DNOW 2019 STUFF AND SCHEDULE

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CLICK HERE TO REGISTER AND PAY ONLINE

DNOW SCHEDULE

Friday, March 8

6:15 pm    Check-In at VBC Fellowship Hall

6:30 pm    Dinner and meet your group leaders.

7:00 pm    Worship #1 with Rob Turner in Sanctuary.

8:30 pm    Leave Church and travel to Host Homes

9:30 pm    UNDIVIDED Home Discussion #1

Saturday, March 9

8:30 am   Breakfast in Host Homes.

8:45 am   UNIVIDED Home Discussion #2

10:15 am  Worship # 2 at VBC Sanctuary.

11:30 am  Lunch at VBC

11:45 pm  RECREATION

2:00  pm    Back to homes.

4:30  pm  UNDIVIDED Discussion #3

6:30  pm  Dinner at Versailles Baptist

7:00 pm   Worship # 3 at VBC with Turner

8:30 pm    Back at homes.

9:15 pm  UNDIVIDED Discussion #4

Sunday, January 31 *you lose an hour sleep

9:30 am  BFAST at Church during Sunday School

10:45 am Worship at VBC, Students help in worship!  Parents encouraged to attend .

12:00 pm  Pick-up at church.

 

WHAT TO BRING

Bedding (sleeping bag, pillow)

Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, etc)

Towel and Washcloth

Bible (non-digital) if you have one we can give you one.

Something to write with.

Everyday clothes, nothing fancy.  Bring shoes you can be active in.

Your favorite snacks and drinks for the home.   I suggest 20 ounce bottles of your favorite soda, something salty, something sweet, and something you can share.

Any important info about medicine or allergies and give them to host families.

A desire to learn, meet new people, encounter God, and eat unhealthy snacks.

 

DON’T BRING

Stuff that would get you in trouble at school, home, or church.  Use your head.

 

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DNOW 2019 – UNDIVIDED – March 8-10

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undivided square largeWhat is disciple now or DNOW?  

It is part home retreat, part worship rally, part sleep-over, part . Student’s are typically grouped together with friends according to gender/age and then assigned a small group and host home (with 5-7 other students) for the weekend.  
Each host home has a Bible study leader (typically a college student). Students will either be at their host homes for rest, study, and sleep or at church for worship, or near the church for a recreational activity.   LEADERS, HERE IS YOUR MATERIAL! 

TIME AWAY CARDS.  Parents who have students who have competing commitments during the weekend can fill out a “time away” card.   We encourage families to strive to do as much of the weekend as possible.   There are 3 worship services and four small group studies during the weekend, don’t let a partial conflict justify missing the whole weekend.  And … not all conflicts are equal.  Missing a state championship isn’t the same as missing one of 100 practices during a season.  Consider letting the coach know that this weekend is a priority.   You might be surprised how many coaches are happy to honor spiritual commitments.  

What can you do now?

1. Get registered. You can step out during the weekend if you have a conflict.
2. Get friends registered! Grab a couple close friends who could use a weekend
of focus and be nurtured by hospitable Christian host-parents. CHALLENGE! Fill a house with friends you are trying to reach for Jesus.
3. Be a Host Home. Do you have a home that could accommodate 5-8 students and their adult leader? Let me know ASAP. You only have 1 meal to provide at your home, Saturday morning breakfast.  All other meals are at church. 

The weekend flows like this…

Friday night:  Check-in, Pizza, and Worship with Rob Turner
Late Friday: Go to your host homes and session 1 discussion.
Saturday morning:   Wake up in homes, eat bfast and do session 2.
Saturday late morning:  Worship and lunch at the church.
Saturday afternoon:  Fun activity TBA and down time in host homes.
Saturday evening:  Dinner at church, then worship, and back to homes for the evening.
Sunday morning.  Breakfast at church during Sunday School, followed by student-led worship and our guest DNOW Speaker bringing the message.   DONE AT NOON ON SUNDAY!

Quick Takes on “College Professors Aren’t Killing Religion” from FiveThirtyEight

fivethirtyeightFive Thirty Eight, a secular publication whose articles usually spring from numbers like polls and statistics, published an article recently, “College Professors Aren’t Killing Religion“.    The article makes the argument that it’s not professors who are undermining young people’s faith, because they were already walking away before college.   See quotes below.

