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THE CHURCH OF THE APOSTLES WELCOME Back in 1985 when the Lord began to burden my heart for the birthing of a new congregation in this area, three things from the Word of God were clearly revealed to me in regard to worship: 1. Unhurried praise and adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, Lord,

and the Head of this church. This includes a regular time for breaking of bread at the Lord’s Table. 2. Prayer and intercession as an expression of our utter dependence on our

heavenly Father through Jesus Christ in all things. 3. Bold proclamation that is relevant and instructive. Because we believe that

Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

the Bible is God’s self-revelation and therefore contains all the answers to all

Founding Rector The Church of The Apostles

of man’s problems and needs, we preach it with all of its authority.

TABLE OF CONTENTS MINISTRIES AND BIBLE STUDIES 08

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY

10

STS MINISTRY

13

YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY

13

YOUNG FAMILIES MINISTRY

14

WOMEN’S MINISTRY

17

SMALL GROUPS

20

ADULT BIBLE CLASSES

26

MEN’S MINISTRY

27

CONGREGATIONAL CARE

FEATURES 04

THE MIDDLE EAST, FIRST HAND BY DR. MICHAEL YOUSSEF

06

MOTIVATION TO MOVE FORWARD LEADING THE WAY

09

THE CASE IS CLOSED. IS IT CLOSED FOR ME? THE CHILDREN’S MINISTRY

11

SHARE THE LOVE STS MINISTRY

16

WHAT IS PRAYER MAPPING WOMEN’S MINISTRY

18

ANGER: ALLY OR ENEMY BY JOHN GRECO

22

LIVING A ONE-ANOTHER LIFE BY JOHN GRECO

26

AVOIDING PORNOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL TODD WILSON

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2013 SUMMER NEWSLETTER


THE CHURCH OF THE APOSTLES WHAT WE BELIEVE GOD HAS DONE IN HISTORY We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. *As used in this ancient creed, the word catholic means “universal.� It refers to our belief in one worldwide church of believers, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone. It does not refer to the Roman Catholic Church. (Ephesians 2:19-20)

SUNDAYS Our Sunday schedule features three worship services: 9:00 and 10:30 a.m., and 5:00 p.m. Dr. Youssef speaks in person in both of the morning services. Every service includes a time of worship through singing, prayer, and teaching. There will be no evening service May, June, July, or August.

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS On Wednesday evenings at 6:15 we offer programs for everyone in your family. The Hour of Power is our midweek service that includes a time of worship and an extended time of prayer. Come early at 5:00 for a family dinner (no reservations are needed) and then stay for the Hour of Power and for our great programs for WEDNESDAY NIGHTS AT 6:15 P.M.

children and students!

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2013 SUMMER NEWSLETTER


THE

MIDDLE EAST BY D R . M I C H A E L YO U S S E F

H

aving just returned from a three-country Middle Eastern speaking tour, I cannot help but reflect on how much more complex the situation in the Middle East has become.

On the one hand, there is a powder keg ready to explode in countries like Lebanon and Egypt. On the other hand, more people than ever have become disenchanted with Islam’s dark ideology. Some are turning to atheism and agnosticism, but I am thankful there are many more who are seeking the Truth of the Christian faith. Four years ago, I was privileged to create a satellite television station, The KINGDOM SAT, to broadcast into the Arab world and Europe 24/7. Since its creation, the viewing audience has grown from a few hundred thousand to the millions. Many have explained to me how The KINGDOM SAT is helping them investigate the claims of Christ in a calm and rational manner. It is a stark contrast against the screaming and harrowing accusations they receive from their religious channels. Respected leaders from all walks of life have explained

THE CHURCH OF THE APOSTLES

how, for the first time, Muslims are becoming aware that the immorality they see in Western media and Hollywood films are not a by-product of Christianity—something many of their religious leaders have told them for years. One young man said he believed Islamist preachers when they told him Christianity is what led to immorality in the West. After learning of the love of Christ, he simply could not understand how followers of Christ could promote drugs and pornography. “Now,” he said,

Many have explained to me how The KINGDOM SAT is helping them investigate the claims of Christ in a calm and rational manner.” 4

2013 SUMMER NEWSLETTER


FIRST HAND “I am beginning to see the truth.” High quality programming that is truthful, intellectual, and biblical is what so many young, educated Muslims needed and craved and they are now finding it in stations such as The KINGDOM SAT. For thirty years, I have warned that bombs and guns from the West will not endear people to Western values. Rather, the love and Truth of Christ is what will change hearts and minds. Now I am grateful that I have lived long enough to see the fruit of my conviction. It goes without saying that thousands of these dear people who have embraced Christ have to keep the good news to themselves out of necessity. For one thing, if the news of their conversion seeps out to their families, friends, and employers, they will not only lose the love and companionship of family and friends, but they will also lose their jobs. God is at work, but it does not mean that ignorance and blind militancy have disappeared. Indeed they are

God is at work, but it does not mean that ignorance and blind militancy have disappeared. Indeed they are getting worse as a reaction to these conversions.”

High quality programming that is truthful, intellectual, and biblical is what so many young, educated Muslims needed and craved and they are now finding it in stations such as The KINGDOM SAT.”

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getting worse as a reaction to these conversions. Nonetheless the truth is marching on, and I look forward to the day when these walls of hatred that are leading to the killing of Christians and burning of churches will fall like the Berlin Wall.

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MOTIVATION TO MOVE FORWARD osea is a young man from Indonesia, a country of focus for Leading The Way that is shrouded in darkness with pockets of revival reflecting the light of the Gospel. Hosea became a follower of Christ six years ago through his mother’s faithful witness. He and his mother recently moved to a different neighborhood, and this area has been both a challenge and an opportunity for them. All of their new neighbors are Muslim and none have reached out to these Christian newcomers. The sense of community to which the family was accustomed is all but gone in this area. Hosea spends his days working in their electrical store—but they have few customers. He passes the time by listening to Christian radio to grow stronger in the Word of God, hoping to overcome his loneliness and crippling insecurity. Hosea deals with a lot of shame because he does not make his own living, but rather works for his mother. His family looks down upon him for this reason, but Hosea feels he has a special call on his life, and God is leading him step-by-step. Hosea wants to continue his education and become a pastor, serving the people in this new neighborhood as well as his family and friends from the community. Today, Hosea is ashamed to share the Gospel because he is an uneducated man. His heart’s desire is to teach the Word of God, but he feels trapped by limited resources, education, and a lack of support even from those closest to him. Still, Hosea knows he is not alone. He knows God has a plan for him and he trusts God to fulfill His plan. Hosea shared with us how Leading The Way helps him trust in God’s plan. He said, “Dr. Youssef ’s teachings have blessed me. They motivate me to keep moving forward, not give in to the problems in my life. Unfortunately, my radio has been broken. I was growing in the Word of God by listening to these messages every day, but now I can’t listen to them. I long for someone to teach me the Word of God.”

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Dr. Youssef’s teachings have blessed me. They motivate me to keep moving forward, not give in to the problems in my life...”


