FaithStudents

FaithStudents 3.20

“Jesus said, “You’ve become a believer simply because I say I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree? You haven’t seen anything yet! Before this is over you’re going to see heaven open and God’s angels descending to the Son of Man and ascending again.” John 1:50 (msg)

Kingdom. Power. Authority.

That is the newest series we are in right now. The Kingdom of God, The Power He has given and the Authority we see in Him. We struggle to understand all three of these ideas and more importantly what the lines are between us and Him. So we are addressing them.

We looked at a lot of passages last week and we put one of them into context as best we could. John 1:43-51 records the first time encounter with Nathaniel and Jesus promises, “You will see greater things than these.” We can read through the rest of John and the other gospels to better understand what they really saw and what jesus meant by Greater Things.

However, does that promise come to us as well?
Do we see greater things?
If we do, what are they?
If we don’t, is there a reason?

We are talking about the power of Christ and how his power very clearly comes from God (Lk 4:32, Mt 28:18, Jn 14:12) and how Jesus gave that to the disciples (Lk 10:19, Mk 3:14-15, Jn 14:12, Ac 1:8), but does it end there? What role does the Holy Spirit alive in us play in giving us access to the power of Christ and the Authority of heaven and earth?

These are not easy questions and in fact they are questions that divided denominations. all the more reason for us NOT to ignore them or side-step them, but instead it gives us the responsibility to address them and be clear about what God’s Words says.

The Action Step…

I am going to give you a passage of scripture and three questions that I would love if you asked and took time have a conversation with your students this week.

Joel 2:26-32
What do you think this passage is talking about?
He talks about ‘pouring out His Spirit’ (v.28, 29), what does that look like?
Have you dreamed dreams and have you seen visions?

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
*Winter Summit is this weekend, February 21-23  Registration is closed.

*Registration closes February 19th for Challenge Conference in Kansas City, KS  Any student interested in going has until February 19th to register online.  A non refundable $50 deposit is required at registration.  Challenge is July 13-18, 2020

*Registration will open February 26th for District Blitz in Duluth, MN April 17-19.  Space is limited so be sure and register early.

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 3.20

“For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.” Malachi 1:14b

In just over one week we had a super bowl with a half-time show that made half the country comment on, the ending of an impeachment trial that ended as confusing as it started and a state of the union that left images of a country as divided as a piece of paper ripped in two.

In the midst of all this where is our hope?

Words in the book of Malachi remind us that not only will God be worshipped, but he will also be feared and right now I could use some fear. Now before you jump on that last sentence, please let me finish.

It seems as though our country is dividing and with this being an election YEAR, everything just feels a little tighter. In the midst of fear and struggle where do we turn? often it is in times of fear and uncertainty that cause us to run to Him and seek Him.

THEREFORE, some fear in us can cause us to ask what we are running after and putting our hope into. Praise God that He will be feared because it is out of that fear that we also have a sense of wonder and awe for the God that shows us who He is with confidence.

This year we (FaithStudents) are focused on sharing the knowledge that we are part of the Kingdom of God.  it is important to focus and draw our students to that Kingdom and it’s goodness when it seems like we don’t understand what sovereignty looks like. How do you share this?

The Action Step…

Here are some questions for your students this week:

  • What is the state of our nation?
  • How is it different then the Kingdom of God?
  • Does America reflect Donald Trump and does Heaven reflect God?
  • How important is it to focus on who God is to understand what the Kingdom of God looks like?
  • Do you lose your identity as a follower of Christ if you don’t pay attention?

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

Registration ends Feb 19th for Challenge Conference.  If your student is interested in attending this week long conference this summer be sure and register

Registration for District Blitz begins Feb 26th.  There are only 35 spaces available so mark your calendars.

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 3.18

“Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place..” Jeremiah 22:3 (esv).

What does the Lord think of the phrase ‘social justice’? The last couple weeks we have focused on justice in the Lord’s eyes and HONESTLY, we need to spend more time on it, because if you look at how much Jesus ministered with justice as his focus it is not peripheral, but it is primary to what He was about.

