Step It Up: The Recap

In January, we took a look at “step it up”. We focused on 5 Faith Skills as we looked at the virtue of discipline. Below is an in-depth recap of what we took a look at in January:

Step It Up

Less is more. We’re fond of saying that around here. And much of the time, we’re more effective living by it. But sometimes MORE is more. Want a voluminous vocabulary? Read more. Want to nail the lines for your part in a sketch? Rehearse more. Want to master the “Cha Cha Slide” (like for January’s large group, grades 4-5)? Practice more. You get the drift. And just like you need to lift more if you want bigger biceps, you need to do some things more if you want to know God better, like:

Read His Book. Can you think of a more foundational, first-step way to get to know Him? Plus, “God has breathed life into all of Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right” (2 Timothy 3:16, NIrV). What better example of the importance of engaging in God’s Word than Jesus as a 12-year-old in the temple? (Which happens to be the Bible story for week 1.)

Remember His words. “By using Scripture, a man of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing” (2 Timothy 3:17, NIrV). Jesus showed us (particularly that time He was tempted in the wilderness) we not only need to (Step 1) read God’s Word, we need to (Step 2) memorize it, internalize it, and take it to heart so that we’ll be ready for whatever comes our way.

Talk to Him. “Don’t worry about anything. Instead, tell God about everything. Ask and pray. Give thanks to him” (Philippians 4:6, NIrV). To get to know someone and to strengthen your relationship with that person, you have to talk him or her, right? It’s the same way with God. You gotta talk to Him. This week (week 3) will help kids better understand Jesus’ answer when one of the disciples asked Him how to pray.

Talk about Him with your friends. “I pray that you will be active in sharing what you believe. Then you will completely understand every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 1:6, NIrV). Saying what you believe out loud helps solidify your beliefs. Could this be one reason Jesus asked the disciples, “But who do YOU say I am?” (The story for week 4.)

Make Him more important than anything. “Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve” (Deuteronomy 6:13a, NIrV). This week (week 5) we’ll be taking a look at what Jesus said about “the widow’s mite” and how it helps us to worship the only one we should serve.

These are all priorities and habits — disciplines — that can help us (A) get to know God better and (B) grow stronger. Kids need to understand that they don’t have to wait till they’re older to get to know God; God wants them to start now. He’s ready to help them, every step of the way, NOW. So this January, 252 Basics is designed to help kids see how discipline, which is doing what you need to do now so you can grow stronger, can help strengthen their relationship with God.

But that’s not all. Because SOMETIMES more IS more. So in addition to helping kids understand and experience discipline as a godly virtue, each week in January will also offer practical experiences in the 5 Faith Skills we think every kid should master:

1. Navigate the Bible (survey and locate)
2. Personalize Scripture (memorize and apply)
3. Dialogue with God (public and private)
4. Articulate faith (share and defend)
5. Worship with your life (praise and give)

Prayer ?

On Sunday the 17th, we had the opportunity to talk about Prayer. We tried to break it down onto the simplest level and talked about —- talking to God and how that might look to us. It does not have to be difficult. We just tell him, what we think. When we talk to Him, we will get to know Him better.

Personalize Scripture

Tonight, January 10th, we are going to be taking a look at Personalizing  Scripture. We need to remember scripture and place them in our heart. We are going to look at the story of Jesus in the wilderness as we continue to take a look at Faith Skills. Here is the main point for tonight:

Mission Trip

The middle school and high school students have the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Newport, Tennessee. Here is a summary:

Our Trip

We will leave very early on Sunday morning, July 25th (6 am). We will travel to Newport, Tennessee which is in Eastern Tennessee. The trip with breaks will take 9 – 10 hours. We will have a get-acquainted time on Sunday evening. We will work/serve Monday – Thursday. On Friday, we will depart. We will spend Friday relaxing and then travel home on Saturday. Below, you will find information regarding demographics, ministry, and activities (from YouthWorks)

Demographics

Majestic mountains, sparkling rivers and scenic wilderness are the backdrop for the 7,449 residents of Newport, Tennessee. Located in eastern Tennessee’s Cocke County, Newport is approximately 50 miles east of Knoxville. The Pigeon River and Norfolk/Southern Railroad run parallel to Newport’s Main Street, where you can enjoy shopping and dining. While this town has a low cost of living, there still are residents who struggle to make ends meet, often because of the lack of educational and employment opportunities. Only 60 percent of Newport’s residents have a high school diploma, and the unemployment rate hovers near 8 percent. Twenty-nine percent of the population lives in poverty, including almost 48 percent of children under age 18. Visit Newport and be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to this peaceful community.

About the Ministry

Participants serve in a variety of ways during a YouthWorks mission trip. Students may spend all week at one ministry or switch between ministries during the week. Ministries that your students may participate in are Kids Club and Work Projects. Kids Club is a hands-on program led by your youth offering high-energy games, crafts, skits, songs and interactive lessons all designed to help kids learn about Jesus. Whether we’re painting houses, performing minor home repair, cleaning up debris, volunteering in community gardens or other projects in the community, the projects students work on will serve as our way of blessing people in need. We cannot confirm until all groups arrive exactly what ministries your students will be a part of during the week. We ask that you come with a willing and flexible spirit!

Activities

Evening activities during a YouthWorks week are designed to give participants insight into the lives of local residents and the culture of the area. A list of possible evening/cultural activities include: going on a hike; attend a bluegrass concert; attend a local church service; and attend a community cookout. These are examples of what your group might partake in during your mission week. These examples are subject to change due to weather or availability. In case of change, suitable substitutes will be provided.

The deadline to register to guarantee spot is Sunday.

January 2010

In January, we are looking at the virtue of Discipline. This may be one of the most difficult virtues that we will take a look at. We are looking at different “disciplines” that would be beneficial if we had in our lives. We are calling them Faith Skills. Here are the 5 Faith Kills

Navigate the Bible

Personalize Scripture

Dialogue with God

Articulate Faith

Worship with your Life

On the 3rd, we took a look at Navigating the Bible. We looked at why it was important and then we took time learning about the bible: how it is divided, how many books and where the books are located.

Hopefully, you can join us as we go through the rest of the faith skills.