Category Archives: Reachout
Well this blog has fallen into the barren land again, have been busy this past monthing planning, preparing and doing Reachout08, was a fantastic weekand God truly blessed us again. But it’s back to porridge now, the more mundane 8-6 working life, checkout the Reachout blog for more info and updates, including a pdf summarising the weeks talks..
Another flexi day off , could get used to these, so thought i’d update this somewhat barren land again. Getting a few things prepared for a reachout leaders weekend, really looking forward to a bit of time and space away from the hectic pace of life to just chill, share in fellowship as a team and enjoy abit of craic together. So this morning i’m peparing some stuff for our devotions, looking at the spiritual discipline of lectio divina. Will post some further thoughts later, it’s a discipline I was introduced to at a youth ministry summer school, and found it highly beneficial, though I confess I rarely take the time to meditate on the word of God and dwell in his presence to the detriment of my spiritual health. Draw me close again Lord, draw me close……..
Realise it’s become abit of a barren place again on the old blog, have been snowed under abit of late, but trying to get ontop of things again. Have been working abit on setting up a blog for Reachout, the summer outreach programme i’ve been involved in. Hope to use the site as a portal for keeping them informed of whats happening, have had 30+ teens interested in a bible study following this summer which is real excitring. Call by and check it out, pretty basic yet, but will hopefully add to it in the coming weeks
Well Reachout 07 finished a couple of weeks ago now, but I’m only getting round to post a couple of reflections on the week on this bank holiday Monday.
What a week, seems like an eternity ago now, the excitement and buzz has worn off somewhat, but I pray it’s impact will be everlasting. Reachout has confirmed to me yet again that God’s plans are bigger than our plans, that he hears and answers our prayers, and he gives us the abilities beyond ourselves. What a privilege to serve such an awesome God, what a privilege to be a part of his kingdom work : that he chooses to involve fallen sinners like me to be a part of extending his kingdom just blows me away. And I guess he has re-affirmed my belief that He is rising up a generation to redeem his church, a generation of passion-filled, Jesus following, community changing young people. As is often the case when you serve, you receive so much blessing from God. The encouragement of 50+ young people chatting openly about their struggles, seeking to live distinctive lives in their schools, stumbling at times, but determined to keep going after Jesus, and just needing a loving hand to lift them and point them to the cross of Christ.
I’ll finish this post by leaving two verses that have been on my mind recently:
1 Thessalonians 2vs.8
“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
O may we pray for this generation, that He will rise up young men and women of faith seeking to live against the flow of a Godless society that surrounds them, seeking to live salt and light, distinctive lives, following the way of Christ and impacting their worlds for Him.
Think this was the tag line of something a while back, can’t remember what, but these have been my thoughts as I reflect on ReachOut. When I consider the awesome week we shared in, watching God at work, it gave me a glimpse of what “church” should all be about. A passage that has always impacted me when I consider how church should be was one that was considered at Ballynahinch Baptist last night, and it spoke to me again. I’ve posted before on how this vision of the early church in Acts 2 42-47 represents what we should be striving for in the community of believers we refer to as “church”, yet as I look at the church as it stands today I cannot see much resemblance of this pioneer community. And this to me underlines the fallen state of man, and I am as guilty as the next in that category. I’m selfish and self-centered, at times I don’t even think twice about the needs of those around me. Yet I’ve surrendered my life to God, and I’m asking Him to change my heart daily, giving me a heart like Jesus, eyes that see the pain and suffering in the lives of those around me, and feet and hands that act out His grace and love.
I believe this generation can bring revival to these shores, if we play our part and inspire this current generation to live radical, passion filled lives for Jesus who saved them by His grace. The interesting thing in this passage in Acts is the environment which brought about the growth of the early church, and that was one of devotion. Devotion to God, his word and teaching; building relationships where honesty and accountability with fellow Christians prevailed; sharing together regularly in worship and fellowship in one another’s homes; the underlying necessity of prayer; and the community aspect of sharing and providing for those who were in need.
