Invitations and AnnouncEments

In case you missed an invitation or lost the email, you can find them here.

Dear Teens and Parents of Teens,

I am excited to start another season of Teen EQUIP. For those who don’t know what Teen EQUIP is or need a little refresher, it’s best FIRST to describe the “WHY” of Teen EQUIP.

Why Teen EQUIP?

#1 – Sobering Statistics

Did you know, 70% of teens will LEAVE the church once they leave high school? With all of the cool youth programs, hip youth pastors, crazy youth group games, and awesome music, WHY would so many teens be leaving the church?

Well, did we ever stop to think that maybe the reason WHY they are leaving the church could very well be BECAUSE of the cool youth programs, hip youth pastors, crazy youth group games, and the awesome music?

Hmm…

#2 – It’s A Battle Zone

Imagine a soldier parachuting into the middle of a battle zone and saying, “Boy, I love this place! It’s peaceful! Everyone is so friendly, and I think I’m just going to settle in and get comfy.” Wait a minute soldier! Wake up! Look again! Don’t you recognize there is a battle being fought all around you?!

The Church is engaged in a multi-faceted war and is being invaded on MULTIPLE fronts but most people in the church don’t even realize there is war taking place all around them!

#3 – The Mission

Did you know if you are a Christian, God has given you a mission to fulfill? (I’m not talking about gifts and talents that God has given you – I am talking about the SPECIFIC mission that is clearly stated in the Bible). God sent Jesus to Earth for a mission to accomplish (John 4:34; John 6:38). At the end of that mission Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you.” (John 20:21). Sending us to do what? To complete that same mission that Jesus started! Most Christians are unaware of the mission and many of those that are aware, choose to ignore it! Yikes! The Bible says that God has commissioned Christians for a mission, and the very best time to start, is in the teen years!

So, teens…

Do you have what it takes to keep you from being part of the 70% of teens who will abandon their faith when they leave the house?
Are you aware and prepared for the spiritual and cultural battles that are waging all around you?
Are you aware, actively involved and being EQUIPPED for the mission of Christ?
Are you able to articulate, defend, and confidently share the gospel of Jesus Christ?

The Format

The format is not the typical teacher-stands-in-front-while-students-with-glazed-eyes-stare-back-at-teacher format. Instead we will be taking a more interactive approach by using memorable illustrations, analogies, skits, video clips, LOTS of questions, LOTS of discussion, and probably some junk food.

So, what IS Teen EQUIP?

Teen EQUIP is a student ministry that will…

… Help build in teens a solid foundation so that they will not end up as just another sobering statistic
… Prepare and equip teens for the spiritual and cultural battles that are currently being waged all around them
… Equip teens for the actual mission of Christ to which all Christians have been called
… Equip teens with the ability to articulate, share, and defend the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sound interesting? Sound challenging? Sound crazy?

If you are interested and up to the challenge, I invite you to be a part of this year’s Teen EQUIP.

We will be starting the first week September (location and time to soon be determined). Please let us know if you are interested as it will help determine our location.

We are excited for this year – we hope you are too!

God Bless!

Alan Beckwith and the Teen EQUIP Leadership Team

 

PS – Please feel free to send this email to anyone who you might think is interested in this student ministry.

Changing the Direction of the NEXT Christian Generation

(2nd invitation – only a couple left and then I’ll retire this email list)

What group of people am I describing?

– Over 40% say they are not born again.
– 35% declare the Bible has errors (or they don’t know if it has errors).
– Over 45% say that Sunday school did not teach them to defend their faith.
– 45% say homosexual behavior is not a sin, or they don’t know if it is a sin.
– 40% believe “gay couples” should be allowed to “marry” and have legal rights.
– 65% believe that if you are a good person you will go to heaven.

Can you believe these are survey results of regular church attenders who are in their twenties? (from Ken Ham’s Book, “Ready to Return – Bringing Back the Lost Generation.”)

So, what’s happening? What’s going on? How did we get here? Should we be OK with the direction of the church and the direction of the next generation of Christians?

Many gospels in the church today

When the disciples of Jesus asked Him what would be the sign of his coming, Jesus’ first response was, “Do not be deceived”.

Did you know if you survey ten Christians and ask them these two questions: “What is the gospel?” and “How is someone saved?” that you will get MANY different answers?

How is that? Can different people be saved different ways with different gospels? Hmm… Maybe THIS is one reason why we have such sobering statistics as listed above…???

