MARRIAGE CONFERENCE 2018
FEBRUARY 9—10 , 2018 XO is more than just a marriage conference. Fall in love all over again at this romantic event designed to bring you closer together.
Join Jimmy and Karen Evans along with their friends Max Lucado and Craig Groeschel as well as a lineup of other incredible speakers for a marriage conference unlike any other.
To register to attend this life changing global event visit: https://marriagetoday.brushfire.com/xo-simulcast-2018/440127 St. Luke’s Methodist Church Southwest Campus 5805 98th street , Lubbock TX 79424 7pm—9pm Friday 9am—12pm Saturday *Child Care provided*
A NOTE FROM PASTOR ANDY Project Grace 2018 The following is taken from the Denison Forum on January 16, 2018. It is entitled “You Never Know When Jesus is Going to Show Up.” Case Keenum's professional journey has been challenging. Despite a record-setting career in college, he went undrafted by the NFL. He was eventually signed by Houston, where he went 0–8 as their starting quarterback in 2013. He then played for St. Louis, went back to Houston, and then back to St. Louis. After stints as their starter, he was benched and then signed a one-year contract to serve as Minnesota's backup quarterback for 2017. When the starter was injured, he took over in the second week of the season. He led his team to a 13–3 record. After Sunday's last-second play that is already being called the Minnesota Miracle, he's now one game from the Super Bowl. When the game ended, with pandemonium all around, he told a national audience that the miraculous win "probably will go down as the third-best moment of my life." What tops this stunning victory? "Giving my life to Jesus Christ and marrying my wife," Keenum said as the ecstatic crowd roared all around him. One reporter called it an "incredible postgame Jesus moment." Four months ago, Case Keenum had no idea he would make national headlines. He had no idea the bright spotlight of attention was going to shine upon him. But he was ready to share Jesus when his time came. You and I are alive "for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14). You and I have been placed in our specific spheres of influence, whatever they may be, to make a difference for Christ. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the spiritual void of our culture, the secularization of our whole society, and the very clear nominalism of our own city. Here in West Texas we know all about Jesus, we have a belief in God but His presence and His values just don’t make that big a difference in our lives. In 1980 I was a freshman in college at McMurry in Abilene. I attended a Bible Study with Dennis “Sonshine” Townsend where he often challenged us to share Jesus with others. One Friday night we went to the Sonic on North 1st which basically functioned as the turn around for the town drag. As folks were hanging out in their cars or just passing through the parking lot, we would try to initiate a spiritual conversion. I’ll always remember this guy who came through in a black Z-28. He had his windows rolled down and his music blaring. I leaned in and said, “Hey man, do you believe in God?” This guy had a joint in one hand and in beer the other, and he said, “You, blankety blank right I believe in God!” As he drove off, I had a definite Ah-Ha moment. Two things: 1. I needed to get a new question; 2. That guy needed to get a new God, one that could actually, would actually, make a difference in his life. Fast forward 38 years and our culture has truly fast forwarded. Jesus and those who follow him have been pushed to the margins. Anyone is encouraged to express their opinions, their values, but not you! I visit with many folks who are angry and even ready to take up arms about all this, but our world will not be won with our judgement or our criticism but rather through our willing, consistent, persevering investment in the people and places of influence that God has called us. All of us have family, friends, work associates, professional acquaintances, neighbors, and people in our social networks, who need Jesus, who don’t have a Christ-centered family to love them and help them grow, who have a form of religion but who have no clue of God’s power and purpose.
