Forward Through The Ages


IT’S A CELEBRATION!!!


There is a chorus that I used to sing that says, “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God!” Those words ring true for me especially this week at New Creation United Methodist Church. We are a
family, sisters and brothers together in faith and love.

After many months of planning, preparation, and anticipation the celebration of our 50th anniversary in ministry has arrived. This Sunday, October 20 is our Anniversary Worship Celebration. It’s going to be an awesome weekend of events as we gather as a church family to give thanks to God for all the blessings He has graciously given to us.

Please remember we will have one combined worship service on Sunday which begins at 10:30 AM. The service will feature beautiful music, video reflections from our former pastors, and other special surprises. There will be no Sunday school. The Celebration Luncheon will follow at 12:00 pm.

I want to thank all of the many dedicated volunteers who have worked tirelessly to bring our 50th Anniversary celebration to life. In particular, I want to acknowledge Kathy Williams for serving as Chairperson of the 50th Anniversary Planning Team.

To God be the glory, great things He has done!

Randy

Touchdown Jesus

How do you define winning in life? In football winning means that, when the game is over, your team has more points on the scoreboard than your opponent's team. It doesn’t matter how many first downs your team had. It doesn’t matter how many yards you gained in rushing and passing, how long you possessed the ball. In the end the victory is given to the one who has the most points.

And that’s how we often look at life. And this is one place where life is supposed to work much different than football. In our lives, we have a tendency to keep score. And as we keep score in a variety of different ways. In life, many think of winning in terms of power, possessions, prestige or pleasure.

The disciples seemed to have this problem as well. They walked and talked with Jesus for three years and they still got caught up in keeping score. One day two of His disciples asked Jesus, “When you come into your kingdom let one of us sit at your right hand.” Jesus had some pretty strong words in response to them. He taught them a different definition of victory; one that is defined by servanthood and sacrifice.

This week as we conclude our series, Gridiron Gospel we are going to seek to answer some very important questions: “What does winning look like to you?” And, “Are you winning or losing at the game of life?”

Randy

The Agony of Defeat

A message from the Pastor

For many years as a kid, every Saturday afternoon I loved to watch ABC-TV’s “The Wide World of Sports.” Many of you probably remember the familiar way that the show opened: “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport; the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat.” The opening video illustrated “the agony of defeat” with a skier who appeared in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure, and crashing through a light retaining fence near a crowd of stunned spectators before coming to a halt below.

Here’s the rest of the story. What viewers never knew was that Vinko Bogataj, the Yugoslavian skier in the clip, chose to fall rather than make the jump. He explained why he did it later: the ramp had become too fast, and when he was about half-way down the ramp, he knew that if he went ahead with the jump that he would land on the level ground, well beyond the safely sloping landing area. To land on the level ground could have been fatal, or could have snapped his spine like a twig, so he purposely aborted the jump. Thankfully, despite the intensity of the crash, the ski jumper suffered only a mild concussion.

It is likely that the crash would have remained obscure had a film crew from Wide World of Sports not been on hand to record the event and a producer decided to insert the footage of Bogataj’s tremendous tumble in the show’s opening video to coincide with the host Jim McKay’s narration of the words “…and the agony of defeat.”

The melodrama of the narration–which became a catchphrase in the U.S.–and the sympathetic pain of watching Bogataj wipe out week after week, transformed the uncredited ski jumper into an American icon of failure. Meanwhile, having retired to his quiet, private life in Slovenia, Vinko Bogataj was unaware of his celebrity and so was quite confused to be asked to attend the 20th anniversary celebration for Wide World of Sports in 1981. He was stunned when other, more famous athletes present, such as Muhammad Ali, asked him for his autograph.

Life has a way of forcing us to confront the reality that life will not all be the thrill of victory. It will have its share of the agony of defeat. Join us as we discover how we can respond as a follower of Christ to the “agony of defeat.”

Randy

In the Trenches

A message from the Pastor

It has often been said that the game of football is won or lost in the trenches. This is a reference to the battle that happens on every play between the offensive and the defensive lines. Usually the team that controls the line of scrimmage, wins the game. The same thing can be said for the game of life. As we strive to get in the game and live our lives to follow Jesus, we often find ourselves squaring off in a battle with a very real enemy.

Every football player needs to be properly equipped in order to be on the field and engage in the action. A football player would not take the field without their helmet. Helmets protect the athletes from blows to the head and limits the possibility of a concussion. Shoulder pads protect their chest and shoulders—a breastplate, so to speak. Then they have the hip, thigh and knee pads for leg protection, and finally, cleats to get traction and support their feet.

