Sharing Your Faith Above the Noise by Dave Montoya
Remain, Not Strive by Rachel Bebee
NO O THER Dan & Jocelyn Medrano, CCC's new missionaries N A Mto Miami E & Cuba
TO OVERLOOKED PEOPLE IN WEST AFRICA
CHRIST COMMUNITY CHURCH
View the CCC Calendar of Events on the last page DECEMBER 2018â€“JANUARY 2019 / ISSUE 9
S U N D AY MORNING SERVICES 404 S 108 Ave, Omaha 68154 402.330.3360 | cccomaha.org firstname.lastname@example.org TRADITIONS 9 AM / Worship Center Timeless hymns and songs of faith led by Pastor Steve Yost and a spirited choir and orchestra ACCESS 9 AM / Student Center Powerful and engaging band-led worship in a relaxed environment Beginning January 6, Student Center services will move to the Gym.
ACCESS 10:45 AM / Worship Center Powerful and engaging band-led worship in a relaxed environment
ONLINE 9 & 10:45 AM / cccomaha.tv The 9 AM Traditions service and the 10:45 AM Access service are streamed live online every Sunday
DECEMBER 2018–JANUARY 2019 / ISSUE 9
Publisher | CHRIST COMMUNITY CHURCH Editor | JONATHAN NORTON Art Director | JONATHAN NORTON Copy Editor | RACHEL BEBEE Graphic Designer | MARIE DUFOUR Contributing Writers: Jonathan Norton, Jennifer Slattery, Dave Montoya, Rachel Bebee Contributing Photographers: Marie Dufour, Bart Zimny (Unsplash), Markus Spiske (Unsplash), Krisa Roggensack Contributing Designers: Eric Wendt, Ian Willsey, Dillon Wheelock; "Hacked" font on page 10 by David Libeau THE HUB MAGAZINE 404 S 108 Ave | Omaha, NE 68154 402.330.3360 | email@example.com cccomaha.org/hub | cccomaha.org
The Hub Magazine is published every two months by Christ Community Church. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Copyright 2018 Christ Community Church. All rights reserved.
DECEMBER 2018–JANUARY 2019 / ISSUE 9
ello! Welcome to the ninth issue of The Hub Magazine—a Christ Community Church original publication that seeks to tell stories of what God is doing in and through the lives of people at our church. Our desire for this magazine is to be a place where God’s mission for the church and the people he has called to fulfill that mission converge, where events and programs are the tools and resources for real-life transformation. God is definitely at work in people’s lives at CCC! In this issue you’ll be introduced to an amazing young couple in our church who has answered the call to serve in full-time missional ministry with our partners in Miami and Cuba. Dan and Jocelyn Medrano share how God has worked in their lives and has given them a heart to serve with everything they have. In our culture today it's no secret that sharing our faith is a challenge—but we shouldn’t leave it to the “experts.” CCC’s Pastor of Evangelism & Discipleship Dave Montoya takes a deep dive into the current state of evangelism in our culture, struggles that Christians face, and how every believer can pull from their own faith experiences to share their faith. Finally, our annual women’s conference, Thrive, is coming up February 22–23. This year’s theme Just Be will feature author and speaker Angie Smith. We believe Thrive can be a life-changing experience for women of all ages. An attendee from last year’s Thrive, Stephanie Pearson, shares how God met her at last year’s conference in a time of her life when she needed it most. To learn more about The Hub, read past issues, and leave feedback, visit cccomaha.org/hub. §
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BY JENNIFER SLATTERY
Sometimes obedience comes with a cost—
relinquishing what is comfortable and certain to embrace the unknown. But Dan and Jocelyn Medrano believe that the incredible blessings one receives from knowing they’re walking securely in God’s will, and the divine intimacy that accompanies that, far outweighs anything lost. Jocelyn first sensed God’s call to missions in college, but she didn’t know what that might look like. It was more a vague sense in the back of her mind, one that intensified when she began serving in various ways at a summer camp in Ashland. “I discovered that God is kind of an endless journey,” she says. “The more I put in, the deeper I go and the more I discover. I love that we can give our entire lives to growing closer to God and still find out new things about him all the time.” During those summers at the Carol Joy Holling Camp in Ashland, God stirred another love in Jocelyn’s heart—for her husband. “We served together for three or four summers,” she says, and as they did, God’s plans for their future began to take root. But there was one problem. Initially, Dan didn’t share Jocelyn’s love for serving. “When I first became a Christian, I had no desire to be a missionary or do any
missions work,” Dan shares. “It was hard for me to serve and give.” Through Jocelyn, God showed Dan what a life lived completely for him looked like, although at first, he didn’t understand. “It wasn’t natural to me,” he says. God began softening Dan’s heart and helping him relinquish his hold on those things that were keeping him from fully living out his faith. Money and status had become his god. Then Dan experienced a roller-coaster humbling process. “God was like, ‘Hey, if you really want to be Christlike and follow me, you need to give up your pride and learn to have a servant’s attitude and mind. To think missionally.’” Dan needed to find his identity, security, and fulfillment in Jesus alone. He’s had to make this choice numerous times since answering God’s call to missions. The most recent occurred when Jocelyn’s employer offered her a sizable bonus to stay. “That was a huge incentive,” Jocelyn says. “I realized how much we’re going to leave—the comfort of our jobs, security, our apartment, our friends and families.” This financial opportunity caught their eye for a moment, but their love for God proved stronger. “We feel God is the most important priority,” Dan says.
