Student Ministry – October 2016

Can you believe that we are already 3/4 of the way through 2016?  This year has gone by so fast! I want to take a moment to encourage each one of you, whether you are a student or a parent, a grandparent or just a friend, take some time today to let those you are close to know that you love them and are thankful for them.  As we draw near to the Thanksgiving holiday and the busyness of the holiday season, let us be intentional about showing our love and appreciation to God first and foremost, but also to those around us.

Please continue to be in prayer for our students as they plug away at school and all the extracurricular activities that they are involved in.

Growth Group Highlights

The vision of The People Church | First Baptist Moriarty is to Build Community, Give Hope, and Make Disciples. Our Growth Groups serve as a key resource for Making Disciples by creating an environment for discipleship and leadership development to take place.  This happens by focusing on six different areas: fellowship, teaching, prayer, ministry, accountability, and multiplication.

Each month we will highlight a different Growth Group to allow you to get to know others in the church and maybe learn about ministries that you may be unfamiliar with. This month we are highlighting the Luckett/Walmsley Growth Group.

Group Leaders:  Shari Luckett and Tom Walmsley

  1. How long have you been leading this Growth Group? My name is Shari Luckett, and I have led our class through our studies for eleven years. In January of this year we combined our class with Tom Walmsley’s class. Tom and I co-lead our growth group.
  1. When and where do you meet? We meet on Sunday mornings at 9:15 a.m. at The People Church in Room 304.
  1. Who is the “typical” member of your group? Our group is mainly seniors and retired men and women.
  1. What curriculum are you studying? In January of this year our Pastor, Dennis Garcia, introduced a one-year study of the Bible called D-Life Bible Study. Personally, I was very happy to open my Bible and go directly to the scripture. It has opened up many stimulating discussions in our group.
  1. What fellowship and mission activities have you had in the past six months? Our group participated in the Spring Celebration in the park for Easter – always a fun and powerful outreach opportunity. We had a fellowship meal with our Pastor and his family at the Pizza Barn in Edgewood. Our group spent a great Saturday at the Bethel Storehouse putting together toy bags for the store. Linda Smith from Bethel Storehouse hopes to see us again soon, especially around the holidays. We have donated office supplies and cleaning products for the Read-Write program that was greatly appreciated. We also happily participate in the Fall Harvest Celebration at our own church.
  1. What fellowship and mission activities are scheduled for the next few months? On September 11th we plan to have a pot-luck lunch after church in our classroom to love on Shirley Maldonado and God willing, Toshi Danner. We hope to share future meals together in our homes. We will continue to look for opportunities to serve in our community. We also take an offering once a month and distribute these funds where, as our class, we decide there is a need.

What are some other interesting facts about your group?  We are blessed with a love for Christ, and He has given us a sense of joy and much good humor. We laugh and cry together as a group/family.

Used Car Salesmen and Getting the Gospel to Millennials by Ryne Swann

Samantha and I recently were in a situation where we had to buy a car. Having no experience buying a car, we looked online, found a few we liked, and as we had time, went and looked at them in person. While the quality and price of the car were the ultimate deciding factors, we couldn’t help but factor the salesman into our decision at least a little bit. And it just so happened that we went with the car that had the most honest and hands off salesman.

After the first automobile we went to look at, we were almost convinced that it was the one. After looking at the others we were thinking of, we had pretty much decided it, in fact, wasn’t the one. I guess it was just the magic of the first vehicle we looked at. But at any rate, we wanted to go back and see it one more time before we counted it out. This was where it was confirmed by the quality and the salesman, that this was not the vehicle we wanted to throw our money at.

The thing was, we were still in the shopping phase. We were still just looking and were not going to make a decision to buy a car that day. We knew we wanted another day or two to think about it. But this guy would not let up. He kept repeating phrases making it seem like it was up to him to convince us that we needed to walk off the lot that day with the van we test drove. This was after the test drive where he desperately tried to flatter us into taking his word that this was the best van out there. So after the insincere complementing session and the forceful persuasion tactics, we were sure. This was not our van, and he was not our guy.

The thing that turned both Samantha and me off the most about this guy, was the fact that he didn’t care to know us, only to relate to us to make us feel some variation of comfortable. He asked us questions, so that he could point us to the fact that this van would be great for us. I was so frustrated, and then I realized that we do that with the gospel all the time. We see them accepting the gospel as the ultimate goal, so in order to convince them that they need it, we ask them questions that attempt to back them into a corner to get them to admit that they are a sinner.

And while I do believe that it is important and crucial to share our faith and to let people know that we all are sinners in need of Jesus, we (when I say we, I really mean I) can’t turn the work of Jesus into a sales pitch. That won’t reach people that so desperately want to connect with something bigger than themselves, because it feels fake. If we as a church want to reach people for the sake of them understanding their need for and accepting the love, redemption, and salvation of Jesus, we need to be real about it.

We need to connect with and get to know people that we are trying to witness to, because they are people. Like the old expression, “People won’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. That is so true when we share our faith. If we present prepackaged cliché sound bites, people in my generation aren’t going to care, because they feel like you are just doing it for your sake. They may listen but the whole time, they are writing you off.

When we reduce the gospel to a clean cut sentence, and the accepting of the gospel into a verbal game of follow the leader, we completely miss what Jesus did for humanity. It should be our desire, like it is God’s, that none will perish. But in order for us to reach people on a real level, we have to have broken hearts for the lost and actually love them while we tell them of a God that loves them more than they can ever know. So be real, and get to know people as people who need Jesus, not someone to hear your spiel.