While this equipment provides players with physical protection, we, as Christian “warriors” need other protection as well. Ephesians tells us just as warriors (players) need protection, we Christians need armor to protect us from the outside forces that wish to harm us. During football games, the players get pounded constantly, and without the protective armor, their bodies wouldn’t be able to take the abuse.

The same can be said for our spiritual lives. Satan is constantly pounding us with temptations. Therefore, we need the armor of God to protect us and give us the strength to stand tall when the world around us in falling apart.

On Sunday as we continue our Gridiron Gospel series, we will explore how the Holy Spirit provides us with the right equipment that helps win the victory as we do battle in the trenches of life.

Randy

NLI Presentation

After months of planning, praying, and preparing the Innovation Weekend is upon us! I want to first thank the members of our New Creation NLI Team for all they have done to get us to this point. There have been many hours invested in an intensive self-study, gathering data, and coordinating events and activities. To borrow from my sermon last Sunday, this has been the ultimate team effort!

I wanted to give one final reminder of the important details for our Innovation Weekend. This weekend is a time for the entire congregation to be involved in conversations that will help us further discern and clarify the faithful next steps God is calling us to make.

Friday, September 13: The District NLI Team will be conducting interviews with key staff and leaders gaining feedback on the strengths of our church, perceived gaps, and hopes and dreams for the future. Friday evening, we will host two focus groups that will meet with our District NLI Team to gain insight and perspective from various segments of our congregation. One of the focus groups is specifically for our young adults and families the other for newcomers to our church.

Saturday, September 14: Church-Wide Retreat 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Throughout the day we will participate in activities and discussions designed to allow everyone to provide feedback and input regarding our strengths as a church, gaps or areas of growth or need, as well as YOUR hopes and dreams for our church going forward. The District NLI Team will be sharing with us results from our intensive self-study, demographic and statistical reports, “Mystery Worshipper” reports, and other data that will assist in the discernment process of areas that may need to be changed to be a catalyst for continued growth and effectiveness in making disciples of Jesus Christ. Lunch will be served.

Randy

The Ultimate Team Sport

I’m so excited about the kickoff of our new sermon series beginning this week, Gridiron Gospel. In this series we are going to be looking at lessons from football and what that can teach us about faith and winning in the game of life. I’ve been interviewing former championship football coaches and players over the last couple of weeks. It has been very inspiring to hear them speak to the analogies and connections between football, life, and faith. I am excited to share with you some of the things they said throughout the weeks of this series!

This weekend in the first message in the series we will begin by turning to teamwork and the power of the 12th man (for non-football fans, the 12th man” is the crowd, which can impact a team’s performance by their support). Football has often been called, “The ultimate team sport.” To a person, when I interviewed former coaches and players and asked them the difference between winning and losing seasons, they all pointed to teamwork.

In life we are all members of many different teams; family, school, workplace, and even the church. In the Bible we see that even Jesus had a team. He chose 12 disciples who would help Him as He began His ministry. The biblical ideal for a team is the church. The apostle Paul described the church as a team; the body of Christ with each part and member with an important role to play. Are you a team player?

My hope is that this sermon series will connect with your friends who may not be active in church but who love football, that it would be a fun way to connect life, faith and football as the season begins. So please use this as an opportunity to invite them to join you for worship. And even if you aren’t a football fan, you are somebody that’s living the game of life and we can learn from football many things that help us understand deep spiritual principles.

So, wear the jersey or the colors of your favorite team to church on Sunday as together we “Get in the game”!

 

Randy

 

All In

Maybe you’ve heard the story about the chicken and the pig:
 
A pig and a chicken are walking down the road together. As they walked along, they read a sign advertising a breakfast to benefit the poor. As they got a little closer, they noticed the menu consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage. 
 
The chicken said to the pig, “You know that sounds like a wonderful cause. I think we should donate something to the effort.” 
 
The pig replied, “Not so fast, for you it would just be a contribution, but for me it would be a total commitment.”
 
That’s a funny story but it illustrates a very serious point. As we strive to live our life and follow Jesus, it requires more than just a contribution. It requires total commitment.
 
On Sunday as we wrap up the second phase of our Breakthrough Stewardship…Investing in Relationships message series, we are going to look at our most important relationship; our relationship with God. God made a total commitment to us when He sent His Son Jesus to lay down His life for us. God calls us to follow Jesus’ example and go “ALL IN” by committing to serve God and one another.
 