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“When we’re doing his work and proclaiming the Kingdom, no matter if we’re rich or poor, so long as we’re in the circumference of his will, there’s joy in that. We could stay here in Omaha, start a family, and have a comfortable life here. But God is giving us the opportunity to trust him. When we choose to take that leap of faith—kind of like our first step—then later on, he’s going to allow us to do bigger things for him and experience more of his Spirit.” Dan is excited to see how God can use his love for sports and his multicultural experiences in new and eternally impactful ways. “God can use something as simple as a person’s background and playing with kids to create bridges for sharing the gospel. I grew up in a Spanish household and culture,” he says, “and I have a love for sports. As a result, I’m drawn to Hispanics and can communicate God’s message of grace and mercy to them. So when we first went to Cuba, I felt at home relating to the kids and playing games. We played soccer at the beach, and I watched everyone and saw walls break down.” Dan has learned a lot of lessons about God through this process,
Thanks to the Grove Juicery in Omaha for allowing us to use their space for these photos (thegrovejuicery.com)
perhaps the most important of which is how clearly he communicates with us as we earnestly seek him. “When we take the time out of our day and go before him, he answers. He knows our hearts and minds, and as we grow closer to him, he draws us toward his will. Through prayer and reading Scripture, I became certain God wants Jocelyn and I to serve in missions. He’s inviting us to go beyond belief and trust him in this journey. So we’re moving forward.” In June of 2019, they’ll move to Miami to serve as missionaries to the Cuban and Miamian people. To those wrestling with their own decisions, Dan shares how he has found peace with the uncertainties that accompany every choice: “A lot of can people get stuck. When they don’t know for certain something is God’s
will, they won’t move forward. We don’t want to do that. So, if we think God is leading us toward something, we’re going to move forward in faith until he says otherwise. If something is not of him, he’ll show us through prayer, Bible reading, the Holy Spirit, and trusted friends.” They still have preparations to make and things to learn before they leave in June, but they’re confident God is going before them. Perhaps the most exciting way they’ve seen him do that is through the encouragement and support he’s provided through others. “I love watching God work!” Jocelyn says. “Seeing how he brings thousands of people together in miraculous ways.” God has done that through the Beyond Belief initiative. Thanks to everyone who generously
contributed to Beyond Belief, Christ Community Church is able to give the Medranos $25,000 to launch their ministry. “This shows how big God’s heart is,” Jocelyn says. “He sees each person’s story where they are and invites them to play a part in his redemptive story.” Might God be inviting you to join in with Dan and Jocelyn in God’s mission? You can partner with them to bring spiritual and emotional freedom to the Cuban people. Contact Craig Walter for more information on how you can be involved in life change and use your earthly resources to leave an eternal impact! § Jennifer Slattery is a published author and a member at Christ Community Church
The Next Steps area in the Atrium is where youâ€™ll find Start, Connect, and Serve. Here you can get information about the church as well as take a brief tour of our campus, find out how to get plugged into a smaller community group, or register for a three-week class that will help you discover what it means to be a Christian. To learn more, visit the Next Steps area in the Atrium after the 9 AM and 10:45 AM services.
A two-year initiative with the goal that every CCC attender would take steps to deepen their faith in God and grow in generosity.
G O B E Y O N D B E L I E F . O R G 8
DECEMBER 2018â€“JANUARY 2019 / ISSUE 9
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S H A R I N G Y O U R F A I T H A B O V E T H E N O I S E BY DAVE MONTOYA
The Church in America is at a crossroads... National research continues to confirm what I hear from my friends in ministry across the country: overall church attendance is in decline. Research shows that 96% of churches are not experiencing growth through people making firsttime commitments to Christ.* There are a number of reasons for this, but one of them is that our evangelism does not seem to be yielding the same results as it has in the past. *From a study by the Barna Group
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Evangelism is and always has been a challenge. And while some of those challenges never change, it’s important in each generation to get specific about the barriers we are facing when sharing the Good News. Otherwise, we’ll find ourselves doing the same ineffective thing over and over expecting a different result. In a moment we’ll look at a few of those barriers and how to deal with them. But first, we need to get clear
about who God thinks makes the best evangelists.
