Quiet Time in Practice

Due to the rain, we moved into the Fusion building to meet. Here the students spread throughout the building with the quiet time guide that I gave them and they got some practice having a quiet time.

After about 15-20 minutes we all came back together and discussed what stood out to us in our time with the Lord. Most of the students read the scripture that I provided them, but one student read something different because he is currently studying a different passage in his personal quiet time. He got to share with everyone what he read. 

What a blessing it is to see these students growing in their faith and in their thirst for knowledge of God.

Q & A

Sunday was our first Q&A in Strength and Beauty and it was so much fun!

As leaders, we made sure the Bible was our source for the answers to the wide spectrum of questions the students asked. Questions such as, “What does the Bible say about dinosaurs?” and “Why does God let things like hurricanes happen?” to “What is salvation?”.

It was a great way to end our three weeks with the students! Beginning this Sunday, Kelsey Light and Olivia Thayer will be the Beauty leaders and Weave Wilson and Phil Baker will be leading the Strength groups for the next theee weeks.

What It Isn’t

We have described in this blog what Strength and Beauty is. That can be difficult for people to wrap their minds around if they have never experienced a group dynamic like that before.

It is important to know what Strength and Beauty isn’t. It isn’t a group that has the goal of teaching. In other words, it’s not information based. The tone is more of a relational conversation that guides students to learn how to find information so that they can build their relationships with the Lord and others.

Will students learn? Yes, but it won’t be a traditional school or Sunday school setting. They will learn through example and discussion that arises from their questions and experiences. The students that have chosen to show up each week have already begun to understand that Strength and Beauty is not about another adult talking at them, but one that shows a genuine interest in their ability to have an independent relationship with Jesus that leads others to Him.

The Source of Wisdom

I was excited about the great questions students asked this week and that several students rose to the challenge of having a daily time with the Lord.

This week we discussed wisdom. To find out what wisdom is we turned to James 3:12-18. We talked about where we get our wisdom and that any wisdom outside of God and His Word is from the enemy. We also talked about James 1:5 and that if we lack Godly wisdom, we can ask for it. We pointed back to the importance of having a daily time with the Lord and reading the Bible.

I can’t wait to see what the students bring this week to our Q&A session on Sunday!

Students Share

Strength and Beauty should have a predictable pattern. The first week with a mentor will include a lot of talking by the mentor because they get to share about themselves and their time with the Lord. The second week is probably my favorite week because it’s the students turn to share. We don’t want Strength and Beauty to be a place where there is another talking head talking at students. We want to share our lives with them in a way that is more of a conversation than a teaching. We know it takes time to build trust but I was impressed with what the students shared his past Sunday. We touched on the book of Daniel, Genesis and James because that is what the guys were reading this week.

Week three is the Bible Q&A week. Bring your Bibles, questions and friends! See you Sunday!

Come Anyway

It was so great to spend time with those who came to Beauty this past Sunday! We missed the students who weren’t there.

One way we know the Enemy likes to disrupt community is to get us to believe that we aren’t welcome if we didn’t keep up with the daily Quiet Time Challenge (or any other challenge for that matter). However, we want to make sure that this message is loud and clear…COME ANYWAY! We know the challenges might be tough, but we are in this with you and want to walk through these challenges together. So, even if you missed a day (or two…) we hope you will live out one of our On Mission Attitudes and choose to belong each Sunday regardless of whether or not you completed the challenge for that week. Today is a new day and it’s never too late to pick up where you left off.

We look forward to seeing you next Sunday!

A Daily Practice

This past Sunday during our discussion in Beauty I was reminded of one of my favorite pastors, Daryl McLeod. Years ago he shared that every day he practices the presence of the Lord as he drinks his coffee in the morning. He does this by pulling up an extra chair to talk with the Lord as if he was sitting with Him in the flesh. The intentionality of this practice was what struck me and prompted me to share this story with the girls on Sunday.

Just like we make plans to hang out with our friends and family, we should make plans daily to spend time with the Lord to cultivate our relationship with Him.

What began as something I learned to do is now something I love to do… and I am better for it. Daily prayer, hearing from the Lord through reading His Word, and writing about what He is doing in and through me has lead to my intentional intimacy with Him.

I can’t wait to hear about what God is teaching everyone through the Quiet Time Challenge!  

My Time With The Lord

In our group I reviewed how I approach my time with the Lord. I like to keep it at the same time every day so it’s easier to plan for and it never get pushed to the side. I start my mornings with prayer, confessing my sin, and asking the Lord to teach me. Then I read through a passage of scripture 2-3 times and search for what the Lord is saying to me. I try to find a verse or two that I can then directly apply to my life and put into practice.

We also went over what it means to find our identity as a child of God by looking at Psalm 139. We are not an accident. God designed each of us with a unique purpose and we are part of God’s family once we follow Jesus. Then we looked at Matthew 22:37-39 as our summary of how we should identify ourselves in this family by loving God and loving people.    

First Things First

Our Strength and Beauty groups met for the first time this past Sunday. I was so impressed with the conversations I got to have with our students.

We discussed answers to the question, “What is the Bible?” We all turned to 2 Timothy 3:16 and talked about the importance of all scripture being inspired by God and God breathed. We also talked about how Hebrews 4:12 describes the Word of God as being able to help us separate what we think versus what God thinks. This led to the importance of spending time reading God’s Word daily to help us grow and influence others as we live out of the overflow of our time with Jesus.

I literally can’t wait to pick up our conversation where we left off next Sunday!

On Mission

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.