Drinking Deeply

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 at 12:50 AM

Alaksa update and Prayer Request

Hey guys,

Alaska has been good, really busy and feeling a little rushed at times, but challenging and fulfilling. I've been having a number of excellent conversations with my kids as well as with my fellow teachers and it's really encouraging to be serving along side such a godly collection of men and women. It really reminds me of the early church in Acts where the people gathered daily for the breaking of bread and fellowshipped and no one had any needs.

I do have a major prayer request however.

The church here does a "revival" or "youth rally" every year at the end of the summer school program and I've been asked to help out. The desired theme this year is "All-in" and the desire to challenge and make believing Christians live up to their faith. A ok... Sort of.

I see that the problem is that with almost everything the push has been to do good, live out good works, and somehow we'd be blessed with that. They want to present the gospel at the beginning and then go into "living it out" at the end, but I know from speaking with my students and a fellow teacher's opinion that the kids really have no idea what it means to be saved by faith alone. When asked how to get to heaven the answer is all across the board: Be a good Christian, do good, don't piss people off. This terrifies me. Looking at the message the order is reversed... It's for some reason Gospel and then Law... and there is no salvation in the Law! Thinking it over, I get the foreboding feeling that this is not the greatest of ideas.

I prayed about it a great deal and I talked with some of my brothers and sisters and I became convicted that I couldn't in good conscience support the "Come as you are" night. I realized that I believed that my students would only get the wrong message (legalism), that new kids would not even get the gospel at all. I also felt like the whole idea of a skit and body worship in order to draw people in so that "they remember" and are "entertained" would be essentially betraying the gospel. I don't believe that it is ever necessary to put on a skit, a show, or a body worship in order to draw kids in. I don't believe that it is ever necessary to cater to one's audience as opposed to the gospel. I feel like it is pulling a "bait and switch" tactic with the gospel, where we invite people in to come see a show, and then we sneak in a gospel. I am reminded of Romans 1:16-17

16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
And I feel like the cry of the group is that "the kids need something new, they are getting jaded, they need to be reawakened" and they're searching for something new and improved to set them on fire! But God's Word is that fire! I don't know, it is a major struggle with me. I feel like I'm betraying them and all the love they're pouring into me. I feel like I'm betraying their message, they're putting so much effort into this and I decided to pull out, but I cannot in good conscience support what they're doing. Please pray for wisdom and discernment, for humbleness no matter what happens, for godly correction and repentance if I'm wrong, and for strength and faith if what I am doing is indeed in accordance to God's will.

The church doesn't have a summer bible study. Man. I wish that night could just be a bible study. I would be more than willing to pour in hour after hour for something like that, but something like a revival? ::sigh:: Please pray for wisdom in all things. I've talked with the leaders and laid out my concerns, and it sounds like we're still on good terms (and brothers), I've also talked with a number of my fellow teachers. Some of them agree with me, but have decided to stick with it in order to try to reform it from inside out, some of them aren't sure, and a large number of them disagree with me. God grant me wisdom!


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