You never know when Jesus is going to show up through you for others, but he can’t do it if you and I won’t let him. This Lent (six weeks from Ash Wednesday to Easter) St. Luke’s is embarking on PROJECT GRACE. Our goal is to have at least 100 followers of Jesus step out and commit to let God’s grace become real in their lives and through their lives. Commitment #1---Create a grace list of five persons that God lays on your heart from your spheres of influence that need Jesus in their lives. Commitment #2---Pray daily for each person on this list every day during Lent. Commitment#3---Meet 3 different times in these six weeks with other Project Grace participants to pray together and to be equipped together to share your faith. We will offer 3 different equipping meetings each week and you find a way to make it to 3 of those trainings over the six weeks of Lent. We will meet: Sundays @ 7pm at Southwest; Wednesdays @ 7pm at Central; Saturdays @ 9am at Southwest. Commitment #4---Invite your list of 5 to a special Grace Party to be held at Southwest April 7th at 7pm. Commitment #5---Be available to God’s Spirit to become His witness, especially in your relationship with those on your Grace List. Case Keenum was ready when his moment of opportunity came. Will you be ready? The key to being reading is being willing. I invite all of you to be a part of PROJECT GRACE 2018. Jim Denison concludes his forum with this challenge: When we have an opportunity to make public our faith in Jesus, we can feel as though we are a defendant on trial, with the other person as the prosecutor looking for ways to defeat our testimony. In fact, Jesus is on trial. The Holy Spirit is the defense attorney, while Satan is the prosecutor. The person with whom you are speaking is the jury. Your job is to go to the stand when the defense attorney calls you and tell what you know as he leads you. You may be the first witness called to the stand, so that you never hear how the jury decides. You may be the last, and thus present when the jury renders a verdict, hopefully for the Defendant. You will probably be somewhere in the middle.
The point: your job is to be ready. Share what you know when given the opportunity and trust the results to God. Praying for the Lord of the Harvest to send us out to His plentiful harvest, Andy
SAVE THE DATE PALM SUNDAY 2018 as Local Pastors lead the people of West Texas in prayer! MARCH 25, 2018 5pm—7pm JONES STADIUM Lubbock, TX
A NOTE FROM PASTOR MATT Growing Young Pastor Andy has one of the best sayings about our congregation, “If we are not growing, we are dying.” So how do we reach people that are younger? Well, Fuller Youth Institute, in conjunction with Fuller Theological Seminary (the next best seminary after my alma mater, Asbury Theological Seminary) studied 250 thriving churches and interviewed 1,300 people ages 15 to 29. Do not be offended if you are over the age of 29! There are other studies, but this one was very interesting to me because guess who is the most difficult age group to reach? People ages 15 – 29! It turns out that reaching young people is not primarily done through a specific worship style. Or a great facility. Or a big budget. Or designing super-entertaining ministry programs. Reaching “young” people happens the same way we reach everyone else: through relationships. These thriving churches that were “growing young” were talking about and living out Jesus’ message in particular ways. These churches are ruthless about focusing on Jesus. They realize that Christianity can be awkward and sometimes confusing, but Jesus is always magnetic. These church leaders paired their teaching about Jesus with clear encouragement to act—both locally and globally. Contrary to what I assumed about this age group, young people stated they wanted to be invited to live radically. In fact, when describing what makes these churches so effective, 40% of these young people highlighted how their congregation “challenged” them. These churches practice “Keychain Leadership.” This type of leadership attracts and keeps ‘young people’ by walking alongside them and handing over access, influence, and responsibility in the various ministries of the church. Think about handing over “the keys” to the church to youth and young adults, which gives them access and influence in certain segments of the church. I think I read somewhere that Jesus offered the same practice to his disciples. These churches empathize with young people. Let’s just face it: life IS different for them as opposed how it was growing up for most of us. My own 14 year old daughter Macy has to face struggles I never dreamed of and can hardly believe even now! The question Growing Young deals with is not how to hang on to those who may be leaving but what is keeping them at the church in the first place? Every older generation needs to be empathetic to young people and the pressures they face. Growing churches foster a warm community. In its research, Growing Young found a number of words like welcoming, accepting, belonging, authentic, hospitable, and caring to be commonplace in churches that retained young people. “The warmth young people seek isn’t usually clean and tidy. That’s just fine, because family isn’t neat. It’s messy. And messy is a good word to describe what young people want from a congregation. They desire not only to share their own messiness but also to walk alongside the authentic messiness of others.” Thriving churches look at every area of church life and ask the question, “How can young people participate?” Again, this is not to exclude us older folks. After all, I am knocking on the door of age 50! “Research continues to affirm that the best predictor of a young person’s faith is the faith of their parents. That means the role of ministry leaders who care about kids also must include the care, equipping, and formation of parents and families… According to pastoral leaders, when parents are intentional about faith building outside of church, overall faith maturity and vibrancy within the congregation rises even more.” Our parents need equipping and that means they need mentors that have, “been there and done that.” Growing young means that even us old people must play a role. Finally, churches that are thriving by growing young put their preaching into practice. Part of the culture of the church is to serve the local community through its time, money, facilities, and people resources. Growing Young suggests it is this kind of culture that keeps young people at church. On one hand there is the good teaching that comes from taking Jesus’ message seriously. On the other hand there is the fact that young people seek to be involved in practically serving others together. The top phrase young people used to describe these churches was “like family.” They talked about “being real” and “being myself here.” What they didn’t talk about was how cool or hip their church may (or may not) have been. Some of these thriving churches were 5 years old while others were over 100 years old. Ask yourself where you can participate and help St. Luke’s grow young. 