Don’t Leave Evangelism to the “Experts” The first thing we need to do if we are going to recapture our evangelistic initiative in today’s world is for both church leadership and church members to acknowledge that it is the church members who have the
greatest direct evangelistic influence on people far from God. Certainly, it is the case that pastors, staff, experts, and events can play a key role at key moments in helping people come to faith. Those key moments of decision are often dramatic and the intensity of those moments can lead us to mistakenly conclude that everything leading up to those moments pales in comparison or importance. Nothing could be further from the truth! A more accurate view is this: when we look at a person’s entire spiritual journey toward Christ, by far the most powerful spiritual
influence in people’s lives over time are not the experts but the faithful Christian friends and relatives who have walked with them, were available to them, and engaged them in multiple spiritual discussions along the way. When we don’t keep these realities in mind about how actual people actually come to faith, it is easy for a well-resourced church like CCC to rely too heavily or exclusively upon events, guest speakers, or staff as our greatest evangelistic assets. The truth is that God’s people, the rank and file “ordinary” Christians, are and always have been God’s first choice and his most effective means overall for drawing people to himself. This is both a biblical truth and born out by research. The Barna Group has been studying this for years and their research shows that friends and family have the greatest influence on people coming to Christ. Even in the cases where a person takes that final step to trust Christ in response to an invitation by the pastor or a speaker at an event or church service, in easily over 90% of cases, that final step was preceded by multiple spiritual conversations with family or friends. For those who were drawn to Christ through a life crisis, invariably they report that a faithful Christian friend or family member was there to walk them through it and graciously point them to Jesus. What is true today has been true for 2,000 years. Sociologist Rodney Stark, an expert on how religious movements grow and spread, turned his attention to the origins and spread of Christianity in the first century. He has done exhaustive research on the growth of Christianity from a minuscule persecuted Jewish sect in the corner of the Roman Empire to becoming a movement of millions
of Christ-followers who eventually took over that Empire. He says it is a mistake to think that leaders like the Apostle Paul or Peter, or the early Church fathers, were the ones primarily responsible for Christianity’s spread. While he acknowledges the importance of these key leaders for the life and health of the Church, he is very clear that Paul’s preaching did not lead millions or even thousands of people to Jesus. Rather, says Stark, the spread of Christianity was “not accomplished by dramatic events and persuasive preachers, but by ordinary followers who convert their equally anonymous friends, relatives, and neighbors” (page 70, The Triumph of Christianity by Rodney Stark). After we take this first step and shift our evangelistic focus back to the “front lines” of God’s people being God’s primary evangelistic choice, we next have to identify and begin to address the various barriers we face today as we seek to share the gospel. There are at least five evangelistic challenges we need to meet and master if we are going to increase our evangelistic impact in today’s culture. Two are problems in the culture itself that make engaging in spiritual conversations incredibly difficult and the other three are our problems, things we need to address in ourselves if we are going to bear powerful witness to the Good News of Jesus.
Two Cultural Barriers The first cultural barrier is the problem of the buffered self. The combination of busyness, the neverending barrage of information and stimulation mediated through our technologies, and the awareness of a seemingly endless stream of opinions, beliefs, and choices overwhelms people and causes them to retreat
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inward to keep all the “noise” at bay. This barrier is a passive barrier, meaning that people don’t place it there as a conscious defense against the gospel. It is a buffer, a survival defense in response to overwhelming input in a busy life. Unfortunately, a Christian with a gospel message is lost in the noise and gets held at arm’s length along with everything else. Add to this the fact that in a broken world, reflection on the deep questions of life can be difficult and even painful. Our technologies add to the buffering by providing people an endless source of distraction and escape, keeping their thoughts skimming along the surface of life. The evangelistic challenge is, “What does it take to make the gospel stand out from the noise and be taken seriously?” The second cultural barrier is an active barrier. People in our culture react negatively, sometimes aggressively so, against anyone saying they have a truth that everyone needs to accept. It is a kind of pragmatic relativism that mistakenly associates strong commitments and serious truth claims with more arguing, more anger, and more division. This
“When we are deeply in touch with our brokenness and weakness, we are driven back to the heart of God and the cross of Christ in a fresh way.”
reaction is a by-product of our polarized culture and culture war exhaustion. Those making strong and serious truth claims (including Christians sharing the gospel) are seen not as bearers of Good News or part of the solution. They are seen as part of the problem, pouring gasoline on the fire. The answers to these cultural barriers relate to the challenges we have to face in ourselves.
Three Problems on our Side There is one surefire way to get past the passive barrier of the buffered self and to neutralize the active defense of pragmatic relativism: relationship. By relationship, I don’t just mean shallow acquaintance or being nice. I am referring to an ongoing and ever-deepening, heart-to-heart, life-on-life relationship. A person’s heart lies behind the buffer of the buffered self. In friendship, one person allows another person past that buffer to make contact with their heart and mind. Through friendship what I have to say will rise above the messages, information, and “noise” of the rest of the culture. And only in friendship will my strong and sometimes controversial truth claims be received as Good News brought by an ally rather than the next volley coming from an adversary in an ongoing culture war. Problem one is that too many of us struggle when it comes to establishing and growing these kinds of redemptive relationships with our friends who don’t yet know God. It turns out we too are busy and buffered and don’t make the time or effort to sacrificially draw near to those God has placed near us. A good first step is to decide to make these friends and family members a relational priority—to spend the time it takes to get to know them, connect deeply with
them, and build the trust necessary for truth—even hard truth—to flow freely between friends. Problem two is that, when the time comes to engage in spiritual discussions with our friends, many of us are at a loss both for what to say and how to say it. How does one discuss deep and often controversial ideas wisely and winsomely, with humor and tact, such that the person wants to come back for more? How do you, as a “non-expert,” carry on a life-giving conversation with your unbelieving but curious friends? There is a way! It takes practice but there is also help available. Finally and perhaps most importantly, many Christians lack what I call an “ongoing testimony.” They understand the gospel and perhaps they can point back in time to when the Good News was good news in their life but are at a loss to state how the good news of the gospel is at work in today’s struggles, hurts, failures, and brokenness. The man born blind in John 9 was no theologian, but he had a powerful story to tell. It was powerful especially because it was current. Many of us have plateaued in our Christian growth and no longer experience Jesus’ saving work in the here and now. When we are deeply in touch with our brokenness and weakness, we not only relate better to our non-believing friends who share similar struggles, but we are also driven by our brokenness back to the heart of God and the cross of Christ in a fresh way, experiencing his grace, love, joy, and peace in the now. Evangelism that comes from a current experience of God’s saving grace is evangelism beyond belief: it doesn’t require expertise to be effective, it flows naturally from a grateful heart and it has incredible power to draw our friends to Christ. § Dave Montoya is the Pastor of Evangelism & Discipleship at Christ Community Church
DECEMBER 2018–JANUARY 2019 / ISSUE 9
MINISTRIES, GROUPS, CLASSES, & SERVICES OFFERED AT CCC
FIND HOPE. citycarecounseling.org
CityCare Counseling exists to provide effective professional counseling for those seeking excellent care with a distinctly Christian perspective. Visit citycarecounseling.org for more information.