Leading The Way’s follow-up team was able to propel Hosea forward when they prayed with him and gave him a new radio and biblical reading materials. He was thrilled with his gifts and the equipping they offered. Most of all, he was moved that someone saw his heart’s desire to preach the Word of God and affirmed it—equipping him to grow in the love of God and the knowledge of His Word. One day, Hosea will fulfill his dream of confidently sharing the Word of God with those around him. He will be able to do this because of your love as his brothers and sisters in Christ and your passion to proclaim the Truth of Christ here at home and around the world. Today, in a far corner of the world you may never visit, you have encouraged a brother in Christ to be a light in the darkness. You have given him a precious treasure— the Word of God. You have reminded him that anything is possible in Christ. Hosea is one of millions we reach daily through Leading The Way—each dearly loved and valuable to God. It is an honor to passionately proclaim the Truth of Christ to them every day. As a member of The Church of The Apostles, a portion of your gifts are given to Leading The Way through the missions budget to support this vital outreach effort. The Church of The Apostles’ mission giving last year totaled 13% of our overall budget. We are grateful for your support of Leading The Way’s vital outreach effort! The balance (87%) of our budget is made up of mainly individual donations. This summer, we have an amazing opportunity with our June Matching Challenge. This is an ideal opportunity for you to personally partner with Leading The Way. Every gift we receive—up to $250,000—will be matched in June. Your gift and impact will be immediately doubled. No gift is too small to make a difference in the Kingdom of God. To give a gift or to receive more information on Leading The Way, please contact us as follows: LEADING THE WAY

PO Box 20100 | Atlanta, GA 30325 www.LeadingTheWay.org Phone: 404-841-0100 Email: giving@leadingtheway.org

•OUR YEAR IN•

REVIEW At Leading The Way, June is the end of our fiscal year. As we wrap-up the year, we reflect upon all the Lord has done through the ministry in the previous twelve months. It is amazing how much work is accomplished by a small group of people empowered by the Lord. SINCE LAST JULY, WE HAVE:

• Completed and moved into our new corporate headquarters, the Global Media Center, and we are enjoying the technology upgrades and office space needed to advance our mission. • Added a 21st language to our dual-language ministry—Tagalog—to reach the vast majority of the 100 million people in the Philippines, as well as Filipino people worldwide. • Provided vital aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan through Help The Persecuted—helping local Christian ministries be the hands and feet of Christ to many in their hour of need. • Mobilized Bible-believing Americans to pray consistently for the future of our nation through God Save America. • Launched a new biblical book series, Leading The Way Through the Bible—to help people unpack the Truth of Scripture. • Hosted evangelistic outreach events in the United Kingdom, Kuwait, and Indonesia. • Expanded the reach of THE KINGDOM SAT to now cover almost every continent in the world. • Launched biblical devotionals on YouVersion to share with their 65 million subscribers. These are just some of the larger highlights! Although our staff is small, we have you, our ministry partners, standing with us in prayer and supporting us with your financial gifts. Thank you. Your support helps us to focus our time on ministering to the countless people worldwide who are desperate to hear and grow in the Good News of Jesus Christ.


2013 SUMMER CLASSES

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY And Jesus took the children in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them. – MARK 10:16 –

O

ur vision for the children’s ministry at Apostles is to reach children for Christ and to equip them to surpass us in the knowledge of God, in faith, in righteousness, in fruitfulness, and in commitment to world evangelization. Our mission is to declare the whole counsel of God in all ministries to and among children. We take ministry to children

seriously and earnestly desire to see them become mighty men and women of faith. It is our desire that they will put their trust in Christ at an early age. Our team of children’s workers joins with parents in nurturing the faith of their children. We aim to accomplish this in a safe, God-centered, Christ-exalting environment, and trust that every time they come to this place, they will be reminded that they are a part of a bigger kingdom and in the presence of the King of Kings. We have special programs for children on Sunday mornings, on Wednesday evenings with “Running Church,” and on Tuesdays and Thursdays during women's ministry activities. Special events throughout the year are wonderful opportunities for families to work, serve, play, and worship together. SPECIAL STONES

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! MAY 19

Special Elementary Kid’s Connection 1 and 2 Jenny Cote

JUNE 2 – AUG. 18

Summer Sunday School

JUNE 10 – 14

VBS 2013 “The Mystery of the Closed Case”

JUNE 19 – AUG. 28

Summer Running Church

AUGUST 25

STS/Children’s Family Worship 9:00 in STS gym

SEPTEMBER 4

Running Church begins 2013-2014 school year

SEPTEMBER 8

Promotion Sunday for all ages

Room 309 Special Needs Children are learning the Special Buddies curriculum RISING FIRST AND SECOND GRADE

4th Floor | *9:00 A.M. only Crown for Children The ABC’s of Handling Money God’s Way RISING THIRD, FOURTH, & FIFTH GRADE

4th Floor | *9:00 A.M. only Crown for Children The Secret of Handling Money God’s Way KID’S CONNECTION 1 AND 2

Rising 1st – 5th grade “Children’s Church” will resume September 8

SUNDAY 9:00 - 10:15 A.M. INFANT – AGE 2

3rd Floor | Visitor Check-in at Kiosk Loving Nursery Care and Bible Stories

WEDNESDAY NIGHT INFANT – RISING KINDERGARTEN

3rd Floor Check-in

AGE 2 – 3 (RISING 3 AND PRE-K)

3rd Floor | Visitor Check-in at Kiosk The children will hear stories of God’s faithfulness through the Old and New Testaments

RUNNING CHURCH

Rising 1st – Rising 5th Grade 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Check in at the STS Gym Both preschoolers and elementary children enjoy this midweek time of Bible teaching and fun activities. Come for family night supper, which begins at 5:00 p.m.

RISING KINDERGARTEN

3rd Floor | Visitor Check-in at Kiosk The children will do a summer study called “Serving the Savior”

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2013 SUMMER NEWSLETTER


It is Finished. It is Written.

The Case is Closed. Jesus came, Jesus died, Jesus lives... the greatest mystery...

M

ost people have heard the story about the

little child in Sunday school answering the

question, “What is brown, has a furry tail,

and eats nuts?” The eager child answers, “Jesus!—but it does sound a lot like a squirrel.” The point of the story is that too many times for the Sunday school child, all answers are “Jesus!” or “God!” In thinking about “churched children” coming up with a pat answer— a quick, easy answer; a simplified or evasive answer—for the big questions about life, we all recognize that getting to the heart of reasons for faith in God is a huge goal in communicating with children. Sometimes we hear things that we don’t really understand, and in order to figure out what is being said, hearing a story helps. Who was better than Jesus at telling a story that could bridge the gap between the Pharisees and the common man to bring understanding to both? Jesus, who lives today, desires to bridge that gap in our children in this world that spurns truth from the Word of God. To that end, our children’s ministry is continuing our theme for the year of Q and A about the Big Questions about God with VBS 2013: The Mystery of the Closed Case. For fifteen hours during the week of June 10-14, we will have the opportunity to present the case for Christ. Who was He, really? Why did He come, and what was His message while He walked this earth? Children will begin the week with the Crucifixion of Christ and look at “evidence” all week that Jesus is God, and that Jesus has authority over sin and death—

evidence that He conquered both sin and death and closed the case for those who believe and trust in Him for salvation. They will be challenged to answer the question, “Is the case closed for me?” The goal? Children will study the evidence for themselves. Hundreds of “junior detectives” will look at the

evidence of the claims of Christ and perhaps, for the first time, truly internalize these truths in deep ways that will be a spiritual marker for the rest of their lives! What kinds of things do children and adults alike need to hear to grow in their faith? The story of God! Children and adults alike need to hear who God is and the wonderful things He does. Children will

