FaithStudents 3.0

FaithStudents 3.3

“Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God!” Romans 8:5 (msg)

What makes us family is harder and harder for people to understand because family is harder and harder to define in our culture. I remember when we would sit down to eat dinner together when I was a kid, it was every night. It was the norm for us to eat dinner together 7 days a week, so was the discussion and sharing about our day. 

There was a time when I would talk to other kids and if they would tell me their families didn’t do that I would say to them, ‘Your Family Is Weird!’ It was assumed in my mind, this is just what families did!

Let me ask you a question, if you could define what made your family different in three ways what would they be? Mine: Communicate, Church, Independence

We talked a lot and wouldn’t hold back much. We always went to church. it was required in our home and if you expressed independence it was valued. However, not all families can be easily boiled down to three simple words. For some of you the question itself is something you avoid because you don’t have a nice image from your past. 

How does a church model FAMILY when not everyone has a good/healthy picture of what that can look like?

For some people we (the church) leverage a past good image of family and use it to set up what community and the body of Christ needs to be. For some people we (the church) needs to go the added step of being an example and living as a family for the benefit of those that need it.

So Family isn’t easy and it’s getting harder, but it is crucial to community and the church. It is a fight that we are willing to fight because God over and over talks about being our father and we are his sons and daughters and we need to understand this statement without past scars.

The Action Step…

Since last year we (faithstudents) have talked about family and what makes the body of christ, FAMILY!  It begs the question what is this year about?  Where do we go from there…

Thank you for letting me minister to your students and alongside them in reaching their friends, our community and the world for His glory.  

Scott Owens

 

Upcoming Events

WNL Kickoff

It is back! With a bang! 

Backyard BBQ with hot dogs, chips and ice cream sandwiches. Worship, One Large Group Game, Message, Photobooth fun, Small Groups and the Family of God. We want to see your students there. WNL starts at 6:30pm, but we will start the backyard bbq just after 6pm.

Dig and Release 2.0

Starting this Sunday, Sept 15th we (7th-12th graders) will be meeting during the second service message in the South Hall for Dig and Release 2.0. Donuts during the month of September. 

 

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Faith Students

FaithStudents 3.2

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36

I once heard a speaker say the only time he punished his children was for lying. Like most parents I don’t try to punish my children. I’d prefer not to, but after numerous things in your house get broken it is inevitable that you are going to send at least one kid away to ‘think about what they’ve done’.

Recently our 8 mo old starting crying as though he was hurt. We picked him up to our 5 yr old saying, “I know what happened…I know why JoJo is crying.”

“Why is JoJo crying?”

“Sam (our 3 yr old) kicked him!!”

Parents turn to Sam as he has a blank look on his face, “Did you kick JoJo?”

Sam declares with spirit, “Yeah!”

Turn to Clara (our 5 yr old), “Why did he kick him?”

A shy Clara utters, “Cause I kicked JoJo.”

I am struck by the confidence in the whole situation. Sam declares with only honesty and spirit, ‘YEAH! I kicked the kid. I’m going to be honest and take what comes my way. So yes…yes, mom and dad I kicked him!’

Then there is my 5 year old that knows what she did and still admits it.

The Action Step…

God desires us to live in confidence and with endurance, but do we advocate that. I remember when I was in high school (the 90’s) and hearing over and over that Christians are hypocritical and judgmental. I must admit that played on me to be less courageous and more shy then I should have been in telling others about the love of God.

How do we demonstrate confidence in beliefs to our students with a value on endurance?

I struggle with this and also have a thought. Just like the speaker that did not punish his kids unless they lied to illustrate the importance of not lying,  what if we encourage and almost reward our students when they stand on the conviction for who they are in Christ.

We are all free from sin, heirs of the Father, citizens of a heavenly kingdom, unbound by the chains He broke carrying the word of truth in His word throughout our day. We are not meek beggars, but instead we get to share hope one person at a time.

This year we are talking about identity, the kingdom and taking on the responsibility of being His sons and daughters.

Thank you for letting me minister to your students and alongside them in reaching their friends, our community and the world for His glory.

