Friday, July 14, 2006

 

Our Church

Our young boys need direction. They need the family that we left in the states. They need aunts and uncles that will give them the stability that we cannot. This is a constant prayer of ours. That God would provide those intimate friendships and the help that we need. As the African proverb I learned in New Orleans states, it really does take a village to raise a child. Our village is a very long way away from us, and often we feel the loss of family.

For this reason, and others, it is important for us to belong to a local body of believers. Yes, I want to plant churches. I want to see God's kingdom advanced through new church starts, through groups of non-believers that form and learn about God's love for them, confess Jesus as their only Lord, and believe that He has rights to rule because of the power of the resurrection. I want to see groups of people follow Jesus command and be baptized. I want to see God's kingdom advance. I belive that there is also a great need within the traditional churches who are struggling to survive.

In Paraguay, there is a paradigm shift that is taking place. The ways that traditionally worked for churches no longer functions. I have some experinece working with youth, and our church here has a hand-full of youth who are searching for their identity within the church, and as a group. The church youth group has no leadership. The youth themselves have grown up in church, and are almost professional musicians. Maybe I'm a little biased, but they do very well. The youth in our church play the keyboard, drums, base, guitar, and sing very well. They have grown up in church, and know lots about the Bible. They fit my definition of good kids. Still very young in the faith, but good kids. Last month, we Baptized six of them. they had been saved for a while, but the church did not offer guidance on the need for Baptism.

At any rate, I began working with them in March. Feeling the need to give them a model of how to reach their peers, I began by stating that God had no beginning, and would have no end. He always was. He began his creation by creating the heavens, then there was a rebellion where one third of the heavenly hosts fell. Over the next two months, I shared about Satan, temptation, sacrifices of the Old Testament, and the promised messiah. Afterwards, we talked about the prophesies, then Jesus as the fulfillment of those prophesies. We then talked about John the Baptist's declaration that Jesus was a lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. John was the son of a priest, and so he knew what to do with a lamb. He knew the sacrifical requirements, and that God had sent Jesus to die. We talked about John's baptism and message of repentance. The group multiplied when others made a profession of faith. I started working with them in discipleship on Saturday nights. We all meet with the youth at 7:00, we sing, play games and then have our Bible study. A third discipleship group for youth has begun to meet on Saturdays at 5:00 at our church.

This Saturday, in addition to the Saturday youth events, I will teach two groups of church planters how to tell the stories of the Bible and apply them to the lives of the people who are listening. We are scheduled to finish at 5:00. I am thankful for a brother in the Lord who can fill in for me while I am not there.

I suppose this is enough for now about our chcurch. Have a wonderful day

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