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focus on Jesus as Emmanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. These five names of Jesus will be looked at as we investigate Jesus in many of the gospel stories. When someone tells you about God, little seeds of faith are planted in your heart. When you hear more about God, your faith may grow a little more. Every time you hear about God, your faith can grow. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Children who keep hearing the Word of God can keep growing. This is our vision! The truths of the Gospel, presented as a closed case, tell what God did for each individual! With great joy, we trust that God will change many young hearts this summer as children internalize the truths of the story of God. With great joy, we envision a generation that wants to tell how great God is—a generation that will want other people to see how wonderful and great God is to have sent Jesus to make provision for our sin and death. How grateful we are here at The Church of The Apostles to have such an incredible opportunity to tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord!

2013 SUMMER NEWSLETTER


2013 SUMMER CLASSES

STS MINISTRY But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – ACTS 1:8 –

O

ur passion is to equip students to live the Gospel in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods and to share the love of Christ wherever they go. STS is an exciting place for students to grow in their relationships with God and with each other, develop a lifestyle of passionate worship of the Lord, and discover a life of ministry to

others. We have a variety of weekly activities, from small groups to large-group worship services, and from in-depth equipping classes to service projects.

7TH – 8TH GRADE FELLOWSHIP

SUNDAY MORNINGS 9:00 – 10:15 A.M.

6:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. | The Den Join Chad and volunteers for fun games, teaching, and group discussion with adult leaders.

* Starting on Sunday, May 19, STS Sunday morning activities will start at 9:00 a.m. * There will not be a pancake breakfast served during the summer.

9TH – 12TH GRADE BIBLE STUDY

6:15 – 7:15 p.m. | Brian’s office Join Brian & Kristin for Bible study and prayer.

5TH – 6TH GRADE STUDENTS

Large group teaching time | The Den 7TH – 12TH GRADE STUDENTS

SPECIAL EVENTS & TRIPS:

Large group teaching time | The Loft The STS staff are planning periodic special events such as Six Flags, a Braves game, “Shoot the Hooch,” going to see a movie, and much more. For more information on STS events and for online registration go to stsatlanta.org/events-trips.

SUNDAY EVENINGS 5:00 – 6:30 P.M.

* Sunday evening STS activities will not officially meet during the summer months starting on Sunday, May 5. * Sunday night activities will resume Sunday, September 8, at 5:00 p.m. * The STS staff will schedule a few special events on Sunday nights.

9TH-12TH GRADE GUATEMALA MISSION TRIP

June 22 – 19 Join in prayer for our team of 14 students and 6 adults as they travel to Guatemala to minister to the people of the Lake Atitlan region.

For information about these events contact the STS office (404) 591-2470.

7TH-12TH GRADE HOUSEBOAT RETREAT

July 8 – 10 Join the STS staff for three days of fun on Lake Lanier! Registration will open in May.

WEDNESDAY EVENINGS:

*There will be NO STS Wednesday night activities July 3. 5TH – 6TH GRADE “RUSH HOUR”

5TH-6TH GRADE ATLANTA MISSION PROJECT

6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. | STS Join Mark & Anna for recreation, worship, teaching, and group discussion with adult leaders.

July 22 – 29 More information and online registration will be available by May.

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2013 SUMMER NEWSLETTER


SHARE THE LOVE STS students stand side-by-side on the foundation of Christ & their friendships to focus on the needs of the community tudent to Student (STS) Ministries continue to provide balance to student’s spiritual lives by focusing on the third pillar of the overall STS Mission: “Service.” For January 18 – 20, all 7th-12th grade students were invited to join the STS staff & volunteers for two days of service projects to share the love of Christ with our community. With nearly 70 students in attendance, it was great to see several of the upperclassmen who started out in Apostles’ children’s ministry, still standing side-byside on the foundation of Christ & their friendships while focusing on the needs of the community. The Scripture focus of the weekend was: “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me’” (Matthew 25:45).

S

The 7th-12th grade girls went to Chattanooga, Tennessee, from Friday, March 15, through Sunday, March 17. Friday was mostly travel after our pizza dinner as a group. Saturday morning, we started our day at the park where we had quiet time and small groups. Quiet time was very nice; we went off somewhere in the park, read our Bibles, and talked to God. During our small groups, the topic was the Fruit of the Spirit. We had papers to fill out which “Fruits” we felt that we should work on and why. I especially enjoyed doing this because it made me think of what I should work on as a Christian and helped me realize that other girls my age struggle with similar issues in their personal walk with the Lord. Later that day, we visited Ruby Falls and had dinner at Urban Stack. They were both very fun. Sunday we went shopping and went out to eat lunch, which gave us all time to unwind and get to know each other.” – BELA SEID | 8TH GRADE

2013 WINTER MISSION PROJECT

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2013 SUMMER NEWSLETTER


Share The Love continued

My experience with JB and Jordan at Bass N’ Blast was a much needed one. There is nothing like getting away with your sons, along with other fathers and their sons, who are like-minded and committed to rearing their sons in the fear and admonition of the Lord. One of my desires is to expose my sons to other godly men as often as possible. This event was an excellent opportunity for “iron to sharpen iron.” To get away from the busyness of everyday life and participate in activities that men enjoy doing was a great environment for me and my sons. It was a very pleasant getaway for us. This atmosphere gave us the opportunity to be real and transparent with one another in the context of other godly men and the Word of God. One of the highlights of our time at Bass N’ Blast was to watch my son, Jordan, come out of his shell and open up, be expressive, and share what was on his heart despite being the youngest one there.” – BYRON JOHNSON | STS DAD

Though the focus of the weekend was on the local community, there was time set aside for the students to have fun and connect as a body. The weekend kicked off on Friday at the STS Gym which was transformed into a Laser Tag Arena. On Saturday night, the students went to the Hawk’s game at Philips Arena and post-game activities included a special concert by Apostles’ own Family Force Five. For those who did not wish to attend the concert, an alternate ice skating event was held at Centennial Park. This weekend was a testimony of God’s faithfulness in the way the students not only interacted with each other, but with the community outside the church.

SERVICE PROJECTS INCLUDED:

ATlAnTA MiSSion Men’S GRoup Students painted dorms for men who are currently recovering from bondage-type situations and homelessness. FAMily HeRiTAGe FounDATion Students interacted with refugee children in Clarkston, Georgia. Activities included face painting, snack time, and a biblical application via crafts. RonAlD McDonAlD HouSe Middle school girls participated in preparing pre-Monday family activities at the shelter by baking brownies, sorting clothes/toys, and making biblical valentine crafts for the residents. eMeRiTuS SenioR liVinG High school students sang songs and interacted with senior citizens. leADinG THe WAy Provided external grounds clean-up and waste removal, as well as internal cosmetic repairs.