Scott Owens

 

Upcoming Events

Prayer and Praise Night: Tonight, Wed Sept 4th 6:30pm at East

Dig and Release 2.0
Starting Sun, Sept 15th we (7th-12th grade) will be meeting during the second service at the South Hall during the message for Dig and Release 2.0. We will be studying together this year and free donuts during the month of September.

 

WNL Kickoff

It is back! With a bang! Backyard BBQ with hot dogs, brats, chips and ice cream sandwiches. Worship, One Large Group Game, Message, Photo Booth fun, Small Groups and the Family of God. See you there. 6:30-8:30@East

 

Fall Fling
Yes it’s everyone’s favorite student getaway.  Oct 25-27 at Camp Shamineau.  Sign up early to receive a great discount.  $89 by Sept 30th  $109 after.  More details to come on our website.

FaithStudents 3.1

‘Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.” Psalm 32:11

It’s not uncommon for someone to say…“I’d like to lead, but I’m an introvert.”

Let’s work through this…Can someone lead and be an introvert?  Does it have to be either/or?

Jesus had twelve disciples—very close disciple-making friends—who actively made more disciples (Mark 3:14 -> Luke 6:40 -> Matthew 28:19 -> Acts 1:8 -> Acts 17:6). Were any of them introverts? Who might you guess would be the introverts amoungst Jesus’ disciples? Why? And perhaps more important, so what?

Perhaps the real question underneath the introvert question is…

Does your personality type take you off the hook for making disciples of your own children? 

I can’t find anywhere in Scripture where Jesus says, “Go and make disciples—unless you’re an introvert. Then you folks make the coffee and stack chairs.” No, every follower of Jesus is on the hook for making disciples—regardless of his or her temperament.

Here’s the real kicker..

Introverts are amazing and effective disciple-makers. I am a very loud and emotional guy and for some students that is great in reaching and challenging them, but with some students I am too loud and I am too much. That is fine because we have people with other personalities and temperaments for them.

Make no mistake about it: There is no ideal temperament for a correct disciple-maker or for a parent that takes on the role of discipling their children. God gave you the children you have because you need to show them Christ the way you know how. We need all hands—and all personality types—on deck for Jesus’ disciple-making mission to be accomplished.

The Great Commission has no exception clause.

Thank you for letting me minister to your students and alongside them in reaching their friends, our community and the world for His glory.

Scott Owens

8 Tips for Making Disciples

These are the last 2 items in our summer series | 8 Tips to Making Disciples

7. Connect them deeply into your church.

While God designed parents to be the primary disciplers, He did not intend for us to be the only disciplers. He has given us the church—our local community of faith—to come alongside us, encourage us, and echo what we are teaching in our homes.

Just as it is essential for us to be part of the church, our kids need to be as well—for their good now and in the future as well as the church’s vitality. Prioritize involvement in church, not because you have to or should, but because you want to.

This is one reason I love The Gospel Project so much—the heart of this resource is not only to help individuals see the gospel story throughout Scripture but also to position parents to have meaningful conversations in the home based on what they are talking about at church. The church and home aren’t to work in isolation of each other—they are to work hand-in-hand in partnership.
8. Pray with them and for them.
Just as you want to have meaningful gospel conversations throughout the day with your kids, you want to pray with them and for them as well.

Think about the opportunities you have each day, such as in the car on the way to school and as part of your bedtime routine, and use some of that time to pray together.

 

Scott will be back with his weekly message starting August 26th.

8 Tips to Making a Disciple

4. Be a guide, not a general.
As parents we often think ourselves as generals—we have the authority to tell our kids what todo and point the direction they are to go. There is certainly a place for this at times, but when it comes to discipling our kids, we are better off seeing ourselves as guides instead. Think of a trail guide who travels with you and beside you. He or she doesn’t stay back at camp and just point the direction or give you a map—he or she goes with you! That is what we need to do with our kids in the journey of discipleship. We aren’t supposed to be the experts with all the answers boldly pointing the way our kids should go; we are to travel with them as guides—guides who have more knowledge, wisdom, and experience of our journey but who are still learning ourselves. Positioning yourself as a guide means you don’t need to have all the answers and that is important because none of us do. But it does give you the freedom to tell your kids that you don’t know something and you want to seek the answer together.

