New Series: VIVID

As the parent of a student, you know the disconnect that often occurs between what teenagers say they believe and the way they live throughout their lives. Adolescents, like all Christ-followers, fight the constant temptation of falling into the trap of saying one thing while doing another. The Book of James clearly addresses this issue.

James puts forth a simple idea: our actions should match our beliefs. This is what it means to live a vivid faith through the power of the Holy Spirit.

In light of this, we are really excited to be launching a new series this week in ignition.  We’ll be digging into the book of James rooted in a study from youthministry360 entitled Vivid: A 6-lesson Study on the Book of James. This study will challenge students to evaluate their faith and their actions, to identify where the two don’t match up, and to make the necessary changes to live a life of a vivid faith. During the next six weeks your child will learn about:

  • the struggle with sin that lives in every Christ-follower
  • the danger of showing favoritism to those who are easy to like
  • the importance of spiritual fruit in our lives
  • the power of words
  • the futility of trying to love the world and God
  • the importance of submitting to God’s leadership

You’ll be receiving follow-up reminders from me as we teach these topics. We want to equip you with overviews of what we talked about as well as some follow-up suggestions you and your student might use to continue this important conversation.

We want to be known as a student ministry who leads students to live a vivid faith, standing as a powerful witness to a watching world.

Our students have immeasurable influence and present-day potential. Let’s unleash them as brilliant lights into this dark and hurting world!

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New Year…New Series

Have you ever been part of two very different groups? Maybe you go to a different school or you’re in different classes than the people in your neighborhood. So you’re a part of both groups. Or maybe you play on a different sports team than all of your friends. So after practice hang out with the team but on the weekends, you hang out with completely different people. When that happens, we feel like we’re from one world and living in another. We’re torn.

And if we’re honest, sometimes going to church or being a Christian can make us feel that way too.

We go to church and what we hear makes sense. We see people living out their faith and it looks perfectly normal, maybe even fun.

But what looks good on Sunday doesn’t always feel comfortable on Monday.

Back in the everyday world, living as followers of Jesus can make us feel like we’re from another planet. But does it have to be that way? And what does it look like to live for God in a culture that doesn’t necessarily think the same way? Believe it or not, these aren’t 21st century questions. Long ago, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church at Philippi as they figured out how to navigate their faith and culture at the same time. As we spend the next few weeks talking about what he said, we may find that Paul’s advice to the Philippians is just as relevant for us as we learn to manage the tension and live in a way that is out of this world.

Jesus and Stress: ReFuel Devotional, Final Week – post 3

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” – 1 Corinthians 14:33

Over the past few weeks you have learned a lot about what the Bible says about stress and peace and how to choose to let God handle your stress. You may have asked how a Christian teenager can know when a choice is the right choice or if God is calling you to a certain task or even vocation in life. The answer is found in Paul’s words to the church at Corinth.

God is the author of peace not confusion.

Something To Think About . . .

The next time you have a decision to make or think God is speaking to you stop and listen to what is going on in your mind and heart. Do you feel unrest and confusion or do you feel a sense of peace? If you feel that inner peace from God then there is an excellent chance that is what God would have you to do.

Pray today and ask God to continue to help you follow Him by speaking with peace into your life.

Beyond Belief 2015

It’s time to gear up for our middle school winter retreat!!!

When is it?  Friday, February 27th – Sunday, March 1st.

So often, right after we choose to believe and to follow Jesus, our spiritual walk comes to a screeching halt. Where do we go from here? Is there anything beyond simply believing? Beyond Belief is a unique retreat that aims to move us from that first step of believing, to a passionate pursuit of Jesus in our everyday lives.
This year, we will focus on living a Jesus Centered life, what that means, who Jesus really is, and why choosing to put Him at the center means choosing the best life possible. There will be large group teaching sessions, on-your-own quiet times, exploratory challenges, and an interactive prayer/worship experience all designed to help us understand the person of Jesus and what it means to live with Jesus at the center of our lives.

Beyond belief takes place at New Life Bible Camp in Buffalo Mills, PA. An ignition exclusive, we will have the camp entirely to ourselves. There are a ton of awesome activities there and plenty of beautiful spaces to explore and enjoy.  This is an electronics-free retreat. There is no cell service at the camp, so bringing your phones, ipods, laptops, kindles, and anything else that keeps you “plugged in” will do you no good.

$95 covers the entire cost of the weekend.

Application required with $20 deposit. This application is NOT for “approval”, but a way of registering and asking key questions that will get you thinking about what God has planned for you on this retreat.

Final balance due and deadline to register: Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

Students will meet at 13 Firstfield at 1:30pm on Friday, and leave no later than 2pm. Adult Leaders will be providing transportation. Return to 13 Firstfield planned for 1:00pm on Sunday.

Register here:
https://senecacreek.ccbchurch.com/form_response.php?id=261

I can’t wait to see all God has in store for us on this retreat!!

Jesus and STRESS: Devotion for Week 2

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.” – Psalm 23:1-2

Do you remember learning about antonyms in school? Those are words that are opposites like light and dark, hot and cold, and happy and sad.