I had been looking for a youth group for a while when a friend mentioned STS at The Church of The Apostles to me. It took just two weeks for me to get hooked. I loved it because I was immediately welcomed and asked to come back by the leaders and students and that meant a lot. It’s just a really fun environment. There are things like music, friends, food, games, and discussions to enjoy. I was very impressed with the discussions. Most youth groups I’ve been to just simply ask a question and get an answer, but at STS the students aren’t afraid to dig deeper and ask questions themselves. Wednesday nights quickly became something I look forward to in my week because of the good times I’ve had. Its great to be able to sit around, laugh, and talk with a bunch of really cool people.”

– LAURA GRACE HOLTON | 9TH GRADE

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2013 SUMMER NEWSLETTER


2013 SUMMER CLASSES

YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 CORINTHIANS 5:21 – time that takes us deeper into the application of the message to our lives. If you are a college student or in the college age range, please join us Sunday nights this summer!

COLOSSIANS: Being Whole in a World of Missing Pieces

Sunday nights | 6:45 p.m. | The loft Begins June 2 Something’s missing. We know it instinctively. The world attempts to offer us hollow attempts at meaning. From empty philosophies to empty relationships, nothing satisfies. The Church in Colossae knew of the truth of Christ, but had left that which gave them wholeness to pursue what brought them only emptiness. In his epistle to the Colossians, Paul reminds the Colossian Church (and us) that the only wholeness we can ever hope to find in a world of missing pieces is in Christ. Evensong, the college-Age gathering of The Church of The Apostles, begins its summer study of Colossians on Sunday nights starting June 2. We meet at 6:45 p.m. for fellowship and begin our worship and study at 7:00. This is followed at 8:00 by an optional breakout small group

YOUNG FAMILIES MINISTRY To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. – EPHESIANS 4:12-13 –

O

ur desire is to see young families connect to Christ, to the church, and to each other in meaningful ways. The young families ministry provides opportunities for these connections to happen. On Sunday morning we have a breakfast for the whole family at 8:45, followed by a time of teaching and small groups. We also have small groups

that meet in homes during the week. Finally, there are social events that are planned throughout the year in order for young families to connect socially and to get involved in reaching the community.

This summer, the pastoral staff at Apostles will be teaching courses that cover topics about which they have a deep passion. These classes are not set for one particular portion of our membership. Instead, they are open to anyone who would like to attend. David Watson, our young families pastor, will be teaching a course on the core doctrines of the Christian faith called Strengthening Your Core. Therefore, our usual Young Families set of classes will take

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a break for the summer and resume in the fall. We would love to see you in Room 620 in June and July, as we walk through these core doctrines this summer. Also, we will be offering several gatherings and opportunities for young families throughout the summer and into the fall. Please make sure to check apostles.org/youngfamilies for details and scheduling.

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2013 SUMMER CLASSES

WOMEN’S MINISTRY Equipping women to reach hearts for Christ!

G

od wants you to know His purpose for your life. He desires for you, as a woman, to serve and reach others for Christ, whether you are a long-time member, regular attendee, or visitor. Events such as retreats/conferences, the Christmas teas, and several ministry opportunities are scheduled through-

out the year for fellowship and outreach. Additionally, the women’s ministry supports women through the Heart-to-Heart mentoring ministry, Widow’s Network, the Single Moms ministry, Single Hearts For Christ (single women over 40), Quilting for Christ, Close Knit Flock, and several community service projects throughout the year. A variety of Bible studies are offered for women weekly (daytime and evening) to encourage women to study God’s Word and develop community with other women.  Summer classes will start the week of June 17. For more information, visit our website at www.apostles.org/women.

TUESDAY MORNINGS 9:30–11:30 A.M. FIVE ASPECTS OF A BIBLICAL WOMAN

June 18 – July 23 (6 weeks) leader(s): Jeanine Dungan, Casey Hawley, linda Mcentire, Connie Musselman, and Julie Cross Room: 620 - 623 Fee: $25 (*Child care available, $50 per family) What is a woman? Who am I? Why am I here? What is true of all women in the world? What does God say about women? Often women question who they are and what God’s plan is for them. The Five Aspects of Woman study written by Barbara Mouser speaks clearly and encouragingly to the issues women face by organizing the Bible’s teaching on women into five aspects. Each aspect is studied as God created it, as sin marred it, as Christ redeemed it, and as it applies to life now. *Children MUST be pre-registered for child care by June 3 as space is limited. NO WALK-INS

TUESDAY EVENING, 6:30–8:30 P.M. Single Hearts for Christ Bible Study THE BOOK OF RUTH: GLEANING HOPE

compelling because of the spiritual darkness of the times. Israelites during this era had lost track of the Law, perverted the worship of God, and slipped into moral depravity. The book of Ruth reminds us that even in evil times a godly life is possible. There will always be believers who love and honor God even in sin-saturated societies. Ruth: Gleaning Hope is a close examination of Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi that asks us consider the ways these biblical figures came alive in the larger story God has revealed to us—and continues to reveal today.

WEDNESDAY EVENING, 7:30–9:30 P.M. JONAH: NAVIGATING A LIFE INTERRUPTED

June 19 – August 7 (7 Weeks: no class July 3) leader: Aurelia Clark Room: 237 Fee: $20 (no Child care) You can’t escape life’s interruptions.  They shock us; they shake us; they compel us to change.  You may not be able to escape life’s interruptions, but you can change your perspective on them.  Dive into this Priscilla Shirer study of Jonah and discover that what you see as an interruption may truly be God’s divine invitation to a life so much bigger than you can imagine.  This is a seven-week study beginning on June 19.  We think you will have a “whale” of a time!

July 9 – August 13 (6 Weeks) leader: linda Mcentire Room: 237 Fee: $20 (no Child care)

KAY ARTHUR CONFERENCE AUGUST 10, 2013

Visit apostles.org/kayarthur for more information.

The story of Ruth takes place in the time of the Judges. The book tells a simple, beautiful story that is even more

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ONGOING and widowed women forty and beyond. The Single Hearts for Christ is a women’s fellowship group that brings single Christian women together to enjoy, enrich, and support one another. Come join us by contacting Jan Blakeslee at jblakeslee@apostles.org.

CLOSE KNIT FLOCK

Anne Hayes, lay leader If you enjoy needlework and the fellowship of Christian women, you are invited to reach out to others with the love and encouragement of Christ. These ladies meet twice per month to knit baby hats for Cobb Pregnancy Center. They knit an average of 40 hats per month. No experience necessary. They will teach you! Contact Anne Hayes at awhayes12@gmail.com for more information.

SINGLE MOMS

Connie Miller, lay leader The Single Moms Ministry offers value to you, the single mom. The focus is on your spiritual growth and your heart. The group offers mentoring, financial counseling, Sunday Bible Study with childcare, quarterly fellowship luncheons, etc. Please contact Connie Miller at conniemiller10@gmail.com.

