Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fairfax High School Crowns (Male) Prom Queen

What?? This is insane.

Our country is so confused it thinks that it's sexist to tell him, "Sorry, but you're a boy."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Radical Ministry (I Think)

I feel a call to radical ministry. I always wonder what that looks like in youth group terms. And it's hard to feel like you're doing something radical when you spend most of your time planning. Whether it's messages, meetings, or minutia (alliteration is always sweet). I think my idea of what is radical has a lot to do with its ties to mission.

Here are some things I've done recently:

1) Build up a kind of strategy for organic, personal outreach (see this blog post of mine to see where exactly I went) and emphasized it with the group. The series went something like this:
  • What is an oikos? (Focused on teaching what an oikos was and how to identify it)
  • Why an oikos (Focus on why oikos evangelism is effective)
  • How does it all work (Focused on the heart behind the evangelism-what is the motivation?)
  • How it can fail (Focused on how outreach will fail without first being true followers of Christ)
2) Organized a mission/vision statement that focuses on the three aspects of the youth ministry, which would look something like this:
  • Set Apart (this is who we are, who we want to be)
  • Operation Infiltration (this is our mission, our two-word summation of the Great Commission to go. Our goal is to infiltrate our worlds (oikos) with the gospel.
  • Oikos (this is our mission field. It's our 8-15 people God has strategically and supernaturally put into our lives.)
3) Everything we do is based around cultivating these things.
  • Sunday mornings are focused on biblical teaching as to how we are to be Set Apart for God's use.
  • Our small prayer group meets before every Wednesday night to pray for the kids in youth group.
  • Wednesday nights are an outreach program that kids can bring their unsaved friends to. It's intentionally programmed to be made for unsaved kids to come (but the gospel is not watered down!)
  • Other events are opportunities for kids to invite their friends (oikos) so we can build relationships and extend our sphere of influence.
The kids in the youth group are responding with enthusiasm with the right motivations (I think) but we have yet to see numerical growth...Which is okay!

1 Corinthians 3:6-7 "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Kingdom of Heaven

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid three measure of flour, till it was all leavened.”

The Kingdom of Heaven is growing. Slowly. Imperceptibly. Often unnoticed by the unwary eye. But it is growing steadily. Our Lord God Commander has sent out his soldiers into the world as unseen, unknown, unnamed witnesses that slowly but surely further the kingdom of heaven. This is Operation Infiltration. These soldiers are fearless, faceless, as persistent as pit bulls and as gentle as lambs. They walk upright, with utmost confidence—not in themselves, but in their leader, who has given them everything they need. When they are mocked, they smile. When they are ridiculed, they rejoice. Resistance only makes them stronger. Why? Because they operate within an unstoppable force called the sovereign will of God Almighty—and they know for a fact that HE cannot be stopped.

They may be faceless, but o do they feel it. It’s not just church—it’s their passion. It’s their deep, heart-felt, blood-earnest desire to do God’s will. They feel it in their gut. They love the saints. They shed tears for the unsaved. They will do anything to win them for Christ. And yet, they know that no matter how hard they work, they can do nothing in regards to saving souls. But that doesn’t bother them, because they have been on their knees before God and know that He will act. They have heavy hearts for the hopeless but they are filled to the brim with hope. Their hope in God is what drives them day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

They know scripture like their life depends on it—because it does. And not only their life but the lives of their associates and life-sharers who need to hear the truth. So they wear the Word of God like a sheathed sword on their hip, and they are ready to use it to cut through the deception and guilt and depression that is claiming the dying souls around them. They don’t go to church— they are the church. They are the faceless minority dispersed throughout the world to bring the lost ones to Christ. And they will continue to do it until every tribe, tongue, and nation has heard the gospel. And they are turning the world upside down one person at a time.

O, that God would raise up a generation of Christian soldiers that are characterized by driving passion, rock-solid confidence and a head-turning joy displayed in a steadfast love for the lost.