To better understand what David was trying to say in this psalm think about some opposites for a minute.

What would be the opposite of a green meadow or pasture?Maybe a place with brown and dried up grass? What would be the opposite of a peaceful stream? Maybe a raging flood of water or a swift stream?

As a shepherd, David’s job was to take care of his sheep and to find green grass for grazing and still, quiet waters for drinking. This would help his animals to not be frightened or afraid. Sometimes too much stress can cause fear and anxiety.

But remember God is constantly working to lead you to places of rest and peace in your life.

He will lead you to situations where you can find rest from your stress.

Middle School Parents – this is FOR YOU!

This post is from Cheryl Booth. Cheryl has served as one of our amazing leaders for several years. She has led ReFuel groups, participated in many special events and retreats, and is currently part of our teaching team. Her heart for students is deep and strong and extends to loving and caring for the whole family. So looking forward to seeing how God uses this phenomenal small group for parents!

During Christmas break the kids and I set to the task of cleaning out my car.  No small task indeed.  As we did I said that I wanted it spotless…to which my oldest exclaimed that my car could never be spotless.  And so that is the truth.  Sometimes I feel like I want life to be able to be all crisp and clean and organized like it was before I had kids. But the reality is that once you have kids – at least while you are raising them – there are so many things out of your control that it rarely works out that way. At least for me!

For a while now my husband Kent and I have wanted to have a care group that consistent of parents of young teens and preteens like us…so that we could support each other during this not so spotless time of life.  And more than that to have the students come as well so that they can form deeper bonds with their fellow Ignition students.

Finally we are at the season of life where we are ready to push forward to make that happen.

The Willefords were also interested in just such a group.  So this coming Sunday – 1/11. We’ll be meeting at their house (8909 Maxwell Dr, Potomac, MD 20854)  to begin making that group happen! We invite all families that would like to join such a group to come for a casual get together to discuss moving forward with this care group.

If you are interested but are not able to attend please email us and let us know.  We’d like to keep the group to about 6 families. So if we have a lot of interest then we will look to having multiple groups!   So if you are interested in hearing more about this group please join us on Sunday 1/10 from 3 to 5pm at the Willeford home.  Please RSVP to either Angie or myself so we know how many families will be attending.  This will be a group for families to attend, so parents and children of all ages are invited.  We plan to have a small devotional/Bible study time for the students, and will make arrangements based on numbers for younger siblings as well.

Contact us to RSVP or with questions – Cheryl Booth (claeb4@juno.com) or Angie Willeford (angiewilleford@verizon.net)  We look forward to have an awesome time connecting with other families!

The abbreviated details again:

WHAT: Starting a small group for families with middle schoolers (or soon to be middle schoolers), Meeting bimonthly

WHO: Parents and children invited to attend

WHEN: “Meet and greet” type first meeting to be held 1/11 from 3-5pm

WHERE: The Willeford residence – 8909 Maxwell Dr, Potomac, MD 20854

Come join us!

Cheryl

Walking the Talk on a Lighted Path

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

“The Bible is full of wisdom.”
“I should read my Bible more.”
“The Bible is God’s letter of love to us.”
“God gave us the Bible so we would know how to follow Him.”

We talk the talk all the time. We say all the right things, we know the church-i-fied answers.

But is this how we live?

Do we really believe that the Bible is relevant to our lives today? Do we really believe that God has spoken into our individual lives, right here, right now in 2015?

I believe that the only way to find out is to actually dive into the Bible. Like, for real. One of the EASIEST ways to do this is to walk through the book of Proverbs. The book of Proverbs has 31 chapters, and January has 31 days.

All we have to do is ready the same chapter as the date on the calendar.

That’s it.

I promise you, well really God promises you, that if you spend the next 31 days reading a chapter in the Bible, you will NEVER be the same. God’s word CHANGES us. It molds us, shapes us, inspires us, convicts us, empowers us and GROWS us.

There are some great resources to help us do this. One I really like is a journal page created by MasterPlanMinistries.net. Take a look at the key prompts it uses to walk you through ANY section of reading:

4 P’s Bible Study Worksheet

Before you start take time to do a “throne check” and ask God to lead your thinking and speak to you.

Read

Make note of the things that jump out at you as you read.

Paraphrase

Sum up chapter _______.
Of the verses that jumped out at you, look up the verse(s) or word(s) in Bible study tools (Commentaries, Strong’s, Bible dictionaries etc.) and write down what you learn. BibleStudyTools.com, BibleHub.com, MyStudyBible.com, BlueLetterBible.com are helpful sites.

Process

Put yourself in this situation, what would you be thinking and feeling?
What does this verse show you about God’s character?
Ask God why He brought these things to your mind. Write down the thoughts that come to mind.

Principles

Write down some principles that stick out to you.
1.
2.
3.

Personal Application

How does this relate to in your personal day to day life?
What is one way you can respond with action-oriented faith to what God has brought to your mind?

It will only take a few minutes every day. And the effects will last forever. And be sure to interact with this process. Post comments here, on instragram and facebook. Share with your friends – invite them into the process.