And that’s the vision we’ve gotta put before this generation, and I believe we captured this somewhat through the ReachOut week.
The difficulty comes when we return to the Real World situations we face every day, be that work, school, tech, whatever. But I hope that through these blogs, and the friendships that have developed through ReachOut that we can carry on some of these aspects of being a community of believers as we share in fellowhip, express honesty and accountability to one another, and most importantly pray for one another.
Anyway that’s enough of me rambling on, trust everyone is well, keep shining bright wherever you may be
Was at Worldwide05 last night, the Bangor worldwide missionary convention. Speaker was a guy John Woodside from Drogheda Presbyterian; spoke on the sowing of the seed, and how Jesus parables relate more than ever to today’s culture in a post-Christian, post-modern largely apathetic society.
He used Mark 4, and started out painting a pretty grim picture of so much seed sown, with sometimes so little evidence of growth and new life. And sometimes that’s how we can feel about the “mission” were involved in wherever we are be it Boardmills, Raffery or further afield. Week by week we faithfully sow the seed, but rarely do we see the results. And that’s where the problem is, not with the seed (Gods word), or the method of sowing, but when we think we have anything to do with the process. It’s all about God, it’s seeds of his Gospel we are sowing, and it’s in his timing and according to his purpose that the seed will take root and grow.
And when the seed starts to grow, the results are beyond our wildest dreams, as the seed takes root it multiples and the result is a mighty harvest. So as we sow the seed week by week, even if it seems like a waste at times, we have to remember the Lord of the harvest, who will enable that seed to take root and bear a mighty crop in his perfect timing. The gospel is compared to the mustard seed, the smallest seed, yet when it takes root it grows into the largest of garden plants. And this is the gospel we proclaim, and it still has the same power to transform lives. I know it does because it has transformed mine, so keep sowing the seed faithfully, bringing it before the Lord of the harvest, and trust him to one day reap a mighty harvest.
And then there were 6……..
This blogging craze is really snowballing now, get in quick or your missing out!! Ally G and Callum are the latest recruits to the blogging scene, good job guys.
Lets hope we can all keep up the momentum and contiue to ride the crest of the wave that reach-out gave us all. I really believe God used ReachOut to change all our lives, bringing us closer to him, and I pray that he will use these blogs to enable us to share together our spiritual journeys, encouraging one another along the way. Anyways i’m on my lunchbreak so better shoot, hopefully record a few thoughts later if I get the chance.
Great to see a fellow Reach Out leader Justy has stepped into the world of blogging, check it out if you get a chance. Maybe some fellow leaders will follow the trend and set up a blog………..
The past week was an awesome week where God really moved in the lives of the young people that attended and through them into the wider community. He totally blew our mind, answering our every prayer beyond anything we could have comprehended. What was merely a thought a number of months ago he nurtured, developed and grew into something that impacted many young lives and through them impacted the wider community. So what went on?
Weeklong actvities, with 40 teens attending from a couple of local churches, and many with only loose church connections. There was fun and fellowship, we grappled with the Big Questions of our faith, we served the local community in practical ways and finished the week off with a celebratory social event.
Was the community impacted through the young people – yes. The one question that we were constantly asked was why, why are you doing these things expecting nothing in returned. As we washed cars for members of the community in a local golf club, as we cleared the roads of litter, as we made and delivered hampers to elderly folk in the community we were constantly asked why. And this gave us the opportunity to share that, having experienced God’s grace in our lives, we wanted to share God’s love in practical ways, and this was our way of showing them that God loved them. And when you have an army of young people, full of energy and enthusiasm, then God can make great things happen in and through them.
It’s our prayer that this will have been a life changing for the young people involved, and those in the community whose lives they impacted. That the seeds planted will one day reep a mighty harvest, and that a generation of young people prepared to passionately follow their Saviour no matter what the cost will rise up again. God impacted each of the leaders lives as he blew our mind with what he done through the week as we simply gave ourselves in humble service to our master, and we pray that every life touched will be impacted in equally as powerful a way