  • He ministered to the blind
  • He healed the leper
  • He carried for the sick
  • He rose the dead
  • He wasn’t too important for the children and so much more.

The Action Step…

I saw a super bowl ad yesterday after the game about giving one more Sunday for a cause in our communities. Verizon called it ‘pledge one more Sunday’. The premise is that instead of going back to normal life what if we spent one more Sunday helping out in the community. What a fantastic idea!!! To say I want to help for a Sunday rather than just get into my rhythm of busyness and what is next. OBVIOUSLY, you can do it as a family and let your students know the importance of giving or showing compassion and justice to our communities.

I am honestly throwing this idea out without an idea of what my family is going to do or what this looks like for us. I want to challenge you in the midst of looking at what Jesus focused on (compassion for everyone). Not social justice… just justice. Just the way we treat and act with day-to-day righteousness and compassion due to all.

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
Feb 5: Dinner with Grandma Josie at WNL
Feb 19: Registration for Challenge Ends
Feb 26: Registration for District Blitz Opens

Registration for all our events is online at www.faithchurchaustin.org/gather/students

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 3.17

“You shall not wrong on another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 25:17 (esv).

It has been a different kind of month for us. We started out the month without having WNL because of New Year’s, we had a cancelled night with snow and we had a service project that we were planning on doing that we cancelled as well. (Argh!)

However, we are not deterred or frustrated because we have had some great conversations with your students. Our series was called Kingdom Shapes because if we live for God then we cannot help but have His Kingdom shape our most difficult questions and that is what we focused on, your students tough questions.

Here are some questions that your students have asked and I would encourage you to ask some of these and discuss with your students. If they are struggling with some of life’s questions please encourage them to come this Wednesday as will be addressing many of these questions with a panel of adults and students.  Here are some questions:

  • I know I’m a Christian, but I keep doing some sins that I did before. How can I be forgiven for doing wrong with Christ?
  • Why are rainbow (LGBT) flags being flown everywhere including churches?
  • Should the death penalty be abolished?
  • Is it bad that I sometimes think God isn’t real?
  • Why do people who have never heard of God still go to hell when they die?
  • Do newborns go to heaven or hell if they are aborted?
  • How do you help a friend who is going through depression?
  • What about taking illegal immigrants away from their families?
  • Why do most college science departments believe evolution is fact?
  • What are your thoughts on homosexuality?
  • What does it mean to misinterpret the Bible? Or to take a verse out of context?
  • If LGBTQ is wrong or a sin is it also a sin to support it? Or is it wrong to be ok with LGBTQ people even if you’re straight?
  • What are ways that we can help the poor?
  • If God loves us for the way we are even when we sin, why would he let us go to hell.
  • What do you think of Trump?
  • How should I approach someone who is struggling with an addiction?
  • Are we going to be in WWIII?

The Action Step…

This is a great list of what your students may BE STRUGGLING with. What are your students interested in and struggling with? To assume that your students don’t have questions or are not wrestling with anything would be an error, but to engage them and also give them a biblical framework for the conversations is a great opportunity.

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

 

 

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 3.16

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 (esv).

Do Justice, Love Kindness and Walk Humbly!

I am sure there are a couple hundred people in the world sporting this tattoo and I am sure there is a sign in some hobby lobby with this verse on it. It’s Famous! It’s Succinct! It’s True! We make justice happen and if you are like me then kindness is a huge part of justice. It’s not as though we want to be servants and lovers of justice with grumpy, curmudgeon faces.

We are in a series right now called ‘Identity Shapes’ and the focus and goal of this series is to look at social justice issues through the lens of the Kingdom. For some people that is easy, but for students that is difficult because their peers are very aware of social justice issues and probably have their favorites and the Bible doesn’t seem like a good primer against this.