The Porch at Old Mill 10845 Harney St. Omaha, NE 68154
Monday – Friday 9 AM – 8 PM
402.916.9421 citycarecounseling.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday & Sunday By appointment only
Remain, Not Strive BY RACHEL BEBEE
These "pause in life" moments help us grow spiritually and emotionally 14
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Remain, not strive. These are the words that Stephanie Pearson heard God speak to her during an eightday isolation period following treatment for thyroid cancer. Diagnosed in November 2017, Stephanie faced surgery to remove the carcinoma, radioactive iodine treatment, and then an isolation period which would protect her family and friends from the radiation treatment. The last day of her physical isolation coincided with the first day of Thrive, Christ Community Church’s annual conference for women. Stephanie completed isolation and reentered into community with women at this conference. Thrive is an opportunity for women of all ages to come together, grow in community, worship, and connect more deeply with God. During the weekend, women hear from a speaker, engage in workshops, and meet new friends through small group discussion. Thrive was pivotal in Stephanie’s life. Stephanie is an achiever and excels in what she does. Much of her life she has focused on
growing as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She grew up dancing in Omaha and enjoyed her time on the Scarlet Dance Team at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She and her husband Tyler met at UNL, where she earned a degree in business, which she then used to open her own dance studio in Omaha called Nebraska Dance. Her studio has been open for eighteen years. Stephanie shared that while she was raised in the church, she didn’t begin her personal relationship with Jesus until college. She, Tyler, and their two kids, Cole and Naomi began attending CCC about five years ago. Slowly but surely, they got connected in life at CCC. One of the ways Stephanie has engaged more deeply was through attending Thrive for the first time. Stephanie spent eight days in isolation at a hotel following the treatment of her cancer, which began on Valentine's Day 2018. While she could leave to go get a coffee or drive around, she spent most of the time in her hotel room. Though that significant period of time alone could seem daunting, she shared her deep trust that God would use this time to work in her life. Plucked out of daily life, she spent time in prayer, listening to God speak to her, and soaking in the Word. Even the key card to her hotel room reminded her that God was working in her life. Printed on the card was the word Thrive. While she sensed God say many things to her during this time, she shared that the theme of Remain, not strive has stuck with her. As a business owner, Stephanie is wired to be a doer, to get things done. Isolation forced her to be still, to not achieve, to not strive. Stepping back into community at Thrive “felt very energizing and
healing for me. After a period of isolation, having so much time to think and pray, it was very impactful.” She enjoyed worshipping together with other women, hearing René Clark speak, and learning at different workshops, but the highlight of the entire event happened on Saturday morning. During that session, a dancer from Nebraska Dance performed an improvisation solo. Stephanie said, “I really felt God showing me how dance can be used to grow in a relationship with Christ for both the dancer and the audience member watching. He is revealing to me concrete ways he wants me to create opportunity through dance and music. I am awed and sense a feeling of creation I had 18 years ago when the studio first began. Remain, not strive means that I am watching and waiting for him to reveal to me piece by piece what it looks like and what steps to take.” Seeing Cassidy on stage was pivotal, a confirmation of the dreams that God has placed in Stephanie’s heart. God had been working in Stephanie’s life for several years by giving her visions of the impact of dance upon the lives of students. Though she wasn’t entirely sure how this vision would play out, she was excited to see how God would use her gifts, abilities, and passion to make a difference in the lives of the students at Nebraska Dance. Since Thrive, a lot has been brewing in Stephanie’s heart for her studio and for the kids who attend the classes. This fall, Nebraska Dance launched Devotion Dance Class. During the class, students spend 45 minutes in a devotion, then step into the dance room where they learn a dance combination. The devotions have focused on finding one’s identity in Christ. For Stephanie,
being able to teach the students at her studio about identity is linked to her own story of finding her identity in Christ. “About five or six years ago, God took me through a period of time where I realized there was identity and idolatry happening in my heart for the dance studio. I didn’t even see it at first. When I realized what was happening, he posed a question to me. He said, ‘Do you want to please them or please me?’ I audibly heard that and literally took my hands off my desk and said, ‘I want to have no part of that. I want to have no part of pleasing them, I want to please you.’” That question impacted how Stephanie viewed God, herself, and her role as the owner of Nebraska Dance. From that moment, Stephanie has analyzed what it means and looks like to have her identity in Christ and keep potential idols of the world from slipping above a relationship with God. Her studio isn’t merely teaching kids how to dance, but she shared, “I believe I’m supposed to teach what it looks like to start with our identity in Christ, and then from there we enjoy our other activities and things in life, but never letting that root of who we are in Christ and how he sees us be shaken.” “These ‘pause in life’ moments help us grow spiritually and emotionally. Thrive helped me discern my feelings and thoughts, things I didn’t really even realize where going on in my mind.” Thrive provides an avenue for growth and life change for women at CCC. She looks forward to what God will do in her life at Thrive in February 2019. § Rachel Bebee is the Project Coordinator for the Creative and Communications Team at Christ Community Church
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$49 early-bird registration through January 6 $59 registration through February 16 For more info and to register, visit thethrivegathering.com
A GATHERING FOR WOMEN Thrive is a gathering for women of all ages to come together, grow in community, worship, and connect more deeply with God. Hear from a powerful speaker, engage in interactive workshops, enjoy great meals, meet new friends through small group discussion, and have fun! It is easy to be many things—to be busy, to be happy, to be tired, to be scared, to be lonely. We can even try to be someone we are not. But what does it look like to just be? This year's theme is Just Be… Be still, be you, and be brave. Join us for a great weekend of learning to be who God says you are and resting in him.
