Missional Monday Schedule for June 19 // Small Group Gathering Times

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Missional Monday June 19th

 

Wonderful new missional opportunity with students/adults with special needs. 

We have been approved to assist with a camp students/adults with disabilities on Monday which gives us more options.
1. make sandwiches for the homeless 2. recreation with elementary students/ 9 square  3. Be a swimming buddy for a camper with special needs. Bring $4 to swimand 1 piece suit (camp rules).
4. If there are some who would like to stay and serve at Feed the Hungry at 3 pm (opting out of bowling).  We would like to accommodate you if we have another adult with a van who can drive from Feed the Hungry back to the church. (parents, can one of you bring a van and drive?)

Our fun activity will be to go bowling, bring $5.

Schedule looks like this.
11:15 am Praise team practice for those interested.

12:00 pm Missional Monday meets and has devotion time.

12:20 pm Leave for Lexington to work at Hope Center, Castlewood Park, and pool. If you are going to help be a swim buddy you MUST have a 1 piece suit. (camp director’s rules)

3:00 pm Leave the park for bowling. Bring $5.

3:00 pm Some youth go to Feed the Hungry (if we have extra van/driver)  If you know you want to do this LET ME KNOW. First to respond more likely get to do it.

5:30 pm Both Bowling and Feed the Hungry groups return to church.

See last week’s pictures here.  

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21 

6:30 PM Travis Freeman in the sanctuary, a church-wide event.  

This week youth have the option to join the rest of the church in the sanctuary to hear Travis Freeman.  He is the man the movie 23 Blast was based on and his unique story as a blind football player.  Starts at 6:30 pm   So… there is no food before worship this week.
Next week, June 28th we will have a special guest, a young convert from Islam.  We cannot publish his name.  We will have grilled burgers on the 28th and play games in the parking lot.

GOSPEL 101 for 6th & 7th graders Wednesday.  

We will do a repeat of the material for those who couldn’t come last week.  The tentative plan is from 11 am to 12:30 pm (snacks and lunch included).  RSVP to kevin@versaillesbaptist.org if your student can participate.
THURSDAY, June 22

7th & 8th Grade Girls meet with Mandy at Starbucks for Authentic Love study at 10 am.

High School Girls at Emily Hicks  at 630 pm  (8060 Troy Pike) till 8 pm.
–  Food: Trail mix bar: Bring either pretzels, M&MS, Goldfish, Raisins, Chex Mix, Peanuts, Sour Patch Kids, etc)
High School Boys at the Hesters at 645 pm to 8:15 pm  (101 Rumsey Circle, Unit A)
– guys if you can bring something salty or a 2 liter that would be great

Jesus on Anxiety in SOTM (club summary Matthew 5:25-34)

anxiousteenWe only have two more weeks till the end of the semester and we have been trying to get through the sermon on the mount.  We have talked about every verse in two of the three chapters in Matthew.  We’ll pick two themes in the last chapter, seven, to finish the semester.   We are doing this (as I’ve said repeated) because you can’t follow someone you aren’t listening to. 

 

 

“Do not be anxious”.  Jesus

Below in you can see what we passed out to the students.  Which is way more than we could actually talk about.  (I learned that yesterday at the high school). But the things which I put most emphasis on at the middle school on where these things.