As an experiment, ask your student how many verses of the Bible they know by heart and how many times they have seen a Greta Thunberg speech? these are the things students have to have an opinion about since they are asked about it at school and when/if they go to COLLEGE, they will most likely be asked what their view is on many social justice issues.

The reason we are looking at justice is because it is important to God. Over 200 times God talks about justice and/or Jesus goes out of his way to minister to someone from an unvalued life situation. Over 200!! It is fascinating that two greek words are used in the Bible, Mishpât and Tzadeqah.

Mishpât means what we think justice means, ‘getting what is due from either punishment, protection or care. however, Tzadeqah means living in day-to-day equity with all people. SO, if we all live in justice (tzadeqah) to everyone then there would be no need of justice (mishpât).

The Action Step…

We are looking at seven passages of scripture specifically and I encourage you to look at one or a couple of them with your child and just ask one question, ‘How does the Bible tell us to live justly?’.

  • Luke 4:18-19
  • Isaiah 58:6-12
  • Jeremiah 22:1-5
  • Isaiah 61:1-10
  • Leviticus 25:35-55
  • Matthew 25:31-46
  • Luke 8: The Whole Thing.

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

 

LINKS

  • Instagram: instagram.com/FCStudentMin
  • Remind link: text @faithwnl to 81010
  • Facebook: faithchurchaustin.org/students

UPCOMING EVENTS

At The Dome:
Saturday Jan 25th from 7:00-10:00pm join us and other youth groups at the Dome for a kickball tournament, games and all around fun to beat those winter blues.

Winter Summit:
Sign up has begun for Winter Summit at Ironwood Springs.  Registration is online and the link can be found on our website.  Registration ends Jan 31st.

Challenge Conference:
Challenge is July 12-18 in Kansas City, KS  This youth retreat is open to 9th-12th grade and is an fabulous retreat that will grow you in your faith, your confidence in your relationship with God, your relationship with others.  Save your spot today.  $50 non refundable deposit.  Go to our website for more details.  http://www.faithchurchaustin.org/gather/students

 

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 3.16

“Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” John 3:4 (esv).

God’s love and the christian faith was never supposed to be unexamined and unquestioned. The opposite is true. we are supposed to examine greatly and we are to ask questions and lead others to ask questions.

John 3 gives us an interaction between Nicodemus, a religious man and pharisee, who is seeking to know the Lord and asks him questions that doesn’t crumble Jesus’ statements but instead brings understanding to Nicodemus.

We see in Acts 16-18, Paul goes from town to town teaching and no doubt answering questions and this leads to the church growing rapidly. “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” (Acts 17:19-20)

If we believe that all of scripture is God-breathed then the questions and the way we answer others by using the Bible can be moments that are ‘set apart’. So, questions are good! Discussion is great and if we discuss with a kingdom principle and identity as the crux of the issue – that is what we want to do.

Our next series is called Identity Shapes and we will be addressing social justice issues and answering questions that students have. Homosexuality, Poverty, Homelessness, Public Education, Civil Rights, Immigration, Racism and Climate Change.

These are the issues of today that our students are discussing at school and in their friend groups so we are wanting to give students a perspective that is grounded in His Kingdom rather than our own opinion or that of the world. The necessity for our students to engage and take part in these discussions with knowledge and wisdom gives them courage to be bold.

The Action Step…

I would like to encourage you to ‘prime the pump’ if you will and then hold us accountable. Ask your students questions about their thoughts and what their friends are saying and then tell them about this next series and encourage them to engage in asking questions (because we will have a large Q and A time).

Also, tell us how we did at engaging them in these questions. We are letting them guide this into the conversations they deem necessary, but we are answering from a place of His Kingdom. So please tell us how we did and what we can do better.

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

LINKS

  • Instagram:  instagram.com/FCStudentMin
  • Remind: text @faithwnl to 81010
  • Facebook: facebook.com/FaithChurchStudents

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

At The Dome:
Fun at the Dome January 25th from 7-10pm  More details to come.

