FearThe one thing we all fear is not the devil. It’s change.Throughout history change has never been easy. The Pharisee’s didn’t hate Jesus because He was doing good things.They hated him because of the fact that He came to change things.They were so set in their ways of thinking that they missed the Messiah even though they knew He was coming the way that He did.The pain endured during the civil rights movement was all about certain people fearing change.

I remember when Blockbuster was the largest video rental store in America doing around 6 billion in sales year.Then came Netflix who said “Subscribe to us and don’t leave your home. We’ll send your movie rental to you.” Well, in the beginning Blockbuster could of taken Netflix out by turning millions of their customers into subscribers. But no, blockbuster who was comfortable with their 6 billion cushion, thought Netflix was a fad, and that they would eventually go away. Well, they were definitely wrong, and in 2010 Blockbuster was 900 million dollars in debt and had to file chapter 11 (bankruptcy).

We as human beings don’t like change. I would even go as far as to say we as the church don’t like it either. And if we are not careful we could end up like the Pharisees’ missing out on a great opportunity in advancing God’s kingdom…all because we allow change to scare us instead of motive us. We let our comfort with the way things are dictate how we react to change.

We have to understand change happens all the time. The world we live in now is completely different then the world our parents grew up in. My kids will grow up in a world different then the one I grew up in. Change is inevitable.

I love how Jesus adapted to change in His ministry. He used relevance to be relatable. He related to people where they were. He never told people you must conform to me first, then I will do for you or give to you. He just meets people where they are, and you never see them go back to the way they were before. I have to assume based on Jesus’s ministry 2000 years ago here on earth, that if He would have lived today, His messages would reflect the things of today. I have to assume that His parables could include the iPhone, TV’s, Ford Fusion hybrid, and yes, even Chick-fil-a. Jesus’s ministry was relevant.

Also, many times Jesus did things before He was supposed to. That’s why you see Him many times telling people not to say anything. He knew it wasn’t His time yet. So I can just imagine Jesus saying two things to us that He modeled, “Let’s stay relevant so people will have a interest in listening to us and let’s not fear doing things differently just because tradition says you can’t.” It seems like change gave Jesus a creative license to reach everyone. Now, Jesus didn’t change His message. He just changed the presentation so that He could reach everyone.

We must do the same. We must be willing to change with the times. I was listening to the radio and heard this song from the 90′s and they mentioned Myspace. (HA!) If you mentioned Myspace today, kids would laugh at you or look at you as if you are crazy, because times have changed. Myspace is no longer a cultural norm.

My prayer is that we don’t become like the Pharisees when it comes to change. Where we become so comfortable with the way we do things that we see change as a threat. And we do whatever it takes to stay the way we are, even at the cost of reaching more for Christ. I also pray we don’t become like Blockbuster doing ministry with our heads underground not paying attention to growing trends and innovation, thinking the way we’ve done things for 50 years is the way we can do things forever.

So the question is “Does change move you towards fear or innovation?”

hope it helps

ac

Excited to play this video from Josh Shipp during our senior weekend next month. Good stuff here, the video is going viral, too!

JG



Satan will do everything in his power to keep your perspective small, fearful and full of defeat. Two years ago, I was right where he wanted me, defeated, my thoughts fearful and clouded with horrifying thoughts of me, me, me. When we think of ME we forget the THE; God and His plan, which is greater than anything we can ever imagine.

Creating fear
Fear begins as a single thought and becomes GIANT when fed over, and over, and over again. Fearful thoughts like: fear of failure, of not being perfect or of not fitting in. Even when fear seems to be present due to circumstances; fear is STILL only a thought.

Fear’s power
Many may not realize, but fear has POWER… when you give it power; power to drain your creativity and awareness of the world around you and of God. Instead of being creative, you become self-critical and approval seeking. Your awareness of the world gets shrunk into an awareness of ME, and the same of God. Fear will overcome your life spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally… if you let it!

Fear: Conquered
The might and power of your spirit has the ability to grow as a strong oak tree. You have control over what thoughts you choose to think. Both right thoughts and fearful thoughts cannot remain, one has to go! The one to stay will be the one you choose to feed. And like fearful thoughts, right thoughts will become GIANT when fed over, and over, and over again.

