The boy’s strength and beauty session covered a small introduction in getting to know me (John Banta) and getting to know them a bit. The group then moved into identifying the influences that shape our identities.
The questions were raised:
- Who are you?
- What one or two things do you tend to label yourself as?
The list amongst the group was long and varied but centered mostly on personal interests like gamer, athlete, hunter, car enthusiast and student amongst others.
We began to look at John 1:12 that gives clarity as to our true identities if we are Christians, which are “sons of God.” While our interests may change and how we or others may perceive who we are, our identity of being “sons of God” will not change. This identity should be a prime motivator for wanting a closer relationship with our God the Father.
The other verse we focused in on was Galatians 4:6 which says if we are “sons of God” we can call God by the Fatherly name “Abba” which infers close intimacy. This understanding should push us to regular and meaningful quiet times as we reflect and remember who we are and our true identities from God’s perspective.
This week we began our discussion time with an explanation of what my quiet time looks like. I explained that my quiet times have looked very different at different times in my life. They always begin with a prayer, sometimes very brief, asking God to open my ears and my heart to what He has to say. From there it includes reading or listening to the Bible and asking God what He wants me to do for the day.
I had each of the students read Psalm 23 to themselves for a few minutes and then we came back together to discuss what stood out to us. We discussed what that showed us about God and how we should relate to Him. The challenge for this week is to read and meditate on one chapter of John each day. The students were encouraged to journal their thoughts and prayers as well. I’m really looking forward to meeting again with you ladies next week!
Strength and Beauty starts in a couple days and we wanted to share some specific details about what to expect.
Where do we meet?
All students can be dropped off and picked up under the blue sails near the children’s building. After the service starts we will pray as a large group and then split into smaller groups that meet around campus.
What can we expect?
Any time something new comes around there are mixed feelings of anticipation and hesitation. That’s all very normal. To put your mind at ease we have come up with two rules that have been communicated to the students
Rule #1: Every student must bring a Bible. We encourage students to bring the Bible they use and that means we are not going to shy away from allowing students to use electronic devices as their Bible. We want to show them how to use their devices in a productive way and we feel that the potential distraction is worth the benefit of redeeming their devices for Jesus. Also, if someone brings a friend, we will have Bibles available.
Rule #2: Every mentor will be required to answer every question with a Bible reference. This ensures that what we discuss is biblically sound and also models the practice so students can be equipped with answering questions they encounter with Scripture.
Can’t wait for Sunday! See you soon and don’t forget your Bible!
The start of Strength and Beauty at The Brook is almost here. We want to take some time to share the thought behind the name. It comes from Psalm 96:6 which says:
Splendor and majesty are before Him,
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
If you read this psalm in its entirety, you will quickly recognize how well it fits with our recent On Mission emphasis. Since starting to teach the On Mission attitudes back in May we have been looking at how we do ministry in every area. When we evaluated our student ministry, we all agreed that we needed to up our game in the area of intentional and practical discipleship. Our staff wanted to lead the way in investing in our students and we began to meet as a Next Generation team to come up with ideas about how to get the already growing student ministry to be On Mission.
Strength and Beauty is the first step that will lead to more exciting things after the first of the year.
This blog is intended to communicate to the students and parents of The Brook Church. We are excited to start something new in our student ministry next week. It’s called Strength and Beauty. It’s a new take on the intentional discipleship of our students. Our amazing staff have agreed to take some time on Sunday mornings to invest in the students at The Brook
We believe that discipleship is a sacred trust passed down to us from the foundation of the church over 2000 years ago. Each staff member will act as a mentor in a weekly conversation that centers around living life out of the overflow of our relationship with Jesus.
We will split up the groups by gender since students will have age-specific groups on Wednesday nights at Fusion. This allows us to offer a student ministry to junior high and high school students simultaneously. Families can now attend one worship service together.
We are excited for this new aspect of student ministry and can’t wait to start this Sunday, October 1. This blog will be a great place to keep up with all that we discuss and plan for Strength and Beauty at The Brook. We’ll post again later in the week with more details. See you soon!