Winter Summit
February 21-23 at Ironwood Springs.  Registration now open on our website until Jan 31st.

 

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 3.15

“And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31 (esv).

138!!

What was it like to be in worship and the whole place was shaken? Did they stop in the middle of the worship and look at each other like, ‘What is going on?’ ‘Should we take off?’ Did any of them leave? Did they just keep worshiping?

I always wondered if a couple of guys ran outside to see what was going on and then realized it was only in that one building and the rest of the people didn’t see it/feel it. Was there talk with the neighbors the next day?

There is literally dozens of questions that come with this passage of scripture that can stir your hearts and minds to Christ and what He is doing in lives then and now. did this only happen back then? Does the same spirit that was around in the book of Acts the same as today?

The Action Step…

We started a challenge last Wednesday called FACING THE GIANTS. The goal and hope is that students take up the challenge to share Christ with their friends and family, schoolmates and acquaintances.

We talked on Dec 4th about listening to God and hearing who He is putting on our heart and in our path. God is constantly putting people in our path and putting us in places to reach and minister with love and freedom to share with others. Our goal is to listen to His leading and then be open to His leading in conversation.

Last Wednesday we talked about being bold for the glory of the Lord and the students responded with great desire. We asked students to write down how many conversations they were going to have this week (Dec 12-18). They wrote down 138!!

138!!

Please be in prayer that their conversations are with hope and joy. We are going to celebrate however many conversations we have. this Wednesday will be a celebration of Christmas and an invitation for students to bring their friends and hear the hope of the gospel. Thanks for your prayers!

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

Christmas Party is Wednesday at WNL.  It’s also an ugly sweater contest so encourage your student to wear or create an incredibly ugly sweater.  Cookies, Christmas story, White Elephant game and more.

There is NO WNL Dec 25th or Jan 1st.  We will resume January 6th

Reservations for Challenge Conference have opened.  Visit our website for more information and to reserve your spot with a $50 deposit.  http://www.faithchurchaustin.org
In addition to Challenge Conference there is information on Winter Summit and District Blitz on the website.

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 3.14

“Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God  to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.” Acts 10:33b (esv).

If someone was to ask you to explain why you believe what you believe in 5 minutes or less would you be able too?

I once heard a story about a professor at a public university that gave the students a problem to complete over the weekend. On Friday at the end of a sophomore level ethics class the professor in front of over 100 students had 25 ‘people-types’ listed on the board (Doctor, Single-mother of two, lawyer, 7 yr old child with leukemia, 30 year old with a criminal record, 80 yr old grandma with 15 grand kids, high school student struggling with suicide, etc.)

The task was simple. These 25 people are in a small airplane and the airplane is going down. There are 5 parachutes left, which 5 people get the parachutes. Write a two-page paper logically and with ethics explain why you picked those five people.

Obviously, the task is not easy and certainly not impossible to do, but the professor was trying to find out if the students can demonstrate their logical, ethical lessons and explain why they would choose those five people. One student raisers her hand and proceeds to tell the professor that she cannot do this assignment. When asked why the student says that she is a christian and believes that every person has value and that she cannot choose 5 out of 25 when Christ chooses all 25.

The professor tells her that she must complete the assignment or she will get a 0 on the assignment. End of story. Monday rolls around and the conversation is if she did the assignment or not. Did she do it and will the professor actually give her a 0 if she had not completed the assignment.

The professor comes in and after compiling his stuff he looks right at the girl who said she wouldn’t be able to do the assignment. He asks her to stand up in front of everyone as he asks “did you do the assignment? she says, ‘NO, I didn’t not.’

“You didn’t do the assignment, Is that correct?” the professor asked

“That is correct, I didn’t do it,” she responded

The Action Step…

  • We are talking right now about answering when our faith is calling and this story is part of that story. I will finish the story next week in my newsletter, but understand we never know when or how our faith will be called on.

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

Facing the Giants
It all begins Wednesday.  Dec 12-18

Christmas Party
WNL Christmas Party is Dec 18th with all kinds of crazy fun activities, food and music.

