Friday, November 16, 2012

Is Jesus For Real? FAMILY PLUS High School - Nov. 16

Hello HS Parents!

This past Wednesday night was our teaching night, and we asked a simple question: "Is Jesus Really Who He Said He Is?" Now on the surface of it, that might seem like an easy question for church. But to answer it honestly to a generation born with a belief that there are multiple truths - the task is a bit more challenging.

So we started by looking at the authenticity of the Bible. We talked about the fact that the Bible has 66 books written by 40 authors over a period of about 1,500 years. And that with that great time span, there is a common thread running through the course of all 66 books. 

We talked about the fact that historically the book is trustworthy. Most atheists will grant that the New Testament is both historically accurate and authentic - their only exception being Jesus's claim to be the Son of God. We talked about the fact that there is better historical proof of the authenticity of the Bible than the very well known works of literature. For example, the earliest manuscript we can find for Homer's The Iliad is about 1,000 years after it was originally written. We have discovered, however, manuscripts for New Testament writings that date to only 25 years after they were written.

After making a good case for the authenticity of the Bible, we moved to the authenticity of Jesus being Who He said that He is. We looked at a handful of Old Testament prophecies (there are numbers and numbers of these) that were written centuries before Christ was born yet were fulfilled exactly as stated in the Old Testament. We looked at the fact that even the Koran, the Islamic scriptures, attests to Jesus Christ being born to a virgin.

This is just a glimpse of all that we covered and how we led students to chase down the facts about their faith. In the coming weeks and months we will begin looking deeper at the four basic categories of all faith questions: Origin, Meaning, Morality, & Destiny. 

Don't forget that this coming Saturday and Sunday is "The Great I AM." You can attend Saturday night at 7:00 PM or Sunday morning at 9:15 and/or 10:45. There will be no groups that day. For more information, check out this link.

Let me know what I can pray about for your family.


Friday, November 9, 2012

We Worshipped - FAMILY PLUS High School - Nov 9

I have been asking our high school worship team HOW they could lead worship if we didn't have instruments, voices, music, etc. As you would imagine, it can be difficult to get at an answer to that question. I think sometimes we don't know how to worship if we're not singing. This past Wednesday night, though, we tried some new things during our worship time to help better focus us on Christ.

We placed a cross in the center of the room and placed all the chairs "in-the-round" surrounding the cross. I challenged our students to focus on God by not being thankful for anything (family, boyfriend, dog, children - ANYTHING). I asked them to simply focus on God and adoring Him. After the challenge, we sang a couple of songs and then I had students share what God had done for them…how He had shown up in their lives this week. THEN - we took a risk.

After asking students to bow for prayer, I asked them to (as they felt led) speak a one-sentence prayer with the following parameter: It could ONLY be a prayer of adoration to God. For example: "God, You are worthy." At first, only a couple of people spoke a prayer and I thought that the whole thing was about to be an exercise in futility. BUT - then the Holy Spirit began to move and students began to speak beautiful, intimate prayers. Here are some of the prayers I heard offered to God in worship:

"Lord, You are merciful."

"Lord, You never give up on us."

"Lord, You are my Coach."

"Lord, You are the Beginning and the End."

"Lord, You forgive us."

"Lord, You are my structure." 

"Lord, You are in control."

"Lord, You see us."

This went on for about 10 or 15 minutes with great humility, reverence, and silence (except those speaking their one-sentence prayers of adoration to God). We shared communion together and closed with worshiping, again, with music/voices. It was SO humbling to hear your students speak words of worship to the God Who Is.