  1. Jesus’ counsel ultimately is for us to direct our attention upward, not inward.   When we are anxious, Jesus prescribes that we should be thinking and meditating about God to get perspective and calm our anxious souls.
  2. Jesus told them that “life is more” than what they think it is.  When life becomes about small things, those small things become big and are a source of anxiety.
  3. Jesus told people that they are more valuable than birds, and God provides for them.  I pointed out that, God didn’t send his Son to die for birds but for us.  There is nothing more significant that God could do to show His love and investment in you, than to give you His own Son.
  4. Jesus told the people that anxiety can be a “faith” issue.  If my son is constantly worried about whether he is going to be fed tomorrow, it shows a lack of faith in his dad to provide.  Sometimes our anxiety comes from a place of forgetfulness about God.
  5. Jesus tells them that if they value and chase after the things the world (Gentiles) do they will be anxious.  If you let the world tell you, “You must have this”, then you will constantly be scrambling to get and comparing what you have to others.
    • Example.  The kid who was the envied one year because they had the newest phone, will be mocked 3 years later if they still have the same phone.  What changed?  Kids are anxious partly because they are constantly trying to hit a moving target.
    • When God get’s small and the approval of peers is BIG, we are more likely to be gripped by anxiety.   When you forget that God is great and that He is for you and instead find your value the “hopes” that the world will be happy with you, anxiety will be near by.  Because what is popular, what gets in you, constantly changes.  But God, who does not change.  In Christ, he will never love you less, because His love for you is NOT based on your performance.
  6. Jesus says to focus on the Kingdom and the King.   (33)  When your wake up, live life, and go to sleep thinking about your kingdom, your self, your place in heirarchy of middle school life, whether or missing out, falling behind, you are probably going to be more anxious.  But if you fix your eyes and your very life’s purpose is for something BIGGER than yourself, like the Kingdom of Christ (33) you are probably going to be liberated to live boldly.  I think Jesus would say that we would do better to wake up with an upward and outward focus, asking, “how can I love God and how can I serve my neighbor so that they see how great God is (rather than living so others think you are great.”

People started coming in for KPREP at that point, and we were out of time.  But that is a lot in 12 minutes.

  1. Life is more than what you eat or wear. (25)
  2. You are more valuable to God than (26)
  3. Anxiety accomplishes nothing. (27)
  4. You are of eternal value to God. (28-30)
  5. Stuff is what the world gets anxious about. (31-32)
  6. God knows what you need. (32b)
  7. Seek God’s Kingdom first, not self. (33) (when you are in the center, you are more anxious)
  8. Focus on now, not what if. (34)

Most of these are from or adapted from John Piper’s teaching on the verses.

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The applause of men or the approval of God? (club summary april 18 & 19)

This week in club we turned to Matthew 6 and we heard Jesus explain their are “righteous” acts that can be performed by the same people, but for very different reasons, with very different results

Jesus  said in verse one, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

There is a righteousness that is PERFORMED for the applause of men, and their is a righteousness that exercised out of sheer love for Go d and our neighbor.

Jesus used three examples of acts that someone known to be devoted to God might do…. give to the needy, pray, and fast.

In group we read the whole pointed out that Jesus doesn’t say the good people give, pray, and fast and the bad people don’t give, pray, and fast.  He says, “when you give…when you pray…. when you fast“.

Then he said that if you do those things to be seen or to be praised by people, then that is your only reward… applause and admiration for being a “righteous” person.

Jesus is saying it is better to actually be righteous, rather than to be thought of as righteous.

To give to the needy for the sheer compassion of it, to pray to God because you simply want to have intimacy, to fast to be thought of as radical, but because you want to find greater satisfaction is the kind of heart-righteousness that God rewards.  Any other motivation, Jesus says three times, is simply play-acting hypocrisy.

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via GIPHY

Next week we will look at the Lord’s prayer.

A love that doesn’t impress Jesus. (club summary Matt. 5:43-48)

tigers_unimpressedThis week in our before school clubs (Tiger & YellowJackets) we looked at Matthew 5:43-48.  As I thought about this passage today, the image to your left came to mind.  It’s picture of Olympic gymnast Mckayla Maroney who’s smirk became an internet meme personifying “not being impressed”.  In our passage below Jesus talks about a love that is not impressive.

Matthew 543 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

To give you context, at this point in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has been going through various scenarios & explanations to reveal what heart-deep “righteousness” is as opposed to the superficial righteousness of the scribes and pharisees.  Using one example after the other he raises the bar high, higher than the religious experts of the day attained or taught.  For example, the pharisees would say they are righteous because they have not committed adultery or murder, but Jesus says to lust after someone is adulterous and to hate is murderous.