“A recent study found that 24 percent of Americans are now religiously unaffiliated, including 38 percent of young adults. But these changes are occurring at a much earlier age …. Most young people who wind up leaving their religious commitments do so before ever stepping foot on campus.
“most Americans who have left their childhood religion did so before reaching adulthood. Seventy-nine percent of young adults age 18 to 29 who have become religiously unaffiliated report having made this decision during their adolescent and teen years.”
“This all makes more sense when we consider that the early religious lives of young people are far different than they were for previous generations. Young people today have had much less robust religious experiences during their childhood than previous generations — only 41 percent of Millennials attended religious services with their family at least once a week, compared with 55 percent of Baby Boomers, according to a recent PRRI survey. Similarly, only 40 percent of Millennials attended Sunday school or some other religious education program weekly, a much more common experience among Baby Boomers (62 percent reported at least weekly participation).”

 

This is notable to me, as a student pastor who has been around a while.  Because it wasn’t that long ago that you would hear me saying, “you gotta get those kids ready for college where their faith will be put to the test!”   While that is still true, the culture has changed, inside and outside the church and students are loosening their grip on faith earlier.

Below are my “hot takes”, which is to say, these are quick thoughts that are not meant to be exhaustive.  Perhaps they may prove to be “freezing takes” under scrutiny.  Nevertheless, we need to begin to consider seriously the trend of students walking away from their faith earlier.   Lord willing, people wiser than myself will weigh in on this trend.   Till then here are a few thoughts about students laying down their faith before college.

A Collapsed Bubble.  The culturally Christian bubble that once protected kids from having their faith seriously challenged pops a lot earlier than it once did.   Most of their friends, as early as middle school, are nominal Christians or none of the above.  They encounter classmates who reject their faith a lot earlier than their parents ever did.  The end result is that they probably question or scrutinize their faith earlier than in previous generations.  Also, they leave the bubble online and in social media where they encounter more people who are intentional in challenging their faith.  Most of our kids don’t know who Richard Dawkins is… they are more like to hear arguments hostile to Christianity or lampooning it on Youtube.

A Premature Autonomy.  It has always been true that when students get full autonomy, usually away from home, we see their faith tested and it is usually pretty revealing about whether students were just borrowing their parent’s faith or if they really own it for themselves.  There is a trend in the last generation of parents giving their students autonomy of spiritual education earlier than their parents or grandparents did.    When students, whose faith is still undeveloped and immature, become the authority in the home on their spiritual education, it is not surprising that their development is arrested, then atrophy, then ultimately they lay it (their faith) down. 

A Relegated Priority.   Related to previous point, I think there is another factor that leads to arrested development and abandonment of faith earlier in life… and that is the forgotten or relegated priority of spiritual development.    Every Christian parent rightfully worries about their child’s spiritual standing before God, that they have given their would give their sins are forgiven and they will go to heaven.    But it seems in American Christianity that once that question is answered, there is a pivot toward prioritizing excellence and achievement in other areas such as academics, athletics, and arts…. all great things. But.. excellence in great things should not necessitate relegating spiritual development to an afterthought.   

Some might object, “that’s not us!”  Ok.  Consider what is scrutinized the most and most intently in the car or at the kitchen table.  Is it how they performed in a game?  Is it how a “C” could have been a “B” or how a “B” could have been an “A”?  Is it how they could be first chair if they just practiced their instrument more?   Don’t hear what I’m not saying, PURSUING EXCELLENCE IN ATHLETICS, ACADEMICS, AND ARTS IS NOT A BAD THING. But… relative to those areas how prominent and intense are the conversations about growing in Christlikeness, developing their faith, and obeying the great commission?  

Do you have to chose between taking Jesus seriously and excellence in other areas?  No.  But I think it is worth evaluating if that if our students are tightening their gripe on good things, if they are loosening their grip on the ultimate things.   (Please know, I am preaching this to myself as much or more as I am to anyone who might read this.)

Some things are beyond our control, such as the culture we raise our children in.  And Jesus never promised us a safe culturally Christian bubble to protect our Christian kids.  But we do have control over how discipleship takes place in our homes and what we prioritize.

Let’s pray for wisdom and perspective and courage to do what it takes to cultivate life-long followers of Jesus Christ.

Middle School Retreat – Sept. 29 – 30

hello! we need families of middle schoolers and their friends to get their registration in middleschool_breakout_4by3for the retreat asap.  By the way, registration = payment. We rarely do a sign-up sheet because lots of students sign-up spontaneously without knowing if they are free. Payments are a better gauge of who really plans to come.  The cost is $35.

Please bring your payment for the retreat in by this Wednesday or Sunday. Or go online and pay your registration fee.

  1.  Online Registration and Online Payment –> CLICK HERE If you need scholarship help toward camp, let Kevin know.
  2. We do have a permission/liability form as well, that needs to be filled out and notarized. You can notarize it at church during office hours or do so on your own. https://kevinbryanhash.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/vbc-comprehensive-annual-permission-form.pdf
  3. Parents, if you would like to volunteer or help drive or help drive that would be great!
  4. Students can bring snacks on the trip, but should also bring a Bible, sleeping bags or linens, and a pillow…. and toiletries.
  5. We are meeting at church at 2 pm Saturday and returning at 2 pm on Sunday.