5. Feed your own growth
The best teaching comes from the overflow of what we are learning. If you are looking for the one way to improve the most as your kids’ discipler, this may be it. Spend more time feeding your growth and growing in your understanding of, and joy in, the gospel. Dive into God’s Word more deeply. Read helpful books that will build your faith. Worship in meaningful ways with others and by yourself. As you grow your confidence will increase and you will also have more to share with your kids.

6. Teach by your example
It has been said that people will remember more of what we do than what we say. We often focus our discipleship on what we tell our kids—and that certainly matters—but we cannot forget that our kids are learning far more from what they see us do, for better or for worse. As a follower of Christ, you need to be working out your salvation through God’s power (Phil. 2:12-13), but this is even more important as parents. How is the gospel framing how you live each day in the home, in the community, at work, and beyond? Are God’s love, grace, and mercy working their way out of you? Is the fruit of the spirit evident in increasing measure? Are you obeying God with gospel gratitude and joy? Model gospel transformation to your kids

FaithStudents 2.32

8 Tips to Help You Disciple Your Kids

My oldest son, Joshua, took up soccer this past spring and will continue this fall. My wife and I have really enjoyed watching him play, and even as a beginner at the age of 12, he seems like he has the temperament, body frame, and ability to develop the necessary skills to be a solid player. I’m looking forward to seeing how he progresses this season which begins in a few weeks. But as much as I am enjoying Joshua playing soccer, there is something that frustrates me about it as well.

I can’t help him.

When I was a kid, I played baseball and football. That was it. Spring and summer was baseball season and fall and winter was football season. There was no time for other sports like basketball or soccer; why would you even play them if you can play baseball or football instead? So I know nothing about soccer. (I learned about off-sides just a few months ago when Joshua learned about it!) And that is where my frustration comes in. I want to help Joshua. I want to encourage him. I want to spend time in our backyard helping him develop his skills. But I just don’t know the game well enough to do any of that. I want to. I see the need to. But I don’t have what it takes to do it. So I just tell him to listen to his coaches and do what they say.

Feeling Lost as Disciple-Makers
I think that is how many parents feel when it comes to discipling our kids. We know that we should disciple our kids—it is one of our primary ministries as parents (Deut. 6:4-9)—and we want to, but when it comes to actually doing it, we feel lost. Where do we begin? What do we say? Do I really know enough myself? And so, because of our overwhelming feeling of inadequacy, we tell our kids to listen to their leaders at church and do what they say.

This is understandable, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It can’t be this way. Discipling our kids is far too important to hand off to others—as godly and loving as they may be. And that takes us back to our primary concern—we know we need to disciple our kids and we want to do it, but how do we actually do it? Here are eight tips to help you disciple your kids:

1. Set realistic expectations.
One of the main problems we have as parents is that we expect way too much of ourselves when it comes to discipling our kids, and when we can’t live up to them, we feel like failures and often quit. Family worship doesn’t have to look like worship with your church family with singing, prayer, and lengthy and in-depth Bible teaching. Gospel conversations don’t always have to end with some profound theological gem from you. We need to be realistic of what our family discipleship will look like. Perhaps that means talking about a Bible story for 15 minutes one night a week at dinner and trying to find one or two times each week to move conversations toward the gospel. Wherever you are, start there and develop rhythms and habits that work and then build on them to get to where you want to be.

More to come in the following weeks.

FaithStudents 2.31

‘Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.” Psalm 32:11

My wife loves spring, but does not know what spring is…

If you are like me you are confused! Allow me to untangle your mind with this riddle she has spoken. When you live in Minnesota you enjoy the seasons, because we see a wide-range of extremes (I hate winter the most). We experience them all, but spring gets missed a lot because winter is either a dork and goes too long or we race into summer by mid-may. SO, what does spring really look like? It is a good point.

