In the previous post, I mentioned following several Youth ministry blogs, and on Rethinking Youth Ministry, they were discussing churches playing it “safe”. As a church, as a Youth ministry, we should be anything but safe! Or as they called it:
I’ve been really thinking of this ever since that particular post, and that discussion came up. Is my church dangerous?
And I’ve come to the conclusion, it is. We are very dangerous! Let me tell you about our Pastor and Youth Pastor:
-They are both missionaries. Gordon has an incredible heart for the Hispanic community and goes to Mexico as often as he can. More often than not, he’s taking fellow church members with him. Jeff has a heart for Cam0dia, Bangled3sh, Burm@ and goes a few times a year to teach pastors there. They learn and then take it back to their homes, towns, villages….where we would never normally be able to reach! (both of their wives are equally amazing and have the sweetest hearts! Thanks Gloria and Jan!)
-They have a boldness for Christ and a desire to see people saved, one that is incredible….and contagious! Gordon walks the streets by the church and talks to business owners about Christ in a very friendly, non-judgemental way. And he inspires all of us to do the same! Jeff leads the Youth in “fishing trips” to different places and encourages us to bold in our faith. He teaches the teenagers to be unashamed of their faith in their everyday lives and to share with friends and classmates. (He says he’s too “old” to be teaching Youth, but it’s that maturity that has encouraged the spiritual maturity in our teenagers!)
-They helped a Hispanic church to grow by offering our own church building for them to meet in! They have helped us a church family to reach out to this new church and we have embraced them proudly with open arms! My favorite services are the ones combined with the Hispanic church with the wonderful lunches afterwards! We have stepped outside of our own comfort zones to meet the needs of fellow Christians.
-They are encouraging us to go farther by embracing others from different “tribes, nations, people, and languages” and we have Sunday scriptures read in different languages! We have a class Sunday nights teaching us about different religions and cultures so as to better understand them and share Christ. (When world views collide by Ergun Caner, INCREDIBLE study, by the way!)
-They have both encouraged us a church family to be more diligent in our Bible reading, scripture memorizing, and prayer lives. And they have lead by example.
-They are humble men that know that their salvation comes from Christ alone, and not because they are “special, holy men”. (Quote by Gordon) They don’t say “sinners” because that implies they are somehow better than the unsaved. They know that they are just as sinful as anyone else, they just have found the Savior that saves us by His grace.
-They began a ministry that feeds the homeless once a month and encouraged the church to become involved!
-Our church is helping to support a new Youth ministry starting (and I don’t shamelessly plug it whenever I can because my photos are all over the website…that would be shallow. I plug it because Michael is a good guy!)
-Our church supports an incredible Youth camp every summer for our Youth (Faithweek, seriously, no camp like it, anywhere! You should check it out.😉 )
-And like our Sunday School teacher in the new Young Couples class: we want to build not just a class, but a community….because church should go farther than just Sunday morning.
So, do I think our church is “safe”?
Not a chance. And I’m so proud!
Thank you to Gordon, Jeff, and Chip, for your amazing leadership! You have made a wonderful difference in the lives of our church family! Happy Pastors-Appreciation Month!
The above picture will take you to our church website where you can listen to the podcasts of the sermons!