Yesterday, I took 4 seminary students with me to a follow up youth ministry training meeting in Cuautla. It was a 2 and a half hour drive each way there and back, so we had plenty of time to get to know each other. The meeting was to follow up a conference we did there in July. We are planning on having another conference for area churches in November. We might add to the conference an evangelism event for students in the Cuautla area. We’ll see how it goes. The pictures are of me and Pastor Antonio, and of the seminary students overlooking the city of Cuernavaca.
How big is 7 millimeters? Not very big. It’s about as big as a lima bean. Or a jelly bean. Or as a baby at 6 weeks in its mother’s womb. We found out today that Janell is pregnant! We are very excited, and although this picture just looks like a blob to you, the doctor says it’s a baby. Isn’t he/she cute? Please pray for us during the next 8 months as we go through all the new things that are parenthood. We feel very blessed by God and appreciate all the prayers from all of you. Thanks.
What does it mean to be culturally relevant? We talked today in Youth Ministry 110 at the seminary about the phrase, “culturally relevant.” We, as the church, must be relevant to those we are trying to reach. We must identify the culture to use the culture to reach the culture. Too often, we are like the woman in the picture, who stare at the “outcasts” or “others” when we should be reaching them. In a survey done by the youth ministry students at the seminary, young people do not attend church because it is “boring”, “has nothing to do with real life”, and “the church doesn’t want us.” It is time that the church of Jesus Christ begins to become relevant to the culture where we live. We can no longer ignore it. We must become “all things to all men so that by all means we can save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-25).
Some articles that have to do with being culturally relevant:
Tonight at youth group, we introduced the group to Dodge-ball. We had a great time with the group. It was good to see everyone having a good time together. We thought playing a game outside the walls of the church might help the people of the community see that we are doing something with young people at the church. After the game, we had a great time of worship with Rigo leading the songs, and the Bible study was on John 4:43-54 and John 5:1-18. We talked about how Jesus will help us through our crises in life. It was one of the better youth meetings we have had since we started helping out at Dios Es Amor.
I just read an article on youthspecialties called The Ministry of Presence. It’s a great look at what youth ministry really is all about. It helps me realize what I’m really trying to instill in the lives of the future youth pastors of this country. It also explains why we spent some time with Rigo today.
Tonight they celebrate Mexican Independence Day. We went to church for a party where we ate lots of good Mexican food, including pozole, beef tacos, sopes, and drank jamaica water and horchata water. It was awesome.