In August I went to a state park and took a prayer hike. I listened to God and spent time reading. Psalm 32 came resoundingly hard on my heart and I found myself walking through the chapter many times this year. However, when does that need to stop and I need to let another passage or a story bring me awe in my walk?

There is a season for this

I started this year in Psalm 32 and it only makes sense to finish in Psalm 32 as well. I have found that the hardest parts of going through seasons is not seeing one coming, but instead it is knowing when that season is dead.

Talking with Carrie Sunday night I was looking back at our year in FaithStudents and I was in joy over what God did. However, that year needs to die and all that happened needs to be remembered and built on, but not attempted to be duplicated. Our ability to know where God is taking us and how we need to be listening to Him is like a muscle that needs to be used.

We don’t walk through a new season while another one is going on. We don’t attempt to pick flowers when it is snowing and we don’t prep the motorcycle for a ride in December. Seasons and moments need to die for the next moment and season to fully take hold. You wouldn’t start a relationship with someone when you still have strong feelings for your ex.

So with us and the community of believers that we have on this journey. We talked about a family of believers that love and care for the souls of each other, but now that we discussed that, where are we going next?

I covet your prayers and thank you for supporting the ministry and my family in every season.

Thank you for letting me minister to your students and alongside them in reaching their friends, our community and the world for His glory.

Scott Owens

 

Dig and Release: We are done for the year and I am so thankful for all the students, their energy, their hearts and their will to serve.

 

SUMMER CALENDAR

  • Watch Facebook and Remind for updates throughout the summer.
    June 21: Bonfire at Erin & Gina’s  7pm
    June 23: Mission Trip Meeting
    July 4-5: Freedom Fest Fundraiser
    July 14-20: Mission Trip to South Dakota
    July 17: SWNL@Boyer’s 7pm
    July 24: SWNL@Nielson’s 7pm
    July 31: SWNL@Erin & Gina’s 7pm
    Aug 4: Scott’s back
    Aug 7: SWNL@The Fair 7pm
    Aug 11: Church@The Fair
    Aug 14: SWNL@Veteran’s Pavilion 7pm
    Aug 21: Amazing Race

SCOTT SABBATICAL

  • If you have any needs please email Chris Grev, The Student Ministry Empress at students@faithchurchaustin.org and she will answer any questions or needs.

Faith Students 2.30

‘Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself.” Matthew 14:13

My wife has a large shut-off valve.  I call it a large shut-off valve of busyness that she uses at random times when ‘it is all too much’. I believe that many of us have shut-off valves when things get too hectic. Some of us have bigger shut-off valves or maybe more sensitive shut-off valves.

SO, where am I going with this?

It is important we know how much is too much, like when your family is going through a season of crazy-busyness and you just need to shut things off. Luckily for us in ministry we have three months where we get to step back and lighten the load a bit.  it is a real blessing.

I am blessed by this church to have another break and a chance to step back. Faith Church has given me a two month sabbatical for the months of June and July. Sabbatical is a step out of the ministry and a time for rest and restoration. After being in ministry for over 15 years I am looking forward to this time away for a purpose.

The Intention that we bring to everything

In scripture we see god make everything in six days and then take a break on the seventh day (Gen 1). We also see Jesus withdrawing from ministry to pray in Matthew 14. this is my chance to step away from ministry with the idea to be intentional.

For two months I will be away from church and will not a part of any ministry here. However, much like fasting, it is not about ‘stop eating’ but spending time with God in place of eating. SO, in place of working and being at church I am spending time in prayer and focusing on what God has for me and my family.

We will still have events and activities during the summer.  we are blessed with many Alongsiders that are amazing and will be running the show while I am away. Chris Grev is also going to be in the office and keeping things moving forward so let her know if you need something.

I covet your prayers and thank you for supporting the ministry and my family.

Thank you for letting me minister to your students and alongside them in reaching their friends, our community and the world for His glory.

Scott Owens

 

Dig and Release: We are Releasing this Sunday (26th) in Room 105 for the last time. We are not helping during the summer and I am so thankful for all the students that gave of their time and taught the young children. May they be blessed always.