He does the same thing here on the subject of love.  The standard of the day was “love your neighbor and hate you enemy… to love those who love you…greet only your own people.clapping

Jesus, sounding almost sassy here, is essentially saying, “do you want a reward for that kind of love?”  He goes on to say that there are two groups who love the same way, “tax collectors” and “gentiles”.   Which means he is saying that you are no better than 1. people defined by their wrongdoing and 2.  people who make no claim to be religious at all.

Jesus wants a righteousness that exceeds that of the culture and even the religious leaders of the day.  What is his standard?

  1. Love you enemies.
  2. Pray for those who persecute you.
  3. Do good to those who hate you. (Luke 6:27)

That’s not an easy standard, but it’s Christ’s standard.  We can’t be salt and light if we do everything the way the world does it.

We can’t imitate Christ if we don’t love our enemies.  Jesus set the ultimate example for us.  He was stripped, beaten, mocked, pierced, and elevated on a wooded cross by his enemies.  And yet this he volunteered to do so that he could provide for his enemies the ultimate good.  On the cross he prayed for his enemies.  He doesn’t ask us to do anything he did not do… times 1000.

At the end of club on Wednesday I gave out an Enemies List (see below), not a list of their enemies, but a list of things to pray for when you have enemies or people who just make your life difficult.

Pray for these students!  I know about 5% of the middle school comes to the club.  If all of them would live out these principles, I can’t help but think Jesus would be glorified and the atmosphere transformed.
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Jesus and Billy Bray (club summary)

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This week in our clubs we talked about the counsel of Jesus in the sermon on the mount for dealing with offensive, even “evil” people. Again and again Jesus counsels his followers to absorb insult, absorb wrong doing and not strike back. All we have to do is watch the last week and his last moments on the cross, to know that Jesus doesn’t ask us to do anything that He didn’t do (times 1000).

I shared the story of Billy Bray, a 1800’s pugilist (boxer), one of the toughest and nastiest aroutigers_yellowjackets_boxernd, who was dramatically converted (after reading the sermon on the mount) and became known for his joyful enthusiasm for Christ.
One day, while working in the mine a miner tested Billy’s new found faith by striking him on the jaw.  Billy Bray, rather than destroying him (which he could), looked at him and simply said, “I forgive you.” That act of grace, and restraint, so moved (and tormented) his assaulter that he eventually gave his life to Jesus.
I’m so very thankful that I don’t get what my sins deserved, but rather Christ absorbed my offenses on the cross.  Let’s pray for the power to absorb, rather than punch back.  Let’s be thankful for the opportunity and privilege to honor Christ by imitating him.  Let’s be humbled because we know we cannot, and have not, done it very well…. And yet be hopeful, because with the help of the Holy Spirit we can.

Watch out for good things!

KELLER_QUOTE_counterfeit_good_ultimate_blueInspired by the quote to the right –>.

As a parent I can think of many things that can derail my perfect plans for my kids.   I’m a worrier, so I don’t need much help imagining the bad stuff.   Generally parents worry about bad influences. They worry about sexual promiscuity.  They worry about getting caught up in alcohol and drugs or risky online behavior.  I think, I better be on guard against that stuff or else my child’s walk with the Lord could be severely handicapped or someday even non-existent.

It occurred to me (reflecting on 20 plus years of ministry) that most church kid’s spiritual growth doesn’t get derailed by scandalous, risky behaviors like the one’s mentioned above… the bad stuff.  They get derailed by the good stuff, stuff that is actually really good, but not ultimate.

More likely than your 15 year old daughter dating a drug dealer, is that she will excel in so many really good and praiseworthy things that she will not have time or energy to cultivate a down deep relationship with Jesus, be grounded in His Word, and be a vibrant contributor in the body of Christ.

Maybe she’s a great dancer or perhaps she’s an all-star in multiple sports, maybe she’s in college level classes, or the president of her class    That’s the good stuff I would (and do) clog up my friend’s facebook feeds with.  I would want the world to know what an amazing daughter I have!  And being proud of your kid and bragging on them is about as effortless as breathing.

