The Inspired Volunteer

A blog to inspire the Youth Volunteers of Shepherd Church

Lesson Help: March 29, 17 — March 28, 2017

Lesson Help: March 29, 17

Why is Being at Church Important?

Have you ever been at one of those sales conventions where people get up and talk about their successes and a motivation speaker tells everyone they can conquer the world if only they believe in themselves? In unison the crowd responds back, “WE CAN DO IT!!” Isn’t there something special about the energy created by large groups of like-minded people?

No, I am not encouraging anyone to join multi-level marketing and get inspired to sell hand cream. I am talking about the power gatherings of like-minded people have on the human spirit. It is easy for someone to feel isolated in their thinking and assume they are the only one in the world to believe or feel the way they do. The gathering of the local church is meant to encourage righteousness and comfort in hardship while taking away the feeling of isolation. It is an earthly expression of, a not yet fulfilled, heavenly reality in which believers experience belonging while worshipping and connecting with their Savior.

Not only is the local church meant to teach and inspire Christ-followers to go out into the world and be a witness for Jesus, it is meant to be a platform for the mature to mentor the weak. No, I am not talking about teaching others how to perform a bicep curl, I am speaking about wiser believers helping immature believers how to live and think Biblically. Younger believers may have zeal for the Lord, but most lack the knowledge to develop wisdom in everyday situations.

So why is attending church important for all Christ-followers? 1) Being encouraged by others helps Christ-followers faithfully obey and reminds us we are not alone in this temporary world, 2) It gives us an opportunity to serve, and when we serve we resemble Christ the most.

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Lesson Help: March 22, 17 — March 22, 2017

Lesson Help: March 22, 17

I am scared to die…Is that normal?

I once heard an acrostic to describe fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. I think that describes what Christians deal with when thinking about life after bodily death. Since we cannot see heaven we tend to cling to what is tangible. We grieve the passing of loved ones and see sickness as the ultimate enemy to avoid or conquer, and rightly so. It is a sign of emotional health to grieve a loss and engage in behaviors that maintain bodily heath. The challenge, however, is to not put on hope in things governed by the law of atrophy but keep our confidence in knowing the best is yet to come.

Jesus said:

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. (John 14:1-3)

Jesus is comparing His coming, departure, and return to the customs of first century Jewish betrothal. The groom would leave his home and go and search for a bride. Once found he would pay the bride price to proceed with marriage. Once accepted, the groom would leave his betrothed and return to his Father’s house to prepare a home for the couple to be together. After roughly twelve months (no exact time was given to the bride) the groom would return to take his bride to the home he had prepared. Once together, the groom’s family would throw a seven-day party to celebrate and upon the ending of the party the couple would consummate their union.

God, the Father, sent His Son into the world:
1 John 4:9
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him

John 3:17
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

We were bought with a price:
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Act 20: 28
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Jesus left to go and prepare a place:
John 14:1-3
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.

We do not know when Jesus will return:
Mark 13:32
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

When Jesus does return, he will take His bribe away to be with Him:
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

When God’s children (Jesus’ bride) know the truth we can put to rest the insecurity of this life being the best. In fact, those who have faith in Jesus are able to have confidence when circumstances are doubtful, joy when things are difficult, and hope when others are fearful. God’s children adopted by their faith in Jesus do not look towards Washington D.C. for their security, but towards the sky awaiting their Savior to once and for all take them where their heart already exists.

Template Email to Parents — March 14, 2017

Template Email to Parents

D-Group Leaders, please feel free to edit this however you wish.

Hello!

I wanted to take minute to send you an email to update you on how the semester has been going.

First off, I love being your child’s D-Group leader. I consider it a privilege to be here each Wednesday getting know and encourage your child. Thank you for trusting me to mentor your child. I do not pretend to have all the answers, but I do my best to give Biblical advice to help each student experience Jesus throughout their daily lives. We do not get that much time together, but the time we do have I really enjoy.

Here are the questions we have been answering the past few weeks:
Feb 15: What do I do when I am hurting? (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
Feb 22: I’m lonely…now what? (Philippians 2:3-4)
March 1: What is the point of purity? (Hebrews 12:1-3)
March 8: What does God really think of me? (Colossians 1: 19-22)

Here are the questions we will be answering in the coming weeks:
March 22: I am scared to die…is that normal? (Philippians 1:20-24)
March 29: Why is being at church important? (Hebrews 10:23-25)

This Wednesday (March 15) is our semester outreach night called “The Block Party.” The goal of this night is for students to bring every student they know (Regardless if they are registered in a D-Group or not) as we will have free food, games, and a gospel message to wrap up the night. Our goal is to pack out the sanctuary as hundreds of students hear the saving message of Jesus Christ for the first time.

As always, if you need anything or have questions about your student please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for allowing me to be your child’s D-Group leader.

Lesson Help: March 8 — March 7, 2017

Lesson Help: March 8

What Does God Really Think of Me?

This time of year, as seniors get accepted into college the next thought on their minds (mostly the parent’s minds) is, “Where can I get a scholarship!” Students are asked to submit test scores, GPA’s, extra-curricular involvement, and volunteer service to test whether they deserve to be given a scholarship to attend a specific school. However, it does not end there. Most scholarships are reviewed for renewal based upon the student’s GPA after each year! So, not only are scholarships given based upon past achievements, they are held in place by succeeding in the present. By giving a graduating senior a scholarship benefactors are in essence saying, “We believe, because of your past performance, you will further the cause of our endowment by continuing to produce what you have been producing the past four years.” Therefore, when a family receives a scholarship it is received with mixed emotions: Excited to be relieved of financial burden, but pressured by the expectation to continue to achieve.

The gift God has given to us through Jesus’ death is nothing like a college scholarship! It is not granted to those who have proven themselves worthy, nor does it come with the pressure to achieve to keep it in place. Making the gift of salvation anything about ourselves weakens the message of Jesus and deifies humanity.

We are forgetting the power of Jesus’ death when we think to ourselves after we do something good, “Are you proud of me now, God?” Or, just as worse, when we think to ourselves after we sin, “I bet you are mad at me now, God.”

For God’s sake! STOP!! Know the security you have in Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit remind you through reading the Word: “he has brought you into his own presence. And you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault” (Colossians 1:22).

In your groups try to investigate the cause of a student’s feelings of unworthiness and look them in the eyes and say, “because of your faith in Jesus you stand before God without a single fault.”