Upcoming Events

TRAIL HIKE

  • This Saturday, May 25th, cost is $0 per person
  • Meet at the East Building at 8am to go on a trail hike.
  • Bring hiking shoes, an energy bar and water to drink.
  • All students welcome to attend.

SCOTT SABBITICAL

  • If you have any needs please email Chris Grev, Student Ministry Empress at students@faithchurchaustin.org and she will answer any questions or needs.

FaithStudents 2.29

‘he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” Hebrews 12:10b

I desire, as do all of our Alongsiders, that your students have grown in their relationship with Christ this year. We desire that our theme (The Trail) was impacting and not just a short-term impact but that it will have a long-term effect from the lessons, messages and many testimonies they listened too.

However, the thought comes to me to ask how we quantify if we actually did what we aimed to do. Do we actually know if we have encouraged students to grow closer to Christ and how do we measure it? Is it measurable?

I am brought back to the question in Hebrews 12:10 to ask if we have drawn our students closer to being holy. Is that the best question to ask, ‘Is my student holy?’

NO.

That maybe the answer that comes to our mind because we are remembering the ways our students have fallen short or their wrong attitude at times, but we miss or don’t remember the Christ-like attitudes they walk around with many times.

You are Holy, because You are His!

So as a youth pastor to your students I want to see every student in our ministry be on fire for Christ, but know very well they (like me) will have moments of sin. They will fall short of the mark.  Do my students and do your students see themselves as Christ’s son or daughter that is unshaken?

Many TIMES, we aren’t able to judge our holiness by the verses we memorize (although that is nice) or the christian friends we have (although that is nice) or how many times we attended wnl (although that is nice). Instead it is important how many times we associate as His and only His.

The question of ‘is our students growing in their holiness’ is a good one, but is not easily done.

The question of ‘how do we measure our students growth’ is a good one, but is not easily done.

The question of ‘does my student show Christ love in their life by loving others’ is a good one, but is not easily done.

I pray that this this is not taken as shame, but as an encouragement to be the single greatest spiritual influence in your students life, because simply put, you were supposed to be (Deut 6).

Thank you for letting me minister to your students and alongside them in reaching their friends, our community and the world for His glory.

Scott Owens

 

Dig and Release: We are Releasing this Sunday (12th) in Room 105 and next week (19th) we are Digging over at East Building. We will only being having Dig and Release until the end of May. Starting in June we will not have class until September.

TRAIL HIKE

  • Saturday, May 25th, cost is $0 per person
  • Meet at the East Building at 8am to go on a trail hike and let sink what we have talked about.
  • Bring hiking shoes, an energy bar and water to drink.
  • All students welcome to attend.

WNL OUTSIDE

  • For the next couple weeks, we will be outside and enjoying worshipping in the outdoors. If you students have some chairs or blankets, we encourage them to bring them as we worship outside.

SCOTT SABBITICAL

  • I have been blessed by the church with a sabbatical. A sabbatical is a time away from church and my job is to rest, assess and spend time with family. Since I started in ministry over 15 years ago, I have not had this much time to rest and seek out God’s direction in ministry and church so I am looking forward to it. However, I will not be involved at all for the months of June and July. I will be on prayer retreats, family trips and taking a lot of walks.
  • If you have any needs please email Chris Grev, Student Ministry Emperor at students@faithchurchaustin.org and she will answer any questions or needs.

FaithStudents 2:27

Seven is known as the perfect number. Some people even believe it has magical qualities. I’ve been noticing lately how often seven comes up. It really is amazing! Check out this short list of things we number by seven:

1.     Seven days in a week.

2.     Seven colors in a rainbow

3.     Seven years until our cells completely regenerate.

4.     Seven seals and churches in Revelation.

5.     Seven wonders of the world.

6.     Seven swans a swimmin’.

7.     Seven continents.

Wow, I can’t believe it! Even this list has seven! Ok, ok, I did that on purpose, but the whole list would have been too much.