But what about the “ultimate things”?  The sobering truth is that all the good achievements listed above could be accomplished by and are desired by many who don’t follow Christ.

As a parent it would be wise and helpful to ask what are the “ultimate things”, the eternal things, the things that are unique to the calling of a follower of Christ?

Most parents only have a kid under their roof for about 18 years.  If Satan can’t derail your student by bad things, perhaps he will distract our students with good things.  And you can spend 18 years making good things a priority.

 

Jesus and Hazmat Suits

hazmatsuit_lustI asked the students before school this week what they would think if they saw government agents with yellow hazmat suits rushing down the hallways as alarms go off.   They said, “there is an ebola outbreak” .

Because of the extreme measures taken, the students assumed that something harmful would have to be in the atmosphere.   Then I told the that Jesus is going to give them some pretty extreme advice on how to guard themselves from the ebola of lust.

As a group we read aloud this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5:27-30.

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

He says “puck out your eye” and “cut off your hand”in order to protect one’s self from the temptation to lust.    I explained to the students the nature of hyperbole and that Jesus illustration is extreme, but his point is no less radical.  That we are to take every sin seriously and take avoiding sin seriously.

I told the group that 20 years ago one would have to try really hard to see inappropriate pictures and videos.  You’d have to go to a shady building in a shady part of town, pick out something inappropriate and look a salesclerk in the eye to buy it.

Today it is much easier.  I ask them, “How many of you have looked up an innocent image on google and seen something very inappropriate?”  [Overwhelming majority of students raised their hands.]       Now imagine if someone was looking for inappropriate?  Finding porn on their computers and phones is about as easy as finding air to breath….unless you embrace accountability software, which would be the heart of the advice Jesus is giving.   Taking measures actively, rather than passively hoping that you don’t sin.

As we closed I asked them how seriously did Jesus take sin?   They said, “he died for sin!”   So… if the remedy for sin’s penalty was for God’s Son to be crucified, and suffer (in our place) under the judgment of God, it must be serious.  And as we take sin and temptation seriously, we show that we appreciate what Jesus did for us and we will listen to him when he gives us hazmat suit level instruction for dealing with sin.

[these summaries are from our before-school clubs at the middle school and high schools each week.]

 

Hearing Jesus & Watching Jesus (from facebook)

As we walk through the Sermon on the Mount before school at WCHS (tuesday) and WCMS (wednesdays) we are learning, by taking ALL the words of Christ (and not cherry picking), that Jesus is a radical. Of course people love that Jesus is a radical…. on some things …. but not others.
Jesus, the real Jesus of Scripture, is inspiring, but also challenging to everyone who reads and desires to apply them.
If you haven’t been challenged by the words of Christ, you probably aren’t studying the words of Christ. He’s tender sometimes, He’s tough other times. He’s empathetic, but also demanding. He’s inviting, and terrifying at times.
In the span of a few verses we see Jesus call followers to a radical standard of love for enemies and then to a radical standard of personal holiness.
One of my convictions as a student pastor is that our kids see Jesus, the real comprehensive Jesus, and follow Him. And I believe that by putting the Jesus on full display that students who have yet to see His value will.
Getting students to follow Him is impossible without getting them to His Words and showing them His Life. It is the responsibility of us parents to get their kids to the Words of Christ (in home and at church) so that life transformation can happen. They can’t imitate a stranger.
For the next several weeks, as we continue to look at the Sermon on the Mount in school, we will also look at highlights from the life of Jesus in CrossLIFE on Wednesdays. This Wednesday we see how Jesus identifies with us in baptism and temptation, then we will look at the authority of Jesus over all (death, nature, evil, sin, & man), then we see him die on the cross, and then the empty tomb. Let it not be said that students at VBC were ever lacking in access to or instruction about, Christ and the gospel. It’s why we are here.