Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I have been given the privilege of working with the youth of Koinonia Fellowship on Wednesday nights in the Agapé Hall. In January we went through the book of Jonah together and we saw how God could take a stubborn, racist, bigoted prophet who had run away; save him by booking him a three night stay at the Whale Motel; take him right back to land; send him on his way to a city filled with people he legitimately hated; and use him there to bring about one of the greatest revivals in history.
We have had some guest worship leaders join us each week and it is so beautiful to hear the kids singing their hearts back to Jesus. I have truly felt His sweet presence in the room as we have gone to His feet in praise. I know He is working in our hearts. It’s so refreshing to get to sing with these kids!
We have an incredible group of leaders who are committed wholeheartedly to these kids. Their desire to see each student grow and develop an individual faith is clearly seen. It is truly an honor to get to work with these leaders.
In February we began going through Colossians. This book was on my heart because it is a practical book filled with wisdom and encouragement. Each and every letter Paul wrote to the churches was written to build them up and encourage them. He gave practical advice applicable to the situations they found themselves in each day in the time and place they were living in. This letter is just as potently relevant today as it was then. Kids are dealing with hundreds of different stimulants and activities. They need simple, positive input from people who love them to death and want what’s best for them. Paul knew this about the Colossians, and sought to encourage them, so we are going through his letter to them today.
Our ministry vision for Accelerate is “Teaching young people the Bible. Leading them as disciples of Jesus. Aiding them in living out their faith in daily life.” In spending time with the kids each week we are able to have conversations with them. These conversations often lead to teachable moments where we get to talk about how we can live like Jesus in the simple situations in our lives.
At youth group we alternate our schedule each week having a game, worship, Bible teaching, and snack one week and then having worship, Bible teaching, small group discussion, and snack the next week. We are seeing the kids truly enjoying themselves and interacting with each other in the fun environment this provides on game weeks, and on small group weeks we get to hear what’s really going on in their hearts. Parents, if you could only hear the things your kids say! They are so beautiful; the blessing they are now and the potential we see in each and every one of them is astounding.
I cannot wait for all of the goodness Jesus wants to pour out all over you and these young people in this next year!
Your friendly neighborhood Youth Director,
- Collin Zweigle
By Domenico Danesi
After the Israelites crossed the Jordan River the Lord commanded Joshua to choose twelve men to each take out of the midst of the Jordan a stone (Joshua 4:5). What was the purpose of these 12 stones? “That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying what mean you by these stones? Then you shall answer them, that the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord: when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:6-7)
As parents, we too are living stones (I Peter 2:5)! What we do and say will be a memorial for our children. How we live outside of the church walls is as important as how we live inside of them on Sunday. The easiest place to speak and act like a Christian is at church. We may be able to fool some people but we are not fooling our children. They live with us, they know us. Our children see us fail, they hear us lose our tempers. They know us better than we think.
One Wednesday evening the children viewed a Torchlighters Voice of the Martyrs video about Samuel Morris. This young African man was only 20 years old when he died of hypothermia but he touched so many people across the world for Jesus. This story made me wonder, will we be able to impact our children for the Gospel? Will our lives be like the memorial stones that were taken out of the Jordan? Will our lives be remembered for generations to come? When people ask your child, “What is the meaning of that photo?” or” What is the meaning of that old Bible you always read?”, will your child respond, “This was my father who served God with his whole heart” or “This was my mother, the best example of a Christian I ever knew”?
The good news is we have the “Captain of the Host of the Lord” (Joshua 5:13) to lead us. Just like Joshua was called to lead the Israelites, we are called to lead our families into the Land of Canaan (Christian life). There are many battles as Christians but if we “follow the Captain” He will fight for us! When it is all over and the battles have ceased, let us leave a memorial stone that reminds people of the Rock; “Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.” (Deuteronomy 32:18) Let the memory of our lives serve as a reminder to the generations to come that “the Rock” Jesus Christ lives forevermore!