Here are a few RIGHT thoughts for you to feed on…EAT UP!!!

  •     You are a child of God.
  •     God has a plan and purpose for your life.
  •     God loves you and has chosen you!
  •     You are made in the image of Christ

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. -Proverbs 12:25

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

I have a problem. Okay, maybe problem is too strong of a word.

Issue. There we go, I have an issue. Although not a detrimental one, but an issue none the less.

I constantly capitalize random letters.

I know you’re thinking to yourself right now “Oh My Word! We need to get that guy an intervention” And while it is not a problem that causes any real issue, it is really really annoying.

The sad part is, I don’t even realize that I do it. I do realize that I intentionally capitalize some words for emphasis, such as God or Youth Worker, but more often than not I find myself capitalizing random words like Outside or Yourself. This may seem like a boring topic to talk about, but I promise it will all make sense in a little bit. In terms of grammar, we are taught that we capitalize proper nouns. David, California, and Chick-fil-a. We capitalize the terms that are not run of the mill terms. We capitalize terms that are big deals.

So in essence, when I capitalize the first letter of a word it is the same as saying “Hey look! This is important! This is a big deal”

I have to be careful that I don’t unintentionally capitalize words and phrases that were never intended to be, thus making them a bigger deal than they are. As a Youth Worker, I have to be careful that I don’t do the same thing in how I lead my local Student Ministry.

There are going to be issues and problems that arise in your Student Ministry regardless of how well or how poorly that it is run. That is a fact. Write it down or tuck it away in the back of your mind, because you WILL encounter issues as a Youth Worker. You will have to make tough decisions. You will have struggles. That is just an occupational hazard.

The question you need to as yourself as you lead your Student Ministry is simply this: What will I capitalize and what will I lower-case? Or better yet “What will I make a big deal out of and what will I let go?”

  • Do you capitalize “Numerical Growth” and minimize “Spiritual Growth”?
  • Do you capitalize “Fun” and minimize “Spirituality”?
  • Do you capitalize “What I don’t have” and minimize “What I do have”?
  • Do you capitalize “What others think” and minimize “What God thinks”?
  • Do you capitalize “Lack of budget” and minimize “God will provide”?
  • Do you capitalize “My Students aren’t getting it” and minimize “It’s sinking in”?

What are you making a bigger deal out of than you should? What are you capitalizing that God is wanting to be lowercase and what are you making lowercase that He wants you to capitalize? I had this teacher in high school named Ms. Holt. I don’t remember much about her, but I do remember that she would always give me a hard time when I would accidentally capitalize words that shouldn’t be. Every time I turned in a paper, I would usually get it back with some red marks from my teacher showing where I had capitalized words that I shouldn’t have. It became almost laughable at the shear volume of red marks that would be on my paper when I got it back after being graded.

I wonder sometimes if God looks at us with a red ink pen in hand. Not to correct us or make us feel like we’re doing wrong, but so that He can look at our lives and mark the places that we allow some things to be bigger deals than they actually are. Where we capitalize things that should be lower case. The truth of the matter is that when God looks at you as a Youth Worker and at what you and your local ministry can accomplish, He sees a capital letter.

You may capitalize Doubt, Fear, Insecurity and Ignorance, but He looks at those as lowercase letters compared to what He can accomplish through you. Your mission, your vision, and the ultimate destination for your Student Ministry is a capital letter in His eyes. That thing that you have been fighting and may still be struggling with that you have capitalized is just a lowercase letter in the eyes of God.

He is able to take those things that are big problems in your local setting and make them not such big problems anymore. Those big issues that you don’t see how they can be fixed He can make smaller. Those big circumstances that you don’t quite know how to navigate, He can lead you through. So what are you facing right now in your Student Ministry that you need Jesus to lowercase? Now, if you will excuse me, it’s time to check this post and see if I randomly capitalized any words again.

Noah Watt serves as the Student Pastor at Lone Star Church in Madisonville, KY. When not hanging out with his wife Bethany, Noah can be found hanging out with the coolest group of Students on the planet, reading or writing on his blog, “The Backstage Project”, at www.whatihavelearnedbackstage.wordpress.com