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“Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!” 1 Samuel 12:16
FEATURING ANGIE SMITH Angie is married to Todd Smith, lead singer of the Christian group Selah, and mom to five daughters. In 2008, the Smiths received news that their fourth daughter, Audrey, would not survive, and Angie began blogging as a means of communication with friends and family during those difficult days. Angie now writes Bible studies and books, and teaches around the country, but the heart of her ministry is the same as when her fingers typed the very first words on her blog years ago: Angie’s greatest passion is to make the Bible feel accessible and relevant, and to encourage others in their faith journey. Angie holds a Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University and is a best-selling author of multiple adult and children’s books. She, Todd, and their house full of daughters live in Nashville, Tennessee. Check out her blog at angiesmithonline.com.
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MINISTRIES, GROUPS, CLASSES & SERVICES GUEST INFO cccomaha.org/new
Contact: Jessica / JessicaH@cccomaha.org Looking for info? Stop by the Info Center and pick up a welcome packet. For a complete list of events, ministries, staff, and more, visit cccomaha.org.
CCC / 404 S 108 Ave / Omaha 68154 / email@example.com / 402.330.3360 cccomaha.tv / Sundays / 9 & 10:45 AM
cccomaha.org/kids Contact: Niki / NikiL@cccomaha.org Birth–fifth grade / Sundays / 9 & 10:45 AM
Family Is Primary Parents have the incredible responsibility of impressing a love for God on the hearts of their children (Deuteronomy 6:5–7). These impressions best occur as a natural overflow from parents seeking to love the Lord with their own hearts, souls, and strengths. Sunday Morning Children join a group of kids their age or grade level. Kids birth–preschool may stay for two services, while students kindergarten–fifth grade attend one service only. This fosters relationships with other kids and allows them to attend worship with parents during the other hour. American Heritage Girls Contact: Karyn / KarynStruck@gmail.com A Christian scouting organization for girls K–12th grade. Building women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country. Mondays / 6:30–8 PM Trail Life USA Contact: Chris / ChrisB@cccomaha.org A Christian scouting organization for boys K–12th grade. Scouting, leadership, and adventure. Mondays / 7–8:30 PM Baby Dedications Contact Niki / NikiL@cccomaha.org Baby Dedications are held quarterly. For more info or to sign up, contact Niki or visit cccomaha.org/baby. 18
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cccomaha.org/kids Contact: Niki / NikiL@cccomaha.org Wednesdays / 6:30–8 PM Kids will learn about God through Bible memorization, lessons, games, crafts, and activities. Kids Clubs meet September through April and are funded through annual dues. AWANA / CUBBIES (Ages 3–4) Cubbies communicates basic truths about God, Jesus, salvation, and the Bible through Scripture memorization, handbook lessons, awards, games, and activities. AWANA / SPARKS (Grades K–2) Sparks meet in small groups to focus on Scripture memorization. In large group, they experience upbeat music, Bible teaching and instruction, and ageappropriate games. BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS (Grades 3–5) Kids gather in small groups where life-long friendships can begin. A club meeting is divided into three segments: Bible teaching, age-appropriate crafts or team games, and small group time. Each Bible lesson is accompanied by a Scripture memory verse.
Middle School: cccomaha.org/msm High School: cccomaha.org/hsm Contact: Elizabeth / ElizabethB@cccomaha.org Student Ministry exists to help students know Jesus every day and live their lives for him at home, at school, and in the community.
Grades 6–8 / Sundays / 6–8 PM / Atrium Grades 9–12 / Sundays / 6–8 PM / Student Center
Sunday Mornings / 9 & 10:45 AM / Worship Center & Student Center To help students develop deep faith and a greater sense of community, we encourage them to serve and worship alongside Christians of different ages and backgrounds. Opportunities to serve can be found online at cccomaha.org/hsm. Events and Retreats Visit cccomaha.org/events to discover the life-changing events, trips, and retreats offered by Student Ministry.
8:08 / COLLEGE cccomaha.org/college
Contact: Glenn / GlennL@cccomaha.org 8:08 is a community of college-age students (18–24) committed to loving God, each other, and the city. Whether you’re walking with Jesus or just have questions about who God is, get connected in the 8:08 College Community. Thursdays / 8:08 PM / Student Center Instagram / 808CCC Facebook / 8:08 College Community
Contact: Lisa / LisaA@cccomaha.org A network of small to mid-sized groups comprised of 20s and 30s, single and married, and typically no kids.
Large Group Gatherings Gather on Sundays for music, teaching, games, discussions, friendship, and good food in the café (year-round).
Increasing Kingdom impact by engaging, equipping, and encouraging men in godly manhood. Men are committed to go all-in through groups, Bible studies, and serving.