40-50% of kids in youth groups today drifting away from God and a faith community when they finish up high school. Let’s make this very real for us all. I have one daughter, Andy Coward has one son. Dallas Stevens has a son and a daughter. All are between the ages of 14-17. Which two are you alright with leaving their faith behind and walking away from the church? That really hurts me to even think about and I believe it is an unacceptable percentage. Jesus left the 99 to go after the 1. Let’s grow young together, St. Luke’s! 4
VIDA ABUNDANTE Taking Advantages of Overwhelming Changes. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thess 5:21 A woman who recently moved to the area asked me some days ago, “Why don’t people here cut all those dead trees down?” Smiling, I replied “Because they will come back in spring. Most of our congregation come from tropical areas. Winter is a new or hard experience for many, even for those who have been living here for years. This is the reason I am asking God what he wants me to do during each season of the year. This is the reason I am asking God for direction during each season of the year. During the Christmas season, people get a hunger for communion. Almost everyone looks to gather with families and friends, even when long travels are necessary. The church is an option for those who have no family at all in the country, or travel is not possible. But frequently the snow or ice makes the chances to travel impossible. On the other hand, New Year’s Eve is perfect for resuming the old resolutions and creating new ones , including looking or moving to new places. Better jobs or more company are the major reasons for that. These were situations which our congregation faced in this slow winter, but it looks like this is necessary to refresh life and God’s vision for the oncoming year. 2017 was a good year for me especially, because I learned many things about how the seasons make a strong influence. It changes not only the people's natural environment but spiritual as well. I feel the growing processes will never end and many that are in this place in contrast with the island where I came from, frequently follow seasons. First, I am understanding changes have a more profound meaning than what I usually thought. Second, I am moved by challenges and they are biggest here. Third and the best, as John Wesley said, Is that God is with us!
Jorge Jorge Christmas Card from Projecto Abrigo
MUSIC MINISTRY When the music fades, all is striped away, and I simply come. Longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless Your heart. I’ll bring You more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required. You search much deeper within through the way things appear, You’re looking into my heart. I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You, it’s all about you, Jesus. I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it, when it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus. -- The Heart of Worship, Matt Redman, Thank You Music When Matt Redman penned these words over 21 years ago, His church, Soul Survivor in Watford, England was smack in the middle of the birth of a worship revival that has been sweeping across globe ever since. However, they felt that they were in a bit of an apathetic season though, where their focus and their affection had gone slightly off course, and their worship was stagnant. They found it lacking, their worship seeming hollow. The pastor, Mike Pilvachi, asked them to drop the sound system and the instruments for a season and really focus on aligning their hearts with the Father in worship. According to Redman, it was awkward and weird in the beginning, but people eventually began to step out of their comfort zone to lift their voices in acapella worship and prayers in a new and fresh way. They eventually brought back the instruments and had new and right perspective on worshipping the Living God. Pilvachi says, “…we’d gained a new perspective that worship is all about Jesus, and He commands a response in the depths of our souls no matter what the circumstance and setting.” In John 4, Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman at the well when he says this: But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4.23-24 (NLT) When we look at our worship in light of scripture, it reminds us that God is seeking worshippers like you and me. He is looking for people who will worship with our whole being… with our emotions, with the depths of our soul, with our bodies as living sacrifices, as well as worshipping through the lens of the Truth of the Word of God. He calls us to worship not because he is egotistical and power hungry, but rather because he wants to be in relationship with us. He wants us to be near. Scripture shows us that when we spend time in the Presence of God, we have one of two options… We can draw near and be molded in his image more and more each time we encounter Him and literally radiate the Glory of God, or we can harden our hearts and walk away cold and lifeless. It is my desire that we continually draw near to the Lord and worship in spirit and in truth each day. Come Holy Spirit. Draw us near to the heart of the Father as we learn to cultivate a heart of worship .