Upcoming Outings
Winter Summit: Feb 21-23
District Blitz: April 17-19
Challenge Conf: July 12-18

 

 

 

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 3.13

“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Matthew 6:3 (esv).

For the sake of the world, why do we serve?
For the sake of the world, why do we give?
For the sake of the world, why do we attend church?

I am starting a quiet movement for the sake of the world. If you are like me you do a lot of different things in your day for a lot of different reasons, but do we do them for the overall sake of anything beyond ourselves/family? My kids are in events for their benefit. I show up at my kids schools at times for my connection with them. I went to my in-laws over thanksgiving for the sake of my gut, but do we do things for the sake of the world?

I’d like to suggest that you do something with your students for the sake of the world and not in fear against it. Salvation Army is in need of people to give their time in ringing the bell at businesses. Our church gives care baskets so that others will have a good meal. We are taking part in Christmas in the SW this Thursday. Why do we do this? Is it for the sake of the world?

I would say it is for the sake of the community (and it is), but I feel that often times students are looking for ways to interact with the world and they assume that happens only on social media or it is showcased on social media., Isn’t it much more important to take part and be people of action then to simply be a broadcaster of amazing things?

So how do we engage those around us for the sake of the world? we have the world around us, this town has many different cultures and we can choose to do something for the sake the world and touch cultures right here in our own community.

The Action Step…

  • How are you serving with your students this Christmas Season?
  • Ask your students this week, ‘what do you do for the sake of the world’? Then answer that question yourself to them.

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

Christmas in the SW
Thursday, Dec 5th our church comes together for an outreach for the community. Faith Students will be having a bonfire and snacks for the night so if you would like to help out signup at WNL.

Facing the Giants
The series begins Dec 11th.   Be prepared to be challenged.

Summer Trips
Tomorrow night we will be sharing what our summer trips will be and I’d love for your students to be involved because serving Him and listening to Him is powerful!!

Christmas Party
WNL Christmas Party is December 18th.  We will have a night of great fun celebrating        Christ and friendship.
Cookies with Grandma Josie
Ugly Sweater contest.
Singing Christmas Carols together.
White Elephant Gift exchange.
Telling the Christmas Story.
Storytime with Grandma Josie.
Cookies, Hot Coco and Cider.

 

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 3.12

“In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22 (esv).

We talked on Wednesday night about dwelling with God and what it means to actually sit and rest with Him, listen to Him and seek Him out. Is that possible with a time limit and is it possible to seek God with your own agenda or do you need to let Him dictate the agenda to us? There are a lot of questions we covered over this last series, ‘The Court’.

Here are a bunch of them. I would encourage you to pick three of these and try and ask your students their thoughts. It might just spur on a great conversation about what it means to be in the King’s Court with the King.

The Action Step…

  • After hearing the story of Esther, what do you admire about how she dealt with adversity?
  • Does God put us in places for certain reasons (‘For Such A Time As This’)? Why?
  • What do you believe God has for you?
  • Do you ever get an image of God when you pray? What is that image?
  • Do you get an image of a father running to the son like it talks about in Luke 15?
  • What does dwelling with God look like?
  • Why does He ask us to be ‘at home’ with the Lord?
  • When was the last time you spent time reading the Bible or praying for over 5 minutes?
  • Is it easy to feel like your faith is more imitation than real time with God? How do we fix that?
  • In the story of the Prodigal son (Luke 15) who do you feel bad for, the son or the father?
  • In Luke 15 the Father is overjoyed to see the son, Do you think the father wants to ask the son where he has been, why doesn’t he? What can we learn from this?

Have a great Thanksgiving with your students, remember that there is no WNL this Wednesday and our Christmas Party is coming up December 18th.

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

Christmas in the SW

Thursday, Dec 5th our church comes together for an outreach for the community. Faith Students will be having a bonfire and snacks for the night so if you would like to help out signup at WNL.