Grades 6–8 / Sunday Mornings at the Student Center / 10:45 AM Grades 9–12 / Sunday Nights at the Student Center / 6–8 PM
Student Journey Groups Ask honest questions, study Scripture, be invested in by a Christ-following adult, and share life with a small group as you develop deep, lasting friendships. August–April / Students may join a group any time during the year.
cccomaha.org/men Contact: Reid / ReidB@cccomaha.org
Council Bluffs Group
Contact: Dave / Music65Man@gmail.com or Steve / firstname.lastname@example.org
Discuss and study the Bible over coffee. Tuesdays / 6–7:30 AM / Panera Bread / 3617 Denmark Dr, Council Bluffs, IA
MINISTRIES, GROUPS, CLASSES & SERVICES Journey Men
Contact: Greg / GDVanderVorst@yahoo.com
Helping men connect with other men through discussion-based learning and teaching. Begin the journey at any time. Tuesdays / 7 PM / E240 Noble Men Contact: Jim / JRNuke@cox.net An ongoing group for men who desire to know and apply God’s Word. The study changes, but not the fellowship and support. Join and be nourished. Fridays / 6:15–7:30 AM / I-188 Runza Men's Group Contact: Jay / email@example.com Whether you're curious about Christ or have been on the journey for awhile, you're welcome. Discussions and studies taught are around things men face. Wednesdays / 6–7:30 AM / Runza near 132nd & West Center GUYS Group Contact: Chris / firstname.lastname@example.org GUYS stands for God Understands Your Situation. When connected, men grow as husbands, fathers, and followers of Christ. Bring dinner to eat at 6 PM. Sundays / 6–7:45 PM / C116
WOMEN'S MINISTRY cccomaha.org/women Contact: Mykaila / MykailaN@cccomaha.org
Women's Ministry offers groups, studies, and events to help women develop their relationship with Jesus and others. Women's Bible Studies cccomaha.org/wbs Contact: Mykaila Norton / MykailaN@ccccomaha.org Join us for The Faithful, a five-week study by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, & others. We'll explore the lives of Gideon, Nehemiah, Queen Esther, Hosea, and Malachi. Begins January 15. Point of Hope cccomaha.org/poh Contact: Emily / CCCPointOfHope@gmail.com A positive environment for single moms to grow alongside each other.
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) cccomaha.org/mops Contact: Annie / ChristCommunityMOPS@gmail.com Connect with a community of women to embrace and encourage one another in the journey of motherhood. For moms of kids ages birth–kindergarten.
Contact: Milton / CCCDeafMinistry@gmail.com
Deaf Ministry exists to help Deaf people understand Jesus so they can accept him as Savior and grow in relationship with him.
Interpreted Service / 10:45 AM Worship Center / Seating at the front of Section 104 Deaf Class / 9 AM / C116 Deaf Men’s Bible Study / Wednesdays 6:30–8:30 PM / The Porch Deaf Women’s Bible Study / Thursdays 6:30–8:30 PM / The Porch Do you need an interpreter or are you interested in learning ASL? Contact Jan / email@example.com
WHY JOIN A JOURNEY GROUP? Develop friendships with others The smaller group of people gives you the opportunity to form genuine friendships and care for others in times of need. Grow in your relationship with God The smaller setting allows you to dig deeper into Scripture and ask questions in a discussion-based format. Interact with and learn from others. Make an impact for the Kingdom Make a difference by serving together in the city or participating in CCC’s partnerships around the world. HOW DO I JOIN A JOURNEY GROUP? Groups are available on Sunday morning during services or in neighborhoods throughout the week. Visit the Next Steps booth Meet staff and volunteers who will help you find Journey Groups in your neighborhood. Sundays / After 9 & 10:45 AM services at the Next Steps booth in the Atrium Visit the Journey Group Locator online Search for groups that meet in your area based on type and meeting time online at cccomaha.org/journeygroups.
International Friendship Group Contact: Mark / MarkCarlson51@gmail.com
cccomaha.org/events Contact: Sue / SueB@cccomaha.org
Building community and discovering Jesus with friends from around the world. This international-focused group includes prayer, Bible discussion, and sharing life.
Marriage Matters Planning on engagement or marriage in the next year? Learn how to have a healthy marriage. Marriage Matters is a six-week class offered throughout the year.
Sundays / 10:45 AM / D226 English Conversation Class Contact: Dee / CCC.ConversationClass@gmail.com Reaching the international community at UNMC & UNO. Looking for teachers for conversational lessons with one–three students. Classes run September–April. Wednesdays / 6:30–8 PM / Student Center
To learn more or join a group, visit cccomaha.org/journeygroups. Meet regularly to study, pray, and grow with others. Belong to a community, be transformed by the gospel, and be on mission for the people in the city.
Wedding Date 2019 June–Aug 2019 Sept–Nov 2020 Jan–May
Class Date 2019 Feb–March 2019 May–June 2018 Sept–Oct
BOOMERS & BEYOND cccomaha.org/boomers-seniors Contact: Paul / 402.938.1574 / PaulG@cccomaha.org SUNDAY MORNINGS Dayspring / 7:45 AM / C117 Cross-generational class with challenging teaching, ministry projects, missionary support, and care groups. THE HUB MAGAZINE / CCCOMAHA.ORG
MINISTRIES, GROUPS, CLASSES & SERVICES Kingdom Builders / 9 AM / C220 Boomers and up join for prayer, fellowship, biblical teaching, and learning the Word together. Thankful Hearts / 9 AM / I-188 Cross-generational group focusing on Bible study, friendship, life application, and growing in relationship with Jesus. Ambassadors / 10:30 AM / D127 Caring and praying seniors focus on strong biblical teaching with love for Christ, missionaries, and our nation. Ecclesia / 10:30 AM / D126 Seniors begin with worship and refreshments, then study Scripture and have time for discussion. Spiritually Advancing, Linked Together (SALT) / 10:30 AM / C117 Boomers and seniors are welcome for fellowship, prayer, study of God’s Word, and class socials. SENIOR ACTIVITIES Contact: Sue / 402.938.1570 / SueB@cccomaha.org Senior Lunch & Fellowship at CCC
First Tuesday of the month / 11:30 AM / $6
Second Tuesday of the month / 8:30 AM / Village Inn at 138th & Maple
Super Adults at CCC Third Tuesday of the month / 9:30 AM / $6 / Coffee over fellowship, a program featuring a guest speaker, and a delicious meal.