Are you a chicken or a pig? Are you all in?
 
Randy

The Power of Service

Perhaps you have heard of the ancient Greek legend of Narcissus.  He was supposedly the son of a river god.  A seer had told his mother that her son must never see his reflection if he was to mature into manhood.  For that reason, everything that threw off an image, such as metal, was removed from her son's grasp.  But one day Narcissus found a spring that formed a pool filled with crystal-clear water.  As he stooped down to take a drink from the pool, he saw his reflection on the surface of the pool.  He fell desperately in love with himself, and seeking to embrace himself, he fell into the water and he drowned.

 

We don't speak much anymore of the legend of Narcissus.  We do, however, use his name to describe those who are hopelessly self-centered and self-absorbed.  In fact, narcissism is now identified and catalogued as an official personality disorder by the medical profession. In a broader sense, we use the name to describe one of the great maladies of our 21st century American culture.  Ours, in many ways, is a narcissistic culture.  We live in an age of entitlement.

 

But Jesus teaches us a different way. He didn’t come to focus on himself; his focus was always on others. He didn’t come for greatness; he came to give his life. Serving others was his mission. Others always came first for Jesus. His service culminated at the cross, where he showed his greatest love in laying down his life for us.

 

Join us this week at we learn about the power of service.

 

Randy

 

The Lion King

Disney movies have entertained us for almost 75 years.  The unforgettable characters, timeless stories, and inspiring music of these films have been engrained into our culture.

And here’s part of the reason why.  Any great film, any great theatrical production, any good work of art or piece of literature deals with the human condition.  What makes it great is that we resonate with it.  We see ourselves in the characters and we identify with the circumstances and problems they face as their stories unfold. We find it speaks to us and it speaks to our human condition.

And the gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s response to the human condition.  So, any time we find the human condition accurately portrayed and the hopes and dreams of human beings, anytime we see that we’re going to see something that points us toward the gospel. 

Sunday we are going to take a look at how we see the Gospel illustrated in one of Disney’s most popular and acclaimed animated films, The Lion King. The film tells the story of Simba, a young lion who is to succeed his father, Mufasa as the king of the Pride Lands. This makes Simba's villainous uncle Scar jealous of him. When Mufasa is suddenly murdered by Scar, Simba feels responsible for his death and runs away from home. Meeting up with two outcasts named Timon and Pumbaa, Simba embraces their ways of 'Hakuna Matata'. Years later, approached by his childhood friend Nala and the wise baboon Rafiki, Simba must return home to stop Scar's evil reign and fulfill his destiny as the new king.

Whether you are 4 or 94, join us for a look at the Gospel message in a fresh and fun new way, through the images and music of this Oscar winning movie.

 

Randy

 

Transforming Our Words

We love to talk. There are talk shows everywhere. Everybody seems to have something to say. The average American has 30 conversations a day and you'll spend 1/5 of your life talking. In one year, your conversations will fill 66 books of 800 pages a book. If you're a man you speak an average of 20,000 words a day. If you're a woman you speak 30,000 words a day.

Some words are carefully planned and selected; others are spoken impulsively. Some are spoken quietly; others are spoken with more volume. Our words are powerful! I was reminded of that this week in the poignant and powerful words of a poem I discovered:

Only a Word
Only a word of anger,
But it wounded one sensitive heart;
Only a word of sharp reproach,
But it made the teardrops start;
Only a hasty, thoughtless word,
Sarcastic and unkind.
But it darkened the day before so bright,
And left a sting behind.

Only a word of kindness,
But it lightened one heart of its grief;
Only a word of sympathy,
But it brought one soul relief;
Only a word of gentle cheer.
But it flooded with radiant light
The pathway that seemed so dark before,
And it made the day more bright.
Our Pentecostal Boys and Girls.

On Sunday we will finish our series on the power of our words. We will dig deeper into how if we allow God’s Spirit to work in us as He transforms our hearts, He also transforms our words.

Randy

Say What?

When I was a kid and someone said something ugly to me, the appropriate reaction was to say, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” I know why I used that phrase. It was a defense mechanism. It was to try to put on that tough exterior; to convince the bully that they had not gotten the best of me; that the names they called me or the things they said about me didn’t bother me. All in hopes that they would stop saying those things.

But no matter how confidently I spouted these words I always knew that it wasn’t true.  It wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now! Broken bones heal, but the wounds from words rarely do. Often, the wounds inflicted by words go much deeper and last much longer than a physical wound ever could. Words are powerful…and the tongue can be most difficult to control.