If someone asked you to compile a list of seven basics of a disciple’s life, what would you include? Now, I’m not talking about beliefs or doctrines, but practices or disciplines. Take a moment and think about what would be on your list.

When I was an infant disciple, I was introduced to seven basics. As I grew, they helped clarify for me what a disciple practiced. They also prepared me to be a disciple maker.

One of the major obstacles new disciples makers face is not knowing what to do. Given that there are thousands of books focused on what a disciple needs to believe, know, and do, how do we choose where to start, what to include, and what to exclude? Often new disciple makers simply multiply curriculum instead of a more holistic approach to disciple making. The seven basics keep the focus tight enough to manage and yet broad enough to develop depth.

dirtyhandsfruit.jpg

To be honest, I don’t know where this list started. It was passed on to me and I pass it on to others. Since my spiritual lineage includes the likes of Dawson Trotman and LeRoy Eims I’ve learned to trust these tools that have stood the test of time and spiritual generations. Today, I pass them on to those I disciple and continue to refer to them as I seek continued depth and transformation in my own life.

By now you’re dying to know, so here are the seven basics…

1. Assurance of Salvation – This basic is always first because an accurate understanding of our salvation is critical. In fact, walking around without it is like going into battle without a helmet (Eph. 6:17). As a disciple matures assurance of our salvation grows into a deep and abiding understanding of the Gospel. The Gospel reminds me of who I am without Christ, who Christ is, and who He has made (and is making) me to be. Living into these truths protects me from trying to earn His love or from becoming proud. One of my favorite verses is 1 Corinthians 15:10, which proclaims the truth of the Gospel in the disciple’s life.

2. Quiet / Devotional Time – A quiet time is a daily time to connect with God. Since the food of a disciple is to do the will of the Father (John 4:34), taking time to be nourished by praying, reading the Bible, and praying some more is a practice that cannot be ignored.

3. Prayer – At its core prayer is talking and listening to God. Though our modern take on prayer is us talking to God, prayer has been described as getting on our heart what’s on God’s heart. A disciple’s prayer life should be continually growing in depth and breadth.

4. Community – Developing quality relationships with other believers is important because without others around us we run the risk of burning out like a coal separated from a fire. Community is more than attending a church service. The heart of building community is relationally loving and being loved by other believers.

5. Scripture Memory – Committing God’s Word to memory helps every aspect of a disciple’s life. Though the Bible never explicitly commands Scripture memory it both assumes and models the practice. Jesus quoted 84 different OT passages from 72 different chapters. We are told to keep the Word on our lips (Joshua 1:8, Malachi 2:7) and that it’s the way a disciple is equipped (2 Tim. 3:16-17). For most, it’s not an easy practice, but it’s a game-changer.

6. Witnessing – Actively sharing our faith not only helps others know Jesus, it helps us too (Philemon 1:6). When we don’t share with others then we’re a cesspool of information that limits depth in our own life. Additionally, those who aren’t fishing aren’t following.

7. Bible Study – If quiet time is swimming then Bible study is diving. These two disciplines are similar yet vastly different in their depth and focus. The focus of Bible study is to understand the Scriptures in their context. In Bible study, we want to know who the author is writing to, why they are writing, when they are writing, and so on. Bible study helps us grow deep roots in the Scriptures. If we skip Bible study we are in jeopardy of serious misinterpretation, and thus, misapplication of the Scriptures.

seven.jpg

The seven basics are not a curriculum, but they do provide a framework. For instance, an infant disciple should go through each basic at a 101 level, but a young adult disciple would go through them at a 301/401 level. A skilled disciple maker is able to distinguish different levels because he has developed depth in his own life. Using prayer as an example, 101 might help a disciple to see that prayer is simply talking and listening to God. However, 401 prayer might help him think about the deep mystery of prayer and how it impacts what actually happens.

Whether you are a disciple or a disciple maker these seven basics can make a huge difference in your development. As you know the basics don’t help if they aren’t practiced. Don’t stop at reading these. Understand them. Practice them. Memorize them. Model them. And pass them on to others!