Professional Counseling citycarecounseling.org Contact: CityCare / 402.916.9421 / firstname.lastname@example.org CityCare Counseling exists to provide effective professional counseling for those who are seeking excellent care with a distinctly Christian perspective. Pastoral Counseling Contact: Sue / 402.938.1570 / SueB@cccomaha.org Services provided by pastoral staff and pastoral counselors trained to provide biblical advice or spiritual counsel to those in need. Financial counseling is also available. Healing Prayer Contact: Sue / 402.938.1570 / SueB@cccomaha.org Immanuel Prayer is practical training in deepening your intimacy with God so relational barriers and painful life experiences can be resolved. Formational Prayer creates an environment where people find relief from emotional pain through a personal encounter with God. Caring Partners Contact: Doni / 402.938.1512 / DoniG@cccomaha.org
Monthly Senior Server Newsletter Features entries, events, stories, and more. Pick up at the Boomers & Beyond desk or contact Sue Beed.
Serves those in need of temporary assistance by distributing designated funds as an expression of God’s love. The Oil Change Ministry and on-site food pantry are also part of Caring Partners.
Stamps Ministry Fridays / 8–11 AM / D127 / Come join in the work and fellowship.
Silver Tsunami Ministry Contact: Paul / 402.938.1574 / PaulG@cccomaha.org
CARE NETWORK cccomaha.org/care
Everyone has defining moments in life— difficult circumstances, relational pain, transitional seasons. How we respond during these has a direct impact on our futures & the futures of those around us. The Care Network is a multi-disciplinary team of caregivers who are passionate 20
about providing an environment & relationships to help people heal & grow. Developed by pastors, trained counselors, & professional licensed counselors, the Care Network is committed to helping people find healing & wholeness amidst the challenges of life.
DECEMBER 2018–JANUARY 2019 / ISSUE 9
Ministry to the elderly, the infirm, those with dementia, the sick, & the dying. Prepares people for relationship-building through weekly visits, caring, listening, & sharing the gospel. Training every fall. Stephen Ministers Contact: Paul / 402.938.1574 / PaulG@cccomaha.org People trained to provide confidential, one-on-one care to those experiencing difficulty in life such as divorce, job loss,
aging, spiritual crisis, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment.
cccomaha.org/formation Contact: Wendell / 402.938.1573 / WendellN@cccomaha.org The ongoing transformation of your life through experiential discovery. Selah Groups Monthly exposure to various spiritual practices such as solitude and silence, formational approaches to the Word, and group spiritual direction in a contemplative prayer group for women that facilitates connection with God. Spiritual Direction A monthly one-on-one meeting to help you notice and savor God’s presence in your life and stimulate ongoing growth; nurturing choices that consistently delight God.
RENEWAL GROUPS cccomaha.org/renewal Contact: Kirk / 402.938.1573 / KirkE@cccomaha.org
Experience renewal in your life by connecting with trained volunteers, professional counselors, and others experiencing similar circumstances. All groups meet at Christ Community Church. Tuesdays / 6–6:45 PM / Chapel / Worship and prayer service Chemical Dependency Addictions Contact: Kirk / KirkE@cccomaha.org Biblically-based curriculum in a nonjudgmental environment. Tuesdays / 7 PM / F252 Sexual Identity & Brokenness Restoration Contact: Randy Hager / email@example.com Support and encouragement for those whose loved ones struggle with sexual identity. First Monday of the month 7 PM / P541 (The Porch)
MINISTRIES, GROUPS, CLASSES & SERVICES Hope After Betrayal Contact: Nancy Hanson / 308.631.1200 / JBonanny@hotmail.com Support, hope, & healing for women whose marriages or relationships have been shattered. Tuesdays / 6:30 PM / F260
from mourning to joy amid the chaos of the loss of a loved one.
An authentic community of women where you are heard, loved, & healed together.
Tuesdays / 6:30 PM / I-188
Tuesdays / January 8–March 5 / 6:45– 8:45 PM / Register by December 26 / Workbook is $35
Friends of Suicide Loss Contact: Cindy / 402.995.3118 / FriendsOfSuicideLoss@outlook.com
Men of Integrity findintegrity.com Contact: Kirk / KirkE@cccomaha.org
A group for teens, college-age students, and young adults who are recovering from losing a friend or family member to suicide.
A grace-filled environment to address lust & honesty with self, others, & God.
