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Every once in a while I’m asked by someone in the church, “where are the young adults in our church?”  My initial thought is this is a person who genuinely cares but has a blind spot to this area of ministry in the church.  It’s no different than our lack of awareness about any ministry in the church that we’re not connected to at the time.  Think about it for a minute, you connect with the people that you’re in ministry with and without some intentional effort you can have a blind spot to other ministries you don’t participate in, it’s almost as though they don’t exist sometimes. 

Our College & Career ministry is one of those ministries that easily can be a blind spot for many members.  They’re a very transient group as they transition through various life stages…new jobs, new relationships, new colleges, and moving away.  That doesn’t even consider the fact that many of them are experiencing adulthood for the first time and trying to figure out if they want to do things the same way they’ve had to do them under their parent's authority up to this point.  It creates a unique challenge, to say the least in a town where the closest major college campus of any size is at least 20 minutes away.

All that being said, it’s been exciting to see as God has grown the ministry to young adults.  From the earliest stages of it, it was evident that God had a plan and despite who we may have thought was necessary for that plan, He provided who He knew we needed.  I’m very excited to see God work among our young adults and those in the community and since this is a blind spot for many in the church, want to give you a glimpse into what God is doing. 

While most of you are at home on Wednesday evenings, our College & Career (CnC) group meets each week.  At 8 p.m. they meet in my home (1243 Highland Circle Dr. Wentzville MO 63385) where we share a meal together, study the Bible together, pray together, and enjoy time hanging out.  They’re doing their “Sunday School” just like the rest of you do Explore the Bible, just a different time and place.  One of the things that is exciting about this is you never know who might come through the door on any given night.  We’ve had the opportunity to host people of all different backgrounds, from atheist to believers just looking for a place to connect with other young adults.  Over the last year, we’ve had about 25 different guests come through our doors as we try to reach young adults.

While that is exciting, what is just getting started excites me even more.  Just like other groups in our Sunday School ministry, we’ve been working through how to be more intentional in reaching people for Christ knowing that we need to do better to fulfill our purpose as a ministry.  We spent multiple weeks during our gathering to discuss how to reach people better than ever before.  At some point it became time to talk about who was actually going to do something about the ideas…not just talk about stuff. 

One of the first things that came out of our discussions was that we needed to spend time weekly praying for lost people.  Since then we’ve been breaking up into small groups of 2-3 to pray for lost people by name and for our prayer partners obedience when God presents opportunities.   I’ve got 3 young adults in mind right now that I’m praying for that work at a local Starbucks with one of our young men.  It changes things when we begin to think about and pray for lost people. 

Another thing that came out of our discussions was that we needed to have events outside our typical gathering time where we sought to bring people together that wouldn’t otherwise step foot into one of our worship services or our small group Bible Study.  Our goal is to bring people together and then to give them the opportunity to respond to the gospel.  Our first attempt at this will be May 27 as one of the young women is putting together a scavenger hunt where everyone is being encouraged to build their own team with the intent of having a time afterward where they can share testimonies of how Christ has changed their lives and how He can change theirs as well.

They’re not pretending like they’ve arrived, nor reached the point where we can be satisfied with the ministry but they are starting to embrace the reality of the fact that God has blessed us with such a ministry and in doing so has given us the responsibility to reach more young adults.  This is only a couple steps they’re taking to be more intentional.  To that end, I think if they continue on this path, that within the year, we’ll have another group of young adults meeting on a weekly basis….and who knows what God has in store from there.

One of the best things you can do is pray for these young adults.  Pray for them as they take steps to reach people for Christ.  Pray for their obedience and the hearts of those that they’re trying to reach.  Pray for those that graduate and have to go through a significant life change that results in having to find new friends and places to connect.  Pray for more young adults who are serious about the mission of God to rise up, to be a part of a core group that would start another Bible study group, maybe even on Sunday morning.