HEART-TO-HEART GROUP MENTORING

The goal of Heart-to-Heart is to teach women to be life givers by understanding their biblical womanhood. The mentoring ministry helps women establish covenant relationships with godly women who will encourage and equip them to live for God’s glory. Each group has one to two spiritual mothers (mentors) and six to eight mentees. Women sign up for a convenient time and location. Groups meet monthly in the home of the mentors or at the church. For more information, visit our website at www.apostles.org/women.

WIDOWS NETWORK

The Widow’s Network has helped many find solace in times of grief, as well as brought a sense of connection to other women. On six Sundays a year and at Christmas there are special luncheons held to honor the widows. There are other activities and service projects as well. Please e-mail Marion Sharp at memum@bellsouth.net.

QFC – QUILTING FOR CHRIST

MOM-TO-MOM

Julee James, lay leader Quilting for Christ meets the first three Thursdays of each month. No experience is necessary, as the experienced are blessed to teach others. Quilts are sewn for the Cobb Pregnancy Center, Atlanta Union Mission, Feed My Lambs, Bridge Ministry, and orphanages. Please contact Julee James by email at juleejames@earthlink.net.

Mom-to-Mom is an intergenerational discipling ministry intended to come alongside mothers desiring to grow in (1) their knowledge of God’s Word, (2) their ability to apply God’s Word to their lives, and (3) their ability to apply God’s Word in their parenting. Each session will include 30 minutes of teaching and an hour of smallgroup interaction with mentor-moms and fellow-moms that will encourage, challenge, and build lifelong relationships. For more information, visit our website at www.apostles.org/children or contact Shae Smith at ssmith@apostles.org.

SINGLE HEARTS FOR CHRIST

Jan Blakeslee, lay leader Single Hearts for Christ: A fellowship for single, divorced,

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WHAT IS PRAYER MAPPING?

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generalized, taking hold of the victory of Calvary.  The topic of believers’ spiritual authority is explored as well as internal and external spiritual battlegrounds with one learning to recognize the enemy and his many strategies. By the end of the seminar day, each person will have developed a personal prayer map. Stunning answers to prayer are the result.

N SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2013, the Women’s Ministry hosted a Prayer Mapping Seminar with author and speaker Christine

Wrytzen. Everyone asks, “What is Prayer Mapping?” Prayer mapping teaches one to target issues in prayer in ways that are more specific and individualized than

RESPONSE FROM A PARTICIPANT Would you like to take your prayer life to a new level? That is what Personal Prayer Mapping can do for you. Based on a step-by-step strategy developed by Christine Wyrtzen, Personal Prayer Mapping begins by prayerfully selecting Legal Foundations—stating a Scripture to illustrate what God can do. One example is 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.” The next step is to prayerfully consider the question, Where is the enemy already at work? An example: Fear and anxiety that a woman does not know others and has reluctance to share private thoughts. The final step is to write down a plan to subdue the enemy. Again, prayer is the key that unlocks the power of this step. An example, “I pray against lies that the enemy attempts to plant in a woman’s

mind that create fear or anxiety and ask the Holy Spirit to give her a spirit of power, love, and self-control to connect with other women.” Finally, as an added bonus, a woman can consider ending her prayer map with a prayer based on Scripture. An example, pray for spiritual strength for women as they overcome fear. “And we pray all of this in order that women might live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1: 10). Personal Prayer Mapping probably can be best epitomized by words spoken by theprophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 23:29: "Is not My word like fire (that consumes all that cannot endure the test)?" says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks in pieces the rock (of most stubborn resistance)?" (The Amplified Bible).

ETHEL WEGNER WOMEN’S MINISTRY PRAYER TEAM MEMBER

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2013 SUMMER CLASSES

SMALL GROUPS They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – ACTS 2:42 –

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ome find a place where you can connect with God and others in deeper ways. Our Small Groups are a great envi-

ronment to develop authentic, caring relationships while discussing how God’s truth intersects life. They help us in our journey of becoming more like Christ . . . together.

Small Groups usually meet in homes every week or every other week, featuring lively, interactive discussions on God’s Word

and how we live it out. Small Group members share life with all of its joys and challenges. You’ll pray for one another and receive encouragement. Together, your Small Group will help you live out your faith while impacting others. MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

• Atlanta • Buckhead • Canton • Chamblee • Douglasville

• Dunwoody • Henry County • Mableton • Marietta • Midtown

GROUPS

• Powder Springs • Sandy Springs • Smyrna • Stone Mountain • Vinings

• East Cobb • West Cobb • Woodstock

* New locations to be added

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• Mixed Groups • Men • Women • Young Adult Singles • Young Families


ANGER “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” – PROVERBS 16:32 – BY J OH N GR E C O

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t one time or another, we’ve all had experiences with anger— our own and someone else’s. Some of us have trouble controlling our temper. Many more have been hurt by someone else’s

unbridled rage. Misunderstood and unleashed, anger can create a world of pain; it’s no wonder that we often equate anger with sin. At the very least, we tend to think of anger as a negative emotion—one that is to be avoided at all cost. But anger is a gift from God, says Dr. Ron Ervin. “I think there’s really a misunderstanding about anger. Most of us grew up watching anger—the wrong kind of anger, so we begin to think anger is blowing up, exploding, hitting, that sort of thing,” Dr. Ervin says. Too often, we see people use their anger as a weapon, but that’s not what God intended. “Anger is a God-given, natural thing that we have in our life. It helps us to prepare for something that doesn’t seem right.”

Anger is a God-given, natural thing that we have in our life. It helps us to prepare for something that doesn’t seem right.” Over the years, Dr. Ervin has counseled many men and women at The Church of The Apostles. He has seen firsthand the heartache and devastation left in the wake of unresolved anger issues. “So many people I see have anger problems,” he says. “Everybody’s angry. Everyone has anger. There’s not a soul that I know of that doesn’t have anger.” But there’s hope: Anger itself is not the problem. “If you master it in the right way, anger becomes an ally to you, to help you work through some very difficult things. It’s all [in] how you approach it; it’s what you do with anger that counts.”


ALLY OR ENEMY Dr. Ervin began serving at The Church of The Apostles 22 years ago as the associate rector, working with Dr. Youssef. “It was just the two of us. He did the preaching, writing, and traveling, and I took care of the church,” he remembers with laughter. Then for many years, Dr. Ervin headed up the Pastoral Care team (now known as Congregational Care). Today, even though he’s semi-retired, Dr. Ervin still invests two days a week, providing one-onone counseling to men and women in crisis. It’s in this context that he’s seen the need for people to have a deeper understanding of anger.

“If we can learn how to manage anger, it can be our best friend,” says Dr. Ervin. Rather than letting our anger loose or shoving it down, deep inside, anger can be used positively. “You can take that heightened energy that is created in your body when you get angry to either do something good or to do something bad, and what I want to help people do is to see it as a prime opportunity they have to be able to do something good.” This summer, Dr. Ervin will be teaching a class on anger called How To Make Anger Your Friend. The class will meet from June 2 through July 28 on Sunday morn-

If you master it in the right way, anger becomes an ally to you, to help you work through some very difficult things.” ings from 9:00 to 10:15. Over the course of these 9 weeks, Dr. Ervin will help participants come to a biblical understanding of anger. He’ll also help them learn how to manage anger and turn it into a friend. Most importantly, Dr. Ervin wants people to leave this class able to answer the question, What should I do as an individual to master my anger? Dr. Ervin readily admits, “Anything that you begin to manage in your life takes work.” He hopes that this class will be the first step in a positive direction for many people so that when anger wells up from within, they might live out the words of Ephesians 4:26: “Be angry and do not sin.”