MISSION TRIP UPDATE A team of youth and adults traveled to Cypress, TX to work on houses flooded by Hurricane Harvey. These homes were flooded when Addicks Reservoir was released. The teams did everything from paint, install electrical items to replacing water heaters in the attics of these homes. The home owners and community were so grateful. Even restaurants gave us discounts when they heard why we were there. Thanks to Cypress United Methodist Church for hosting us.
CHILDREN’S MINISTRY Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says that the truth of God’s word is to be impressed on our children and that we are to instruct our children in a natural way- as we sit around the house, as se walk around, as we lie down, and as we rise. At a recent conference, Jim Wideman, one of the pioneers of children's ministry, made this profound statement, "I wish I hadn't spent so many years teaching kids to love Jesus. I wish I would've taught them to love the Word, because if they love the Word, they will automatically love Jesus." As Christian parents and leaders, we yearn to see our sons and daughters not only read the Bible but fall in love with God’s Holy Word. We know that this is how their knowledge and understanding of God will grow. But how do we help our reluctant readers develop this important spiritual discipline? Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula that will turn a child into a Bible-lover, but there are numerous things we can do to help. That is why I want to give your family the 135 challenge. Establish a routine as a family whether at the breakfast table, right before bed, or some time in between, reading the Bible as a family helps children immerse in the truths and stories of Scripture. You may think that the Bible reading is lost on a fidgety toddler, but when you establish a routine of family Bible readings, you child grows to expect it. The number one in the 135 plan is for one proverb a day. Proverbs is full of practical wisdom. One chapter a day will get you through through the whole book in a month. The number three is for one Psalm a day. It gets your heart engaged and captures every emotion. The five is for five chapters a day or you can do a week. Choose five chapters from the New Testament and hammer those chapters the entire month. This plan is intended to go deep. I want to see our community get hungry for the Word and have a relationship with the Word. The Bible takes a lifetime to study and it may seem daunting but I want to help your family approach this New Year. When reading the Word the Holy Spirit will highlight something, stop and ask him why its being highlighted. Discuss as a family what God is teaching you. Your children will learn from you and you will learn insight from them as well. Proverbs 27:17 says as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
HIGHLIGHT: KIDS LIVE FAMILY EVENT We had a blast at the Kids Live Family Event: Glow Night. Families made pizza’s together. Then while the pizza’s were baking, kids and parents did a glow in the dark scavenger hunt around the church.
January’s curriculum has been really good and I have really enjoyed teaching it to the kids. The main thing the kids have learned is to practice hearing and DOING what God says, practice praying to God, practice talking about God, and practice living for God. I am excited to see the fruit that this month’s lessons will produce in our kids. Next month we are talking all about kindness. Today we often hear or tell ourselves, “If it doesn’t make me happy, I’m not going to do it.” This isn’t how Jesus taught us to live. He taught us to be kind to everyone and to put others first. We will learn to be kind to others because God is kind to us, to be kind to our family and friends, to be kind to people who are overlooked, and to be kind to people who aren’t kind to you. This last one is one of the hardest things to do. When others are mean to us sometimes our first reaction is to retaliate. It takes setting this standard for yourself when no one is treating you badly in order to put it in to practice when someone does treat you badly in the future. What do your kids see you model in this area. How do you react when others treat you bad? Think of ways your family can show kindness to others throughout February.
In February we will be learning all about KINDNESS. Theme —->
February’s Memory Verse:
Registration for the 2018 -2019 school year begins in February! We offer a morning preschool program for 3 and 4 year olds focusing on developing the key core knowledge skills children need in a loving, play- centered, Christian school. 2 day, 3 day or 5 day a week classes available. Come learn about our half day Christian based private kindergarten providing a small personalized setting while meeting the academic goals for kindergarten. 9
December was a full month where we learned all about Generosity. Both campuses did tree trimming at the beginning of December. It is so much fun to fellowship with other believers as we decorate ornaments for the sanctuary trees.
