TNG Group meeting: Camp theme

I thought I would share some encouraging news that occurred on Wednesday evening. We are promoting a youth camp run by Ventures to our youth group this week. We had one youngster who went last year and he “loved it!”

We planned all the camp games that we played this year and we had a video project we did to show them. They all loved it!! The games were fun, the video was captivating, and when I asked “who wants to go this year?” I had 6 people who wanted to go. My personal aim was to have at least 5 youngsters go while I’m at the group because I leave for theological college in September.

Can you please pray for these youngsters and our TNG leaders as they prepare for camp! The camp is a christian camp and its purpose is to be life changing for these kids.

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Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: Book Notes: Chapter 14

Here are my thoughts on this final chapter in the book:

1. What have I found helpful/insightful in this chapter?

Our Identity is in Christ! Tripp brings out in this penultimate chapter that we need to identify ourselves in Christ, because we also are people in need of change. We are adopted into the family of God because we are all in Christ. Paul describes it in Ephesians 2:6-7

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

We have life because we are in Christ. The other image that is useful to remember is Jesus’ saying “I am the true vine”. He is the vine and we are the branches, for he is the roots in which we live. “As people pursue the process of lifelong change, they need to live out of a gospel identity.” P260. That is the key. As people change, their Identity is in Christ.

The other insightful thing that came out the chapter is providing accountability. Tripp describes it as this: “Accountability requires a willingness to roll up our sleeves and get alongside people as they fight the war between sin and righteousness” P268

We are meant to walk people through the difficulties of their faith. It is a bit more than then seeing them once in a while and seeing if they are alright! We need to get alongside people who we have in our care. The example that comes to mind is the Congregational pastors. They need to really get to know their people (Chapter 10) and then work with them through their walks of faith. Tripp continues “God calls us to the same ministry by the power of the Holy Spirit. He calls us to stand with people as the step out in faith, obedience and courage. This is the ministry of accountability.” P 269. He the lists what Accountability provides which are:

Accountability provides structure.

Accountability provides guidance.

Accountability provides assistance

Accountability provides encouragement

Accountability provides warning.

The final part of the book brings out the 8 core truths of being an ambassador and I hope that they will apply to my ministry:

1. We need God and his truth to live as we were meant to live. (2 Tim 3:16-17)

2. Each of us has been called by God to be an instrument of change in the lives of others.

3. Our behaviour is rooted in the thoughts and motives of our hearts.

4. Christ has called us to be his ambassadors, following his message, methods, and character (2 Corth 5:14-21)

5. Being an instrument of change involves incarnating the love of Christ by sharing in people’s struggles, identifying with their suffering, and extending God’s grace as we call them to change.

6. Being an instrument of changes means, seeking to know people by guarding against false assumptions, asking good questions, and interpreting information in a distinctly Biblical way.

7. Being an instrument of change means speaking the truth in love.

8. Being an instrument of change means helping people do what God has called them to do by clarifying responsibility, offering loving accountability and reminding them of their identity in Christ.

2. How will what I’ve read apply to my preaching ministry or counselling?

I pray that in my ministry I will apply in both my preaching and my counselling what Tripp says “LOVING as Christ loved us, and going beyond the casual to really KNOW people. It is loving others enough to SPEAK the truth to them, helping them see themselves in the mirror of God’s Word. And it is standing with others; helping them to DO what God has called them to do” P274

3. Next time we meet, I would like to discuss… Who are the people we are accountable to, and in what ways we can help them all in their journey of faith?

On my way to MMTC

As I was on my way to MMTC this morning I thought I would grab a quick coffee at Star bucks in Birmingham. The girl at the till looked like she was high on caffeine because she was being very chatty. As I approached the till she said to me before I put my order in…” What makes you jump?” I responded clueless and she replied ” I jumped because of my hand shadow” she said. That was a good example of how we today can get frightened of things, but that doesn’t turn into fear! What we do instead is laugh it off and move on. We need to bring the fear of God back into peoples lives. A quote from Ecclesiastes 5 that I studied today gives us the example of someone who understood how to fear God. I quote Ecclesiastes 5:7.
” For when dreams increase and words grow many there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear” He is a God who could destroy us, he has the power to move mountains and create the smallest organisms! But he loves us! Let us be people who share the fear; not in the frightened way, but through the love of God expressed through his Son Jesus Christ to those we know.