If we can learn how to manage anger, it can be our best friend.” HOW TO MAKE ANGER YOUR FRIEND JUNE 2 – 28

Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.


2013 SUMMER CLASSES

ADULT BIBLE CLASSES Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. – 2 TIMOTHY 2:15 –

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his summer Apostles will be introducing a fresh concept in the adult Bible class hour that is entirely pastor-led. Each pastor has selected a topic he is passionate about to bring to the attention of our church body. This approach allows our pastors to teach to a wider group of people than the age and stage department they shepherd and

oversee. We hope you will select a class that is of particular interest to you and that connects to how God is at work in your life. There are six intriguing options during the month of June and July. In August, the only class offered will be taught by Brian Maxwell as we transition from summer to fall. Contact Rhonda Saduddin with any inquiries at rsaduddin@apostles.org or 404-564-3152.

JUNE JU UNE & JULY JUL LY CLASSES START June 2 THRouGH July 28 AT 9:00 A.M. (unless otherwise indicated) GOD’S PARADIGM FOR MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY

WHAT DOES JESUS THINK ABOUT THE CHURCH?

James Saxon Room 229 ABC

Zack Carden   Room 611

The class will involve a thorough examination of the most prominent passages in the Bible which define God’s foundational design for marriage and family. The class approach will be driven by an in-depth study of fundamental, timeless biblical concepts in an interactive question-and-answer atmosphere. The presentations and discussions will be anchored in the Scriptures and geared to the times with the aim of re-establishing God’s core ideology for the institution of the family. To find out more information on this class, such as a class outline, email James Saxon at jsaxon@apostles.org.

Have you ever wondered what Jesus would think if He walked into many of our churches today?  What would He commend?  What would be His criticism?  In Revelation 1-3, we are given a unique glimpse of Christ’s direct criticism and/or commendation of seven churches in Asia Minor.  In these letters of Christ, drafted by the Apostle John, we see how the Lord of the Church desires His Church to represent Him accurately in the world and how He empowers us to do so.  Join us this summer as we look at these letters to the seven churches and discuss what Jesus thinks about the Church. To find out more information on this class, such as a class outline, email Zack Carden at zcarden@apostles.org.

HOW TO MAKE ANGER YOUR FRIEND

Ron ervin 237 ABCD

COMMUNITY: BECOMING PEOPLE OF AUTHENTICITY, TRUTH, AND GRACE

Have you ever been angry?  Of course you have.  Anger is a part of life.  The problem arises with what we do with it.  Anger can be your worst enemy or your best friend. It is up to you to decide which it will be.  To find out more information on this class, such as a class outline, email Ron Ervin at rervin@apostles.org.

THE CHURCH OF THE APOSTLES

T.J. Diamond and Brian Skaggs Room 612-613 What does true biblical community look like? If the church is supposed to be a place where we can be authentic, why have we become experts at “image management”? The

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against evil? In this class we will be examining the tactics of the enemy and how we as believers are equipped in order to fight the good fight of faith. To find out more information on this class, such as a class outline, email Stan Carder at scarder@apostles.org.

New Testament is full of powerful admonitions for how we are to relate to each other. Together, we’ll unpack concepts such as authenticity, contagious faith, and the “One Anothers” of Scripture. We’ll explore how truth and grace can overcome fear and pride as we pursue community the way God always intended. To find out more information on this class, such as a class outline, email T.J. Diamond at tjdiamond@apostles.org or bskaggs@apostles.org.

STRENGTHENING YOUR CORE

David Watson Room 620-623

FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT

During this study, we’ll be looking at key biblical passages that provide foundations for core doctrines of the Christian faith. We’ll survey past and present interpretations of each doctrine. The class will be a mix of lecture and discussion. To find out more information on this class, such as a class outline, email David Watson at dwatson@apostles.org.

Stan Carder Room 617 on June 2 Room 201-203 on June 9 and through July 28 With all the resources that God has given us in order to fight against the forces of evil, why are we as believers seeing or reading about so many “casualties” in this war

AUGUST CLASSES STARTS AuGuST 4 THRouGH AuGuST 25 AT 9:00 A.M. A TIME TO GATHER

Brian Maxwell Room 229 ABC During this four-week course, we will survey what Proverbs has to say about the following themes: friendship, folly, influence, and fate. We will venture through the fields of personal experience, relationships, and culture, gathering wisdom along the way for the glory of God and the good of the soul. To find out more information on this class, such as a class outline, email Brian Maxwell at bmaxwell@apostles.org.

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BY J OH N GR E C O

ith the pace of life today, authentic relationships don’t just happen on their own—especially at church. Sunday mornings have so many people and so much going on; it can be easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. Being part of a small group is like having a base camp in the wilderness—a place of refreshment where wounds can be treated and souls can be strengthened. Not just another program and not just another night away from home, a small group is about doing life together with other people who love Jesus and are committed to growing closer to Him. The New Testament tells us to “love one another” (Romans 12:10), “pray for one another” (James 5:16), “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2), and the list goes on. Over and over again, God’s children are told to be there for one another. God said it several times because it’s important to Him. Small groups afford each of us the opportunity to live this “one another” kind of life. Though they’d only been a part of their small group for two short weeks, Logan and Tammy Groher were excited to share the wonderful news that they were ex-

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pecting their first child. Just married six months prior, they had wanted to start a family right away, and now it seemed the Lord would bless them with a baby—right on schedule. The other members of the small group, led by Jordan and Britta Lee, were happy for the Grohers. They celebrated their good news and prayed for the couple as they began making new baby preparations. Tammy recalls, “The nice thing about the small group was, from the minute we joined, we felt like we had a group of friends that we had had for a long time.” But then, just a few weeks later, Tammy received some terrible news from her doctor: she was going to have a miscarriage. Shocked and saddened, the small group rallied around the couple. “As soon as I found out I was going to have a miscarriage, then it was a lot of prayers and support,” Tammy says. “Two of the other women in the group had had miscarriages and then they were pregnant currently . . . They emailed me and told me their stories; it was very encouraging.” “The first thing we sensed was support,” Logan remembers. “The girls were attending to Tammy and the guys were attending to me.”

Once again, the Groher’s small group gathered around the couple to celebrate. Together with family, they threw Tammy a baby shower. “[It] was really meaningful, and everyone was there,” Tammy remembers happily. And in April of last year, Frits Dominick Groher was born—healthy and happy at just over 10 pounds and 21 inches long. “A true blessing from the Lord!” the proud father exclaimed.