Many families participated in a Night in Bethlehem. Kids dressed up as Mary, Joseph, an angle, a shepherd, and the wise men to participate in the live nativity that greeted guested as they entered the church. Families then experienced things Jesus could have done during his time on earth such as woodworking and masonry.
The Kidâ€™s Christmas Eve (Eve) Services was fun and engaging. Kids heard the story of Jesusâ€™ birth in a new way, told by a one person Shakespearean actress/puppet. We made ornaments with the nativity inside and took communion together as a family. We learned that gifts are not about the beautiful wrapping paper or even the gift that it is inside. Presents are about the love that is put into giving.
SPRING UPCOMING EVENTS: February 9th & 10th – XO Marriage Conference – We will have programing for kids during this time also! February 25th – St. Luke’s Singers & Cherubs Sing @ SW March 11th – No Choir practice or Kids Live! – ENJOY YOUR SPRING BREAK March 25th – PRAY AT THE JONES – St. Luke’s Singers will practice @ Central, No Kids Live or Cherub Practice March 31st – 1:00 pm – Easter Egg Hunt @ Central 2 -4 pm – Easter Eggstravaganza @ SW April 1st – Happy Resurrection Day (No Choir Practice or Kids Live) May 6th – All Church Picnic @ SW May 20th – Kids Live Family Event
MARK YOUR CALENDAR, SUMMER EVENTS: June 4th – 8th – VBS 9am – Noon @ Central June 25th – 29th – One Way 4-6 Camp July 9th – 13th – Sports Camp 6 – 8 pm @ SW July 16th – 21st – Whoz We R Camp (4th – 6th Grade) July 23rd – 27th – Music Camp – 9am – Noon @ Central July 30th – Aug 1st – Lil’ Ceta 3 Download the free Parent Cue App (Available for IOS and Android Devices)
**Contact D’Lea or Alli for a copy of the Spring Children’s Ministries Calendar. Check out our website: stlukeslids.com, or get added to our Children’s Ministries Facebook page. Also sign up for Remind101 by downloading the app and joining our class: @stlukekids.
RAGGAMUFFINS Encounter Jesus February is here and that means one thing for our Ragamuffin Students: ENCOUNTER 2018!!! Every year our students get together with youth groups from other local churches for a weekend of worship, fun, deep connection, and most of all: the opportunity to Encounter Jesus in a new way. And I can tell you from 7 years of involvement with Encounter that few students leave without the flame of Christ burning within them.
I am calling on you to encourage your student; or maybe the student of someone you know; or heck, find a student walking by you in church on Sunday morning and encourage them to sign up for Encounter 2018. I can promise God will do his part to ambush them with the love of Christ. The real challenge however, is not seeing that students Encounter Christ. The challenge is what awaits them when the weekend is over. Our students need homes, churches, and friends to come back to that have the same fire in their bones for the God’s unfailing love. If we continue to send them off to a place where they can experience the living God, and don’t change the environment in which they spend most of their adolescent lives, we are not only letting them down, but we are stunting the work God is doing in their hearts. They will meet Jesus in their small groups, will they meet Him in you? So, come February 16-18th, as our students Encounter Jesus in very real and very transformative ways, let me challenge you to do the same. Let’s do our part as their true leaders to make sure Christ is found in every area of their lives, not just in the big moments.
Will you join me in changing their world? Love you, Kurtis
Encounter 2018 February 16-18 $50 - Sign up at:
MARRIAGE CONFERENCE 2018 FEBRUARY 9—10 , 2018 Join Jimmy and Karen Evans along with their friends Max Lucado and Craig Groeschel as well as a lineup of other incredible speakers for a marriage conference unlike any other. To register to attend this life changing global event visit:
St. Luke’s Lubbock Southwest Campus 5805 98th street , Lubbock TX 79424 7pm—9pm Friday 9am—12pm Saturday *Child Care provided*
February 18th—April 29th 5pm—7pm St. Luke’s Southwest Campus Register Now: www.daveramsey.com