Note: i know some students have sports conflicts.  The retreat is not super far away if you would like drop your student off at Camp when you are free.  I know we drive our kids all over creation to get to meets and games, this would be worth the extra effort if you cannot get out of a scheduled practice or game to leave when the rest of the group is leaving.

FYI, we will do Mega Quest a little later in the evening on Saturday if you are wondering if you will miss it. Kavanah https://campkavanaugh.org/

 

Books and Bios for Our Speakers for the Christ & Culture Conference for Students

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Books by Christopher Yuan

Out of a Far Country

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Coming this fall… Holy Sexuality and the Gospel 

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Upcoming book by Curtis Woods

The Gospel in Color: A Theology for Racial Reconciliation for Families  Comes out on July 19, 2018

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Books By Dan Dewitt

Jesus or Nothing

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Life in the Wild: Fighting for Faith in a Fallen World

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Christ or Chaos

dewitt_christchaos

 

 

“5 Good Things for Kids to be Nosy About” or rather, “Stuff Parents Should Share with their Kids”

As parents we are commanded not to exasperate our children.  One thing that exasperates young people is when parents set expectations for their kids that they don’t seem to be striving for themselves. Or … at least their kids don’t think their parents are striving.

I had a parent a long time ago tell me that they always encouraged their teen to read the Bible and pray, but one time they replied in a snit, “I don’t ever see you read your Bible.”

Well, the truth was that the mom did read her Bible and pray faithfully, before her daughter woke up.  Even though the mom told her that, she was skeptical.  So, one morning she got up early and snuck downstairs.  Sure enough, her mom was in her reading chair with Bible open and pen in hand taking notes.   She also saw her praying fervently.

Thinking back to that story made me brainstorm some other areas where it would be good for our students to be nosy about what their parents are doing.   Actually, a better idea would be for parents to proactively and transparently share with their kids about their habits and struggles in spiritual growth.

Below are 5 things — you can probably think of many more — that would be a good starting point for parents.  Not only could sharing these 5 things help guard our children against exasperation, but it could perhaps encourage them and give them a flesh and blood picture of what a Christian walk looks like, because, parents, you are exhibit-A for them.

  1. What you are reading?  Share with them what you are reading, whether you are reading through a book of the Bible, a book about the Bible, a devotional, or a book about something in the Bible from a Christian author.  Share with them why you are reading what you are reading.  Give them some highlights of what you have learned.   Kids get exasperated when they are expected to be learning and they don’t see their parents learning.  Share with them that you need God’s Word, you need to know more about what you don’t know about God and His plan for your life.
  2. What are you praying about?  Beyond saying grace over food, share what you go to God and ask for when you pray.  Do you have an organized list of things to pray for during your prayer time?  What do you pray for the most? For whom do you pray that may surprise them?  What do they pray for you?    As you share, your kids will learn that God is trustworthy and powerful and that He cares.
  3. Where are you striving to grow?   Take a moment to think about where you need to grow.  Maybe you don’t need a moment.  I don’t.  Everyone knows that there are areas in our lives where we are far from Christlike.  It could be things we do that we shouldn’t, or it could be things we should do that we don’t.  Kids get exasperated when they are told to grow up by people who don’t seem to be trying to grow up.  I know it is a temptation to get comfortable with our shortcomings or write them off as “just my personality.”   What a blessing for our kids to know that mom and dad know that they fall short, but are striving with God’s help to grow and become more like Jesus.
  4. Who you are trying to reach for Jesus?  The best way for our kids to learn the value of the gospel and humanity’s need for Jesus is for our kids to know that their parents are on mission for Him.  Do they know about your efforts to reach unbelieving family members or co-workers or parents on the club ball team?  Share with them your hopes, your plans, your setbacks, and your fears.   There is probably no limit to the number of times kids and youth have heard sermons about reaching out.  Perhaps they don’t reach out because they don’t ever hear about adults, including their parents, doing it so it doesn’t seem like a real thing..
  5. What you are struggling with?   Perhaps after reading the first four you have become motivated to share more with your kids.  But, perhaps you haven’t been encouraged, but convicted that you don’t have much to share.  That’s ok! Share that!   Share that you wish to be a better example for them in reading the Bible and prayer and growing and sharing your faith.  Share with them that you struggle to grow sometimes.  Share that you would like to grow together, starting now.

 

I needed a picture of something nosy, this is what I found.

noseydog