Bear One Another’s Burdens (Galatians 6:2) But the Grohers’ challenges weren’t over. Like many women, shortly after giving birth, Tammy began to struggle with postpartum depression. “When the postpartum hit, it just hit all of a sudden. Within a matter of three days, I went from being anxious as a new mother, but still managing, to—I didn’t even know whether I needed to tie my shoes or put on my jacket before I walked out the door.” Tammy told her friends from small group about her depression. “[It] was something we thought we could share with them right away. There was no shame in it and no hesitation because we had so much support from them and

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” – JOHN 15:12 – we’re kind of like a family.” The next day, members of her small-group family gathered around Tammy, taking her to lunch. “It was just something I needed to get myself up out of bed, get myself out the door, which I could barely do,” Tammy says. “Just having them there, I wasn’t alone—they knew what I was going through, I knew that I had their support, I knew that I could call them.” Tammy received medical help for her depression, but it was about four weeks before she felt like herself again. During that time, it was a lot of prayers and a lot of concerned phone calls—a lot of love. Tammy and Logan now encourage people who aren’t part of a small group to join one. Even though it may feel uncomfortable at first, they say, the blessing of doing life together with other believers is worth it. Logan says, “God’s Spirit fills us during the group and then it outflows from us after the group has met for the week. It charges us every week—like church does, like meeting with other believers does.” “This is what it’s like when you have a community that gets together to support you,” Tammy adds. “When people suffered loss, I didn’t have the words to say, I didn’t know to pray for them, I didn’t know what would work to actually help them . . .. The small group was a huge example to me of what it means to be a Christian.”

“I knew that [Logan] couldn’t relate to what I was going through,” Tammy says. “Having the men in the group who’d gone through similar situations, they could explain to him what I was going through.”

Pray for One Another (James 5:16) A loss like a miscarriage lingers for a long time, and the pain it brings has a way of breaking into everyday life. Tammy recalls how difficult that period of life was. Other women in the small group were pregnant, so it was a daily battle to rejoice for them while not letting their joy become a source of pain. “Our prayer request almost every week was to get pregnant—to get pregnant again,” says Logan. And pray they did, together with their small group. Week after week, the Grohers were lifted up before the throne—for healing, for comfort, and of course, for a new pregnancy. God is good, and about four months after her miscarriage, Tammy was pregnant again! “I guess they all suspected it before I actually told them,” Tammy says. “I was very hesitant on my part—because there was a concern that I might have another miscarriage.” She explains, “Once you have one, then the next—when you do get pregnant— you’re always unsure if it’s really going to happen.”

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2013 SUMMER CLASSES

MEN’S MINISTRY Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. – PROVERBS 27:17 –

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e have several opportunities for men to connect for spiritual growth, accountability, and to build friendships. In Men’s Fraternity we meet in a large group for a challenging lesson, and then break up into small groups for disucssion.

Small groups are a place where you can join others to grow, share, and reach out. You will grow through the discussion and application of God’s Word. You will share life with all of its joys and challenges. You will reach out to others using your spiritual gifts. Come and find your place to belong. We offer men’s mentoring called The Path. This is one-on-one mentoring tailored to each individual. MEN’S FRATERNITY ATLANTA

Men’s Fraternity is a program designed to equip men to live and to lead as God intended, training men to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. The church, the nation, and the world are suffering mightily from a lack of godly, masculine leadership. As traditional masculine virtues are assaulted and undermined in our modern culture, too many men either capitulate or seek satisfaction from counterfeits that are often selfish, juvenile, and destructive. We men are called to something higher, nobler, and more true. We know this, and we crave this, but too often flounder because we lack training and the fellowship of like-minded brothers. We invite all men of Apostles and our larger community to answer this call by joining us in the STS room on Friday mornings beginning in September. We meet for a light breakfast, followed by a presentation and small group discussion. We will endeavor to conclude no later than 7:40 a.m., but you are welcome leave earlier if you need to. To find out more about Men’s Fraternity, please visit apostles.org/men. MEN’S SMALL GROUPS

Weekday Mornings Marriage, children, work, home, faith—the challenges abound. In today’s world it’s tough to be who God has called us to be. How do we follow Him and lead others? How do we balance the demands at work with the responsibilities at home? How do we love our wives like Christ loved the church? God did not intend for you to discover the answer to these and all the other important life questions by your-

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self. You were created to live in community with other men who are wrestling with the same issues, and who desire to live godly lives that count for God, but have not yet “put it all together.” Come join other men who meet here at the church on most weekday mornings to study Scripture and to apply it to real life. Share your life with other men who will help you see Scripture more clearly and who will help you sharpen your focus on Christ. To find out more about men’s small groups, contact Rhonda Saduddin at rsaduddin@apostles.org or 404564-3152. THE PATH: MEN’S MENTORING

The Path is a lay ministry at The Church of The Apostles that seeks to facilitate mentoring partnerships between men who desire to have accountability for their lives. The Bible is our primary source of guidance. We strive hard not to create our own “program,” but instead to let the Holy Spirit guide in this effort. As a reference for our mentors, we use a book called The Heart of Mentoring by David A. Stoddard. Dave has worked closely with our core team helping us fully grasp the Ten Powerful Principles of Effective Mentoring laid out in his book. The overriding theme is that mentoring is a process facilitated by a relationship. Each partnership is unique and tailored to the needs of the younger partner. Mentors are willing to open their lives, letting the partner see how he succeeded or failed, and above all, learned from his experiences. Mentors are good listeners. They don’t have an agenda or want to change theie mentoring partners. They want to help their mentoring partners navigate the narrow path of a Christian life. To find out more, please contact Rhonda Saduddin rsaduddin@apostles.org or 404-564-3152.

2013 SUMMER NEWSLETTER


2013 SUMMER CLASSES

CONGREGATIONAL CARE But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves. – 2 Corinthians 4:7 –

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ongregational Care is continually seeking to provide opportunities that will enable every member (to agree) to live their lives more effectively. We are privileged to offer the following ministries for this spring. To register, please go to the church’s website at www.apostles.org for more detailed information, or you may contact the Congregational

Care office at 404-564-3159, or email gwiley@apostles.org. MEN PURSUING PURITY, PURPOSE AND POWER

ENDING THE WAR WITH MYSELF (WOMEN)

Tuesdays, May 14 – August 6 No meeting week of July 4 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Authenticity, acceptance, and accountability are crucial in order for every man to live a life of purity, purpose, and power. Each Tuesday night will feature a testimonial time and small groups, which will enable every man to better withstand the enemy’s evil tactics, find healing, and overcome strongholds. The enemy attacks when men live in personal isolation, but when banded together, every soldier is better equipped as he is engaged in the battle. Though the skirmishes are intense and difficult, a “band of spiritual brothers” will be waiting to support you as you fight the good fight of faith. An optional book can be purchased in class for $10.00.

Tuesdays, May 14 – August 6 No meeting week of July 4 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. In spite of our weaknesses and failures, we must learn to see ourselves as God sees us–a child loved by God. This truth will be reinforced by an in-depth study of concepts such as: performance vs. grace, loving myself as Jesus loves me, loving myself with boundaries, dealing with negative thoughts and relationships, my dependency on the Lord, finding peace with who I am, and being real with people. This group will be led by Micky Land, LPC, author of Loving Myself as God Does: Ending the War with Myself. This book is optional, but will be available for purchase for $15.00 in class.