Words spoken in a moment can create damage for a lifetime. Some people never get over the words we use to describe them or to hurt them. I’m always amazed to hear stories from people about how a simple phrase changed their identity. That’s why it’s so important to speak life into others.

God must have known how challenging this issue is for many of us in our relationships with others. That’s why the Bible is full of instruction on how we use our words. We find this particularly in the power of the Psalms and in the wisdom of Proverbs. This week we will begin a short two-week series on how we use our words. In the first message in the series we will look at how the tone of our words can bring out the best in people and glorify God. This will be a very practical message that you won’t want to miss.

 

See you Sunday,

 

Randy

 

Faith: A Journey and A Relationship

On Thursday of this week, on the 4th of July we celebrated our nation’s 243rd birthday. It was nearly two and a half centuries ago that the United States was born. A nation based on the ideals of liberty, responsibility, Godliness, and the freedom to become what God intended us to become was a new and revolutionary idea.

The celebration of our nation’s birthday is really a celebration of freedom. We celebrate the precious gift of freedom we have because of the price others paid. You see, we must remember that freedom isn’t free. Freedom is very expensive. It has come to us because of the blood of many brave men and women shed in defense of our freedom. It has cost some people everything, including their lives. Freedom isn’t free, but it is infinitely valuable.

On Sunday we will exercise our freedom and gather to worship in God’s house at New Creation. As we do, we will celebrate another form of freedom; a freedom that has also been purchased for us by the shedding of blood; the blood of God’s only Son.

We will remember and celebrate His sacrifice that offers us that freedom as we observe Holy Communion. Please join us as we gather to worship our Lord who said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:35-36)

Randy

Catch the Spirit

Have you ever been to the circus? One of my favorite circus acts is the trapeze act. The trapeze artist stands on a high pedestal, and they swing out on one bar, and another bar comes swinging out from the other direction, and they grab onto it – they let go of this one, and they swing on over to the other side.

If you’ve ever watched this carefully, the trapeze bars never actually touch. There’s a gap between them. So, at some point when the trapeze artist is going across, they have to swing out on one and let go of it before they grab on to the next one. But the forward motion of that swinging out keeps propelling them. They let go of this, and they grab on to that, and they swing on to the next side. But at some point, even if for a split second, they’re holding on to nothing a hundred, two hundred feet up. And that can be a scary place to be. The good news is there is always another bar there for them to grasp hold of to carry them to the other side.

In a way, this is where we find ourselves as a church. We are in that neutral zone, moving from what’s familiar, through something called the neutral zone, to a new reality. This neutral zone can be exhausting, frightening, and confusing. It is also the crucible in which you will grow in ways you could never imagine.

My prayer is that we will continue to give thanks and celebrate all that God has provided to get us to where we are and that we will reach out in faith and trust God to provide and allow God’s strong arms to catch us and carry us forward to the other side.

Keep praying for breakthrough!

Randy

God's Servants Working Together

The Gateway
June 14, 2019
4320 Bruce Road, Chesapeake, VA 23321 — 757-484-8217

Website

Facebook

Worship This Sunday

It has been a true honor to have spent the last 6 years as your Associate Pastor. We have been through some big changes together, a lead pastor change, moving two campuses into one, living into our new name, as well as celebrating new life among us. We have lost some    of our beloved members and experienced tragedies together as well. Thank you for trusting me with your lives and allowing me to be a small influence on your faith journey. As Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 3, God gives all the growth as I have had the blessing of planting seeds and cultivating the seeds other planted before me. I am overjoyed that Pastor Spencer and Pastor Randy will continue to plant and cultivate seeds at New Creation and in our Western Branch community. 
 
Paul writes that we are all God's servants, working together together for the glory of God. Thank you for your grace as I have grown as a your pastor. You all were instrumental in helping to mold me into a faithful pastor. Thank you for your forgiveness when I made mistakes and forgot to trust God. Thank you for trying new things with me and trusting      that God had spoken. I have always been amazed at the prayer life and deep study of        God's scriptures at New Creation and I pray you all continue to grow in Christ. God will continue    to bless you all with faithful leaders and guests so we can continue God's work    for God's kingdom. 
 
I do not do goodbye's well, so instead this is a "see you later." My home church sang "God Be with You till We Meet Again" at the end of every worship service and what a perfect benediction, God will be with you, and with me, until we meet again!

