The 2014/2015 school year is going be a year of discovering our identity in Christ instead of in the world. As we grow to discover that identity together we are going begin to see how it takes living boldly and being risk-takers for Jesus in a culture that wants no part in submitting to a sovereign God. We will be working through many Bible character's stories to see how God had to reshape their identity in order to use them for His kingdom work. As we strive to grow with Christ and become more and more usable in the Kingdom we too must face this identity crisis in our life and become bold in our living for Him! So for this year we will be constantly coming back to our creed for the year: THE LION CHASER'S MANIFESTO Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith. Chase the lion! - Mark Batterson So that is how we aim to become bold lion chaser's this year and in our lives! IF that strikes a chord with you as well, then join us in exploring what it looks like to take a flying leap of faith and chase our beloved Lion!!
Mission Trip Miami - THE SPIRIT SHOWED UP!!
We Need More Prayer!!! I want to give a huge thank you from the youth and volunteers for all of your financial and prayer support for the Mission Trip to Miami, which took place during the week of July 12-18. The week brought everything from the beach, to working with kids, to tirelessly scraping and painting steel fencing. We also were able to build a basketball court and football pitch (soccer field) that the community and school are reportedly getting full use out of and already using as an outreach tool! Whether it was the hours in the classroom with the children, working on reading, writing, or history, or if we were serving lunch to the homeless in Miami, the Holy Spirit was with us all week, filling us up and blessing our whole team. It was the first time our students had been identified as “missionaries”, as all week the teachers, pastors, families, students, and community referred to them all as “missionaries”. With that title comes a sense of calling as well that the students hadn’t really thought about before that experience!! The Spirit was seen in new ways through everything that was on the docket for the week, and lives were changed forever, both in our students and in the people we went to serve.
Though all the above is very good and was incredible, the most impactful part (which rightly was a part of all of the above things as well) was worshipping God non-stop for a week! It began during the sermon of the first full day of ministry, which was a Sunday, as the pastor keyed a 45-minute sermon on the catch phrase, WE NEED MORE PRAYER!! Throughout the sermon and two-hour worship service our students remained engaged and attentive, knowing they were there for Jesus call to bless our neighbors and make disciples of all nations. It was this mindset of unceasing worship, and priorities based not on ourselves that opened the group to the Holy Spirit leading this trip start to finish. Often time’s back home, wherever home may be, we get caught up in the busy-ness of life and our own agenda. Something that happened on this trip is we no longer had our own agenda, and that is something God has called us all to desire. But when we have our work, email, family, hobbies, school, etc. we forget sometimes that it isn’t about all that, it’s about Jesus Christ. That was the best part of this week, was it was 100% about Jesus. Nobody was worried about was going on outside of how Christ was ready to use them in each moment. That showed up in the classroom, as our youth who really don’t like the idea of working with small children (we have all been there at some point) found joy and love in working with the children in school. It also showed up in the work projects as we worked tirelessly on jobs that would be monotonous had they not been done with Jesus mission in the minds and thoughts of the group. When our work becomes Jesus’ work in us and through us, it no longer seems so long or monotonous, but joyful and fun because we are together and doing it for someone else. The trip is and was just a launching pad for a life focused on Christ and His kingdom, rather than ourselves and what we have planned for our days, weeks, and months ahead. In that week though, the Holy Spirit opened who we are called be and what the Spirit can do with us, if we are open to being led and used by the Spirit. The reasons for these trips are many, but in coming home and sharing with you all the trip God took us on, I want to be sure to share that it is a great way to help us break away from the things in our life that we put before Christ in our lives, hearts and minds. Do me a favor in the weeks and months ahead. Find a student who went on the trip, ask them about the trip and allow them to try to give you a sneak peek into what God did in their life while in Miami. Stay Blessed, Josh Ruiter
Click on the photo to follow the link back to the St. Francis Church website
Student Ministry Contact Information Josh Ruiter - Youth Minister Office phone: 301-365-2055 Cell phone: 301-830-1060 email: firstname.lastname@example.org