TRUSTING GOD EVEN WHEN LIFE HURTS (WOMEN)

Tuesdays, August 13 – September 24 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. STS Den CrossCurrent is a safe place to experience grace and truth and find meaningful answers to questions you may have about your relationships or sexual addictions.  No matter how broken or hopeless we may perceive ourselves, God upholds us in hope.  In this cross-centered community, God is restoring broken hearts, broken pasts, broken relationships, broken sexuality, and broken identity.

CROSSCURRENT

Tuesdays, May 14 – August 6 No meeting week of July 4 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. As we continue in our spiritual journey with Christ, one of the crucial issues facing every believer is our battle in trusting God to meet our needs and fulfill our desires. When we question God’s faithfulness we often ask, “Can I trust God?” However the real question should be, “Will I trust God?” Even though He is always trustworthy, believers are often troubled by doubt. If you are in a period in your life when you find yourself doubting God, you will find you are not alone. There is support and encouragement available through personal testimonials, powerful discussions, and group prayer when you join the studying of Trusting God Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges. Find out about God’s care and His desire to meet our deepest needs as we explore His complete sovereignty, His infinite wisdom, and His perfect love in the trials and temptations of life. The cost for the book is $15.00.

THE CHURCH OF THE APOSTLES

Each week includes worship, teaching, testimony, and same-gender small groups. Chapters include:  Unfailing Love, Getting Real, The Cross and the False Self, Getting Clean, Getting Healed, Becoming Secure in the Father’s Love, Loving Others, and Beyond Brokenness. Come and experience the joy of overcoming strongholds, finding healed relationships, and developing intimacy with God. Course book is $10 and optional.

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BY MICHAEL TODD WILSON

Michael Todd Wilson, MS, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor and member of The Church of The Apostles.

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ince the early days of the Internet, Christian men have struggled with online pornography. Of men who attended one Promise Keepers event, 53% admitted viewing porn within a week of their attendance.1 According to a Christianity Today survey among pastors, 37% reported pornography as an ongoing struggle.2 And no matter how disciplined we are, all of us have to deal

“…sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” – GOD’S WORDS TO CAIN IN GENESIS 4:6-7 (NIV)

with the preponderance of suggestive images so prevalent in our culture, from Internet ads to highway billboards to Super Bowl commercials. Men, this is not simply “the Church’s problem.” It’s our problem. The Bible strongly encourages us to flee “porne” (the Greek word for “sexual immorality”).3 Turn the other way! Run! Jesus’ message in Matthew 5:27-30 is essentially, “Do whatever it takes.” Let’s be honest. Sometimes we have the willpower not to open a sexual-oriented link or video online. But what other strategies might help stack the deck in our favor when the “spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”?

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DON’T BE IGNORANT OF THE DEVIL’S SCHEMES: Satan is a highly capable military commander who knows our Achilles’ heel. Through careful reflection, we’ll likely discover that he has employed a consistent set of strategies against us, including: LIES: “Who’s it really hurting;” “It’s not a big deal if no one knows;” “Yes, but it’s not as bad as __________.” Such rationalizations are steeped in lies about the true nature of porn and its impact on how we think about others. They also break down our resistance … making us more vulnerable to consumption of more graphic material or transferring what we’ve seen in porn into real world encounters. SHAME: Satan distorts legitimate guilt from the Holy Spirit (“I did something bad”) into feelings of shame (“I am bad; it’s just who I am”). This only serves to reinforce greater sinfulness. God alone defines who we “are,” and He says we are a new creation in Christ.4 BLINDNESS TO THE SLIPPERY SLOPE: Some behaviors may not be inherently sinful but may “slide into” sin for us more often than not (e.g. use of the Internet after our spouse has gone to bed, during business travel, in unaccountable time). As these are unique to each person, we should intentionally create contingency plans ahead of time. KNOW THAT PORN ISN’T THE ROOT PROBLEM – LUST IS: Our heart attitude towards others is where the problem starts.5 When we look at others, are we “consuming a product” or relating with someone created in the image of God? IMAGINE THE CONSEQUENCES: Instead of imagining sexual fantasies, we can redirect such vision to the possible real-world consequences of acting on our temptations. How would our spouse, dating partner, or children respond? How much time, productivity, personal confidence, or spiritual vitality will it cost us? LEARN ABOUT PORN’S EFFECT ON THE BRAIN: Growing evidence (even in secular research) suggests significant rewiring and harm occurs through ongoing exposure to even softcore pornography. 6 THOU SHALT NOT: This acronym SHALT (Stressed, Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) represents common emotional triggers that often lead to the “path of least resistance” behaviors, like pornography. Nonsexual triggers have nonsexual solutions: eat something healthy (hunger), humbly pursue biblical reconciliation (anger), or connect meaningfully with your spouse or close Christian brother (loneliness). PULL A FEW BUDDIES INTO OUR FOXHOLE: Sharing our real struggles with a couple of spiritually mature friends empowers us. We no longer feel alone in the fight. It also gives us a “phone/text/email-a-friend” option in times of temptation. These men can pray for us or help talk us out of a bad decision. Such comrades can be found in gender-specific small groups, Men’s Fraternity7, Walking Free8, Celebrate Recovery9, and Sexaholics Anonymous.10 INTERNET FILTER AND ACCOUNTABILITY SOFTWARE: Computers and most Internet-enabled devices now have software available that block access to porn and allow accountability buddies to be notified when, in a weak moment, we attempt to do an end-run around the filter.11 LOOK FOR THE WAY OUT: While Scripture doesn’t promise the avoidance of or even the removal of temptation, it does guarantee that when tempted God will offer a way out for us so that we don't give into its allure.12 Are we looking for it? SURRENDERING PRAYER: This is our ultimate weapon in times of temptation. Our own striving will only take us so far. We could use an unplugged electric chainsaw to cut down a tree, but why would we? Like the chainsaw, we’re powerless until we’re plugged in. We can surrender to Christ’s strength in moments of temptation, asking for His grace and the power to carry out His will. Then, we move towards “the way out” He provides, trusting His power to work through our weakness.13

1 Internet Filter Review, 2006. 2 Christianity Today, Leadership Survey, December 2001. 3 1 Corinthians 6:18. 4 2 Corinthians 5:17. 5 Matthew 5:28.

6 For an eye-opening read about this, pick up a copy of Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain by William Struthers (InterVarsity Press). 7 http://apostles.org/men/ 8 http://www.fbcw.org/sexual-brokenness-ministry/

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9 http://www.celebraterecovery.com/ 10 http://sa.org/ 11 A good example can be found at SafeEyes.com. 12 1 Corinthians 10:13. 13 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

2013 SUMMER NEWSLETTER


HOW TO CONTACT US

phone: 404.842.0200 Fax: 404.266.0656 email: apostles@apostles.org WORSHIP

SunDAy The Gathering of the Body 9:00 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. SunDAy eVeninG 5:00 p.m. No service May, June, July, or August WeDneSDAy HouR oF poWeR 6:15 p.m. DISCIPLESHIP

Sunday: 9:00 a.m. LEADING THE WAY

with Dr. Michael Youssef PO Box 20100 | Atlanta, GA 30318 phone: 404.841.0100 order: 1.800.337.5323 Web: www.leadingtheway.org

WWW.APOSTLES.ORG


2013 Summer Ministry Guide