Blessings,
Pastor Stephanie

Breathe Deep

Today, we celebrate Pentecost.  Pentecost is the Sunday of the Christian year when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the first apostles.  This dramatic and miraculous event manifest through the sound of a mighty rushing wind and the appearance of flames of fire was the birthday of the Church.  When the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles, they received the power that Jesus had promised.  It was that power of the Holy Spirit that then so filled them that they went out boldly to spread the message of the gospel to all the world, and thus the church was born.
  
Before Pentecost, the disciples had been a rag-tag crew of well-meaning but ineffectual followers. After Pentecost, these same disciples became such powerful witnesses that it was said of one of the disciples, Simon Peter, that his mere shadow passing over a physically distressed person could bring healing. Before Pentecost, the disciples were fearful, fickle followers who could not be depended upon even to stay awake while their Master was praying. After Pentecost, they were willing to face persecution, even surrender themselves to torture and death in order to testify that this same Master had been raised from the dead.  Before Pentecost, they were pathetic, listless, timid. After Pentecost, they were filled with power, Spirit power, and they went out to win the world.  This was Christ’s legacy to the world. A Spirit-filled church. And that, of course, is who we are intended to be today--a power-filled, purpose-driven community of faith making a dramatic difference in the world.
 
Pentecost is a good day for us to take account of our discipleship, both individually and corporately. Are we the kind of force in the world that Christ has called us to be?
 
Randy

Abide in the Vine

It was one of the most effective advertising campaigns in recent history. It featured a tall, thin, kind of gangly looking fellow. He’s wearing black, horned-rimmed glasses and looks like he might be an accountant or computer geek. He’s got a cell phone in his hand and a serious look on his face. And everywhere he goes, no matter how remote or strange a place, he’s got one thing to say.
 
“Can you hear me now?”
 
What was the ad? It was VERIZON. Why was it so successful an ad that they kept running it and running it and running it some more? Because it made VERIZON a lot of money. And why is that? Because Americans are OBSESSED with being “connected.”  Whether it’s by cell phones; email; social networking sites – people, it seems, can’t go even a few minutes without connecting. Sometimes it’s about business, other times it’s all about pleasure, but staying connected is key.
 
That gets me wondering about another connection – our connection with God. The reality is that staying connected with God, for a lot a people, doesn’t seem to be nearly as important as staying connected with their friends on Facebook or Instagram. If it was, preachers would boast about having millions of millions of members in their churches – but we know that isn’t true.
 
So on Sunday as we finish the first segment of our series Breakthrough Stewardship…Investing in Relationships we will talk some about “staying connected” with God. In one of His most famous sayings, Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  On Sunday we will explore this powerful passage and discover ways we can keep our connection strong.

Randy

Better Together

Recently the Stewardship Team has prayerfully chosen “Breakthrough Stewardship… Investing in Relationships” as our 2019 theme as we focus on fulfilling God’s Plans by building closer relationships with our Lord, our church family, and with those in our community.  Personal relationships are the foundation for personal growth and development for individuals as well as our church family. Building close personal relationships help us use our time, talents, and treasures to more effectively serve Him.
As the church, our people are our greatest resource. As we travel together on the journey of faith the bonds of love and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the church provide us with great strength and encouragement. We are better together!
We have witnessed that within our congregation recently in several beautiful and powerful ways:
The Last Supper Drama was a powerful service of worship. It also brought many new members into a deeper connection to the church and to one another.
Easter Sunday was an awesome day of worship and celebration of the resurrection of the Lord. We had a total of 761 people in attendance in our services; the most it's been in recent years.
Our Family Series has made us aware of the vital importance that our children and youth have in the life of our church. We all have responsibility to mentor and nurture these young people in faith.
The 5:17 Prayer Vigil and Service was a powerful time of worship and testimony as we sang praise to God and heard our members share testimonies of God’s Breakthroughs in their lives.
Clean-up Day brought out over 30 volunteers (including children and youth) to do some spring cleaning of our building and grounds.
 Last Sunday’s conclusion of the Family series was awesome! It was amazing to see members of both of our Praise Teams along with members of the Chancel Choir all join together as one to present a special song.
This week we will begin the first portion of three-part series of messages to help us recognize the tremendous value of our relationships with one another. We are truly better together!
Randy
 
 

It's Just a Phase

It's just a phase . . . so don't miss it. 
 
Every one of us can point to somebody who showed up to make a difference in the different phases of our life. And because someone showed up for us, we should show up for somebody who needs us now in whatever phase they’re in. One of the best ways to show up is to understand the six things every kid and teenager needs. Last week, we introduced you to the first three things that every kid or teenager needs from their parents and adults who want to have an influence on the next generation.
 