Last Thursday of the month 6:30–8 PM / C220 & D226
Tuesdays / 7 PM / S302 (Student Center) Lighthouse Contact: Connor Dillard / 612.710.9367 firstname.lastname@example.org A safe space for followers, seekers, & doubters to approach non-straight sexuality from a biblical perspective. Tuesdays / 6:30 PM / E225 Career Omaha Career Networking OmahaCareerNetworking.org Provides support, tips, & tactics to help with your job search. Tuesdays / 7 PM / F255 Relationships DivorceCare Contact: Mary Lou Rodgers / MaryLRodgers@yahoo.com A friendly, caring group of people who will walk with you through one of life’s most difficult challenges. Tuesdays / 7 PM / C117 Hannah's Prayer Contact: Diane / email@example.com A community of married women experiencing primary or secondary infertility who provide support & encouragement. By appointment only Relationships 101 for Men Contact: Kirk / KirkE@cccomaha.org Learn how to build & maintain healthy, life-giving relationships. Thursdays / 7 PM / P538 (The Porch) GriefShare Contact: Deb Jones / 402.658.0767 / AsAlwaysDebJones@gmail.com A support group to foster the journey
Overcomers in Christ Contact: Mary Fear-Eggers / 402.616.4818 Mary@OvercomersInChrist.org Would you like to experience victory in your daily life? Experience comfort and hope found in Jesus Christ. Tuesdays / 7:30 PM / P540 (The Porch) Encountering the Prince of Peace Contact: Jenna Drucker / JennaD@cccomaha.org or Stefanny Herdle Zapata / StefannyZ@cccomaha.org A group for young women who are striving to find lasting peace in an anxious world through supporting each other and discovering a true and unique identity in Christ. Tuesdays / 7–8:30 PM / G160 Restored Hearts Contact: Gloria / 402.968.0395 RestoredHeartsOmaha.com Seeds of Hope If your past includes sexual abuse that continues to creep into present life and relationships, there is hope. This group for women is a safe place to explore the wounds of the past and how to find freedom for the present. In the Wildflowers This 12-week video series is a more intense focus, joining with others and with God to continue processing and healing the wounds from past sexual abuse events. Bloom For Wildflowers alumni to continue their journey of thriving with Christ. The Journey Begins Explore your story of childhood abuse, pain, disappointment, or domestic abuse.
Physical Wholeness Fresh Hope Contact: Melody Steinhauser / SteinhauserMelody6@gmail.com A safe setting for people with mood disorders, or their family members, who desire to incorporate faith into the recovery process. Tuesdays / 7 PM / D127 NAMI Support Group Contact: MJ Zaremba / 402.980.1532 Helps families understand and support individuals with mental illness. Tuesdays / 7 PM / G160-B NAMI Family-to-Family 12-Week Class Contact: John and Karen / 402.452.6311 A course for family members of individuals with severe mental illness. Tuesdays / 6:30 PM / C118 Spiritual Formation The Christian in Complete Armor Contact: Marc Montanye / MarcM@cccomaha.org Men, do you feel like you’re in a battle at home, at work, and in life? If so, you’re invited to explore practical ways to achieve total victory in those areas and experience a new way of looking at what it means to be a Christian in Complete Armor. Tuesdays / 7 PM Forming: Change by Grace Contact: Dawn & Gary Belknap / firstname.lastname@example.org Experience a fresh approach to growth and restoration that may be very different from what you have tried before. Instead of relying on willpower and self effort to bring about change, we help you build a relationship with God that is vibrant enough to change you from the inside out. Learn how to “align your sail” to catch the wind of God’s Spirit through in class experiential learning exercises. Thursdays / Begins January 10 / 7–8:45 PM / Workbook is $25 THE HUB MAGAZINE / CCCOMAHA.ORG
R eading G uid e / Decem b er–Ja nuar y The Story is a book of selections from the NIV Bible, arranged chronologically, that reads like a novel. During this unique 31-week message series at CCC, every member of the family reads their own version of The Story. Resources can be purchased online through Amazon or in the Atrium at Christ Community Church at discounted prices. Below are the adult and student readings for December–January.
By December 2 Chapter 15 By December 9 Chapter 16 By December 16 Chapter 17 By December 23 No Reading By December 30 Chapter 18
By January 6 Chapter 19
By January 13 Chapter 20
By January 20 Chapter 21
By January 27 Chapter 22
DECEMBER 2018–JANUARY 2019 / ISSUE 9
CCC CALENDAR | DECEMBER 2018–JANUARY 2019 Visit cccomaha.org/events for additional information, to register for an event, or to purchase tickets. Beyond Belief Generosity Opportunity / 9 & 10:45 AM / To learn more about Beyond Belief, visit gobeyondbelief.org Mission Church Christmas Store / December 6–8 / Mission Church, 3401 Patrick Ave / To sign up to volunteer, visit cccomaha.org/events Every Light that Shines at Christmas, a free Christmas celebration presented by the CCC choir and orchestra / 4 & 7 PM / Worship Center / Please bring hats and gloves for kids at Franklin Elementary / For more information, visit cccomaha.org/events *Baby Dedications / 10:15 AM / For more info and to register, visit cccomaha.org/baby
*High School Christmas Talent Show / 6–9 PM / Student Center / For more info, visit cccomaha.org/hsm
Christmas Prayer Service / 9 AM / Worship Center / Note: No 10:45 AM service No Kids or Student Ministry
Christmas Eve Services / 3 & 5 PM / Worship Center / More info at christmasatccc.com
Christmas Eve Services / 3, 5 & 7 PM / Worship Center / For more info, visit christmasatccc.com
Christmas Day / CCC is closed
No Kids Clubs due to Christmas
No Kids or Student Ministry / Childcare for birth through two-year-olds in the Nursery only
New Year's Day / CCC is closed
Student Takeover / 9 & 10:45 AM
*Free event, preregistration required
**Paid/ticketed event, preregistration required