and simply exhale.

You might be thinking, "Yeah, right. I wish I had the time to stare into space." Hold that thought.

While the challenges I listed about living in a post-Christian culture are indeed real and require serious care, we must be willing to ask ourselves if those things are the biggest challenges facing the American church and your personal relationship with Jesus today.

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So Long, Sweet Summer: Rockers Return from Lincoln with Stories, Faith and Truth


 


Just over a week ago, a group of Rockers — Adrianja Cheadle, Alayna Mihaly, John Richard, Julie Carr, Noah Albrecht, Rachel Knoshaug, Ross Bryant, Stephen Molden — and John Larsen and his family returned from their two-month Leadership Training (LT) in Lincoln, Neb. From May 31 to July 31, they served alongside folks from the campus ministries of six other Great Commission Churches.

Now that they’re back in a humidity-free climate, a few of them took the time to share some thoughts about their summer in Lincoln. Be thankful for the work God did in and through them. Their responses have been edited for readability.

What were ways that the LT helped you grow as a disciple?

Ross Bryant: I think I grew as a disciple in my fear of the Lord. John Meyer's messages helped with this. In addition, I grew in being inspired with a practical vision of how to be like Jesus. This happened simply by being around believers I'm not normally around, and something about their lives really made an impression upon me. In particular, I'm thinking of Kevin Jacobson and his intentional investment in the men God has given him to disciple. He spends time with them, contacts them everyday to ask how their time in the Word is going, how prayer is going and what struggles are in their life. I understand how to make disciples better because of him. I am also thinking of John Hastings and how he is full of joy. He leads boldly, doesn't back down on his convictions — but he is so joyful. He chooses joy and delights easily in other’s joy. In addition, the amount of free time led me to grow in my relationship with God and time in the Word.

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No Small Thing: Finding Community and Mission in a Changing World


 


"The church that figures out how to bring old and young together at the table, Christian and non-Christian together in backyards, and the mature and the just-starting-out together in friendship will become a light to many in their community.

"Naturally, the churches or groups of churches that figure out how to do this well for hundreds, and even for thousands or tens of thousands, will be able to see communities and regions transformed." — Carey Nieuwhof, pastor and church strategist in Toronto, Canada



The cultural changes of the last 20 years are necessitating an adjustment in the Church’s approach to its mission. Throughout the West, thinkers like Pastor Nieuwhof are beginning to see that, if we respond wisely, there is actually a tremendous opportunity in the midst of these changes.

To take advantage of that opportunity, one of our aims as a local church is develop healthy, mission-minded small groups in every sphere of life in Fort Collins. Throughout August, we will be encouraging members of Summitview to prayerfully brainstorm who they might be called to reach and how they might join with others in small groups to do so.

Here are a few ideas to get the conversation started.

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