Every kid and teenager needs…
            TIME over TIME because it gives a relationship HISTORY.
            LOVE over TIME because it gives them a sense of WORTH.
            WORDS over TIME because it gives their life DIRECTION.
 
Allow me to share something personal about myself, and this won’t go into too much detail. I grew up in a very turbulent household. My father was violent and his violent nature took over our family’s home. There were many times where I felt unsafe, unwanted, and unloved. I credit the many adults who decided to show up in my life--grandparents, teachers, church members, neighbors, Scout leaders, and adults who simply cared--for carrying me through that time in my life. Few people know that Robin Duncan (Ms. D!) was my chorus teacher through the worst season of my middle school years when my family began to implode. Her hospitality and mentorship provided a safe place for me to shelter in that storm. She is just one of the many adults who showed up for me every single week.
 
The expression “It takes a village to raise a kid” has been shared with me several times in the past few weeks. I feel this expression falls short in that it only addresses the number of people needed in a loving community to help parents raise adults. It fails to address the amount of consistent TIME that is needed to raise a kid. Please remember over the coming weeks: everything that we must do if we want to have a positive influence in the life of a kid and teenager must be repeated OVER TIME. I am thankful for those adults who remained in my life not just on the days when things seemed the roughest, but were there for me OVER TIME. They were the key to my survival and set me up for who I am today.
 
Join us this Sunday for the continuation of our series on family and what it means to show up in the lives of kids and students. We’ll share with you the last three things that every kid and teenager needs OVER TIME. Gail, Kym, and I are excited to continue to share this message series with you all!
 
With love and blessings,
Jeremy Crum, Director of Ministries with Young People

It's Just a Phase

It’s just a phase… so don’t miss it!

Last Sunday, we redefined phase as a timeframe in a kid’s life when you can leverage distinctive opportunities to influence a kid’s future. Whether or not you are a parent, this applies to you! We all have stories from when an adult stepped into our lives and changed our future. As you prepare for this Sunday’s message, I encourage you to think about those adults who made investments over time in your future.

This Spring, we have been blessed by several members of our church who have either shared or donated marbles to our Ministries (one member donated over 1800). We hope that you have enjoyed the marble displays outside of the Sanctuary. As we’ve thought about a kid or teenager’s future, we’ve been thinking a lot about these marbles. You see, a kid has 936 weeks from when they are born until they become an adult. Marbles give us a visual representation to see the collective value of our influence over time. When you decide to be physically and consistently present—week after week after week—your influence begins to have a cumulative effect. We may not see the immediate results and we may be tempted to become frustrated and back out. When you decide, either as a parent or as a Christ-follower, to be present physically and consistently in the life of a kid or teenager, amazing things will happen for that kid or teenager.

It’s not just a jar of marbles; it’s your time. Gail, Kym, and I are excited to share the first three things that kids and teenagers need from the adults in their lives (and the adults who want to influence their lives) over time.

With love and blessings,
Jeremy Crum, Director of Ministries with Young People

It's Just a Phase

It's just a phase . . . so don't miss it.

Whether or not you’re a parent, we all have kids in our lives. And if you care about the future of the world, or at least the future of those kids, you need to have influence. And . . .

. . . your best chance to have an influence in someone’s life is to actually show up.

It’s impossible to remember what it was like in preschool. Nobody does.

It’s difficult to remember what it was like in elementary school. It was a long time ago.

It’s scary to remember what it was like in middle school. Most of us have blocked it out.

It’s easy for us to remember what it was like in high school. Or, we’d like to think so.  

Odds are, it's difficult for us to remember much about what it was like growing up, let alone knowing what it's like for kids today. But one thing we can remember is the people who showed up for us.

If you knew that you had 936 opportunities (sounds like a lot, right?) to influence the faith of a generation, would you take on the challenge? Would you be willing to stand in the gap with parents and families?

As a part of this series, we are offering a new study called Parenting Through the Phases. We’re inviting parents, grandparents, step-parents, any adult who is helping to raise a kid or teenager, or any adult who wants to influence the faith of a generation to participate. These are inspiring, guilt-free parenting small groups that will help you make the most of the developmental phase your child or teen is in right now. It’s never too late, even if you’re parenting a twelfth grader.

Join us this Sunday for the beginning of a new series on family and what it means to show up in the lives of kids and students. Gail, Kym, and I are excited to share this message series with you all!

With love and blessings,
Jeremy Crum, Director of Ministries with Young People