Learning to Discern

Teen EQUIP is not a “youth group” as we think of typical youth groups. Teen EQUIP is a 12-week JOURNEY of learning, training, and equipping Christian teens to live, share, and defend the Biblical gospel. It is very interactive with LOTS of discussion.

One area of Teen EQUIP that I think you will appreciate is in the area of addressing false gospels in the church. We are not just simply going to TELL the students that a particular gospel is right or wrong. But, rather, we will EQUIP them with the right tools so that THEY can identify a false gospel THEMSELVES when they see one! How many teens can do that!? (well, hopefully a bunch more after this series!)

OK – so that’s my pitch!

Teen EQUIP – Changing the Direction of the NEXT Christian Generation (because the direction that it is headed is not looking good!)

We hope to see you there!

Thursdays – 7:00 pm (location to be determined)

Let us know if you have any questions.

God Bless!

The Teen EQUIP Leadership Team

Feel free to share this email with others who you may think would be interested.

Oops, I just became a brain surgeon!

Can you accidentally become a brain surgeon? Can you attend college for 10 years and yet not know the purpose for which you attended? After visiting hospitals for decades and reading all the medical journals, you can’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, I’m a brain surgeon!”

On the contrary, it takes training, it takes discipline, and most of all, it takes INTENTION. You can’t “accidentally” become a brain surgeon.

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is no different. You can’t accidentally become a disciple of Jesus Christ. It takes training, discipline, and INTENTION.

In the book, “Real Life Discipleship” Jim Puttman defines a disciple of Christ as one who FOLLOWS Christ, is being CHANGED by Christ, and is committed to the MISSION of Christ. I WISH these could happen by accident, but unfortunately, it takes time, it takes energy, it takes training, it takes discipline, and most of all, it takes INTENTION!

Is your teen INTENTIONALLY being EQUIPPED to follow Christ? Is your teen being CHANGED by Christ? Does your teen ACTIVELY and INTENIONALLY engage in the mission of Christ (I’m not talking about church attendance or church activities – but rather the actual mission of Jesus Christ as taught in the Bible)?

If not, I encourage you to check out Teen EQUIP, a discipleship ministry to teach, to equip, and to encourage teens to actively participate in the mission of Christ with intentionality, with purpose, and best of all, with others!

Becoming a brain surgeon does not happen accidentally. So, too, discipleship is not accidental, but rather intentional! And because we can do it better together, it can actually be fun!

Thursdays @ 7:00 PM
Location to be determined

God Bless,
Alan Beckwith and the Teen Equip Leadership Team

 

“Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it.”

 

This is the sobering title to a book written by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer.  After an in-depth survey and much analysis they concluded that two-thirds of the young people (junior high and high school) who are sitting among us have ALREADY left the church in their hearts.  Even though as stated in previous emails that 7 out of 10 kids will leave the church when they leave home, two-thirds of them are ALREADY gone!  This is alarming! 
 
Ken Ham says:
 
“Many parents will fork out big bucks to send their students to Christian colleges, hoping to protect them in their faith.  But the fact is, they’re already gone.  They were lost while still in the fold.  They were disengaging while they were still sitting in the pews.  They were preparing their exit while they were faithfully attending youth groups and Sunday schools.”
Wow!  That’s shocking, to say the least!
 
And according to the survey, it did not matter if the kids were in public school, private school, or homeschool – two-thirds of them, in their hearts, have already left the church. So just because many of us are homeschooling our children, it doesn’t provide any more of a guarantee that they won’t abandon their faith than if they went to a public school.
 
And I like to take this a step further – those who do stay in the church, only a small percentage of them actually become part of the mission of the Church while the majority settle in as mere spectators.  And according to the Bible, there is a good argument that a Christian spectator doesn’t even exist!  (So, what are they doing there?  Hmm… that’s a topic we will be getting more into in the coming weeks…)
 
Back to the book:
 
“It’s time to wake up and see the tidal wave washing away the foundation of your church. The numbers are in—and they don’t look good. From across Christendom the reports are the same: A mass exodus is underway. Most youth of today will not be coming to church tomorrow… And it’s not just happening on the nominal fringe; it’s happening at the core of the faith”.
So, as kick-off night approaches, and if you are still on the fence of whether or not your teen should participate, I would encourage you to check out the first couple of weeks to see if it would be a good fit.
 
  
Looking forward to the first meeting!
God Bless!
Alan Beckwith
 
PS – Feel free to send this to any family with teens who may desire a 12-week discipleship experience!