Our church is blessed to have young adults, seriously we are….some churches, like us a few years ago aren’t fortunate enough to have a group of young adults doing ministry together.  Encourage young adults when you see them…many are serving on Sunday mornings.  While you’re praying for them, ask God how He might lead you to do what they’re doing….trying to be intentional as a group in reaching people.  Your Sunday school group could probably take the task of reaching people more seriously as well, just like the College & Career ministry has begun to do!

Posted by Jeremy Shirley with 0 Comments
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Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.   2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)

By asking you a few questions: Would you agree or disagree with the statements,

  1. Private property encourages greed and envy.
  2. Meaning and purpose come from working hard to earn as much as possible so you can make the most out of life.
  3. What is morally right or wrong depends on what an individual believes.
  4. If you do good, you will receive good. If you do bad, you will receive bad.
  5. All people pray to the same god or spirit, no matter what name they use for that spiritual being.
  6. God helps those that help themselves.

These statements are just a few of the statements that were used by the research team from Barna Group to track what they have concluded is an ongoing shift away from Christianity as the basis for a shared worldview.  The research was conducted with practicing Christians (who go to church at least monthly and consider their faith very important in life) including 1,456 web-based surveys conducted in March 2017.

Well, if you’re like me, when I read about the population that was being surveyed, I was sure that the prevalent worldview that was going to be espoused was a Christian worldview.   I mean, they were interviewing Christians...but what they concluded was that it appears that among people who identify themselves as people of faith there continues to be evidence that they hold beliefs that are contrary to Scripture and Christianity.

It appears that many Christians have fallen prey to the ideas and beliefs of worldviews that stand in opposition to the truths that are given to us in the Scripture.  In other words, we believe and practice the wrong things.

Which statements above would you have agreed with or disagreed with?  Are you confident that you know what the Bible says about each one of the ideas presented within the statements?  Could you give some Biblical evidence that what you believe indeed lines up with what God says?

No wonder we have seen an increasing moral decline in our nation and among our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Key worldviews like new spirituality, marxism, postmodernism, secularism, pluralism, relativism,  go ahead...add a few “isms” of your own...these have influenced Christians’ beliefs about the way the world is and how it ought to be.

Would you be surprised to know that research indicates that 38% of practicing Christians are sympathetic to some Muslim teachings?

The research also indicated:

  • 61% agree with ideas rooted in New Spirituality
  • 54% resonate with postmodernist views.
  • 36% accept ideas associated with Marxism
  • 29% believe ideas based on secularism

The remedy; Christians like you and me, need to reaffirm our commitment to the Scripture, and the worldview presented, by learning and standing upon the Word of God.  There are too many Christians that take a verse here or there...usually out of context...and formulate a belief or an idea that doesn’t match with what the Bible actually says.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.   2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)

Who, in their right Christian mind, doesn’t want to find the approval of God.

That’s why with our commitment to the Word, must be a commitment to study the Word of God in its entirety.  When we only know the Scripture in “parts”, we are easy prey for competing worldviews and religions that have fragments or similarities to some of the teachings we find in the Scripture...then we latch on to those ideas without recognizing them for what they are...distortions of Biblical truth.

One of the easiest ways to make studying the Scripture a part of your lifestyle, thus becoming a person who is informed with what the Scripture teaches and then finding yourself able to develop and maintain a healthy Biblical worldview, is by joining a Bible Study group on Sunday mornings.

Together, with other Christians, you will study the Bible and think...informed thinking is what is needed...as you learn how the Scripture applies to the world and life that God created and maintains.  You will see how the world is from His point of view and how it ought to be from His point of view, ensuring that you will not be led astray from the purpose and plan of God for your life.

As we learn the Scripture and obey the Word we will then be ready to handle it, to stand for and spread the Word of God, the Christians’ worldview, in the marketplace of ideas.   Only the truth of Scripture will indeed, set people free.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,   and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (ESV)

It’s not too late, but we are headed in the wrong direction, if Christians don’t know what the Bible says and how it applies to real life...and if we have fallen prey to competing worldviews and religions and actually have fallen for the “lie”.

Join a Bible Study class...read the Word...study all of it...and you will find the truth and the approval of God.  And...do it as soon as you can!

Posted by Ralph Sawyer with 0 Comments

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