Hey Five Oakers! This is Tim Bubar, Student Ministries Director, guest-blogging while Henry is on sabbatical.
#1 - Challenge 2012 starts Sunday! If you don't know, Challenge is the bi-annual student conference of the EFCA. We're leaving saturday morning with 2 buses full of 96 teenagers, and 17 adults. We'll spend the week worshiping together, learning from Colossians, and serving in the city.
#2 - There's a ton of prayer involved in Challenge. Last night at Fusion, more than 50 of us gathered to pray for Challenge and for the high schoolers and recent grads who've gone out from our group to serve this summer at camps and on missions teams. I love seeing our students praying together! Please be in prayer for our group next week. Our hope is that God will use this experience as a catalyst in the lives of students. Our prayer team has taken on one of the role of supporting one of the Challenge gatherings next week. On Thursday night, Five Oakers will be praying here in Woodbury while about 6,000 of us are worshiping and hearing Shane Stacey, EFCA's director of ReachStudents, challenge us to take the amazing hope we have in Christ to the world around us.
#3 - Our group will be serving in New Orleans during some of the afternoons next week, but we're staying one extra day in town so we can help with some additional projects. We're partnering with TouchGlobal, the crisis response arm of the EFCA. Amazingly, almost 7 years after Hurricane Katrina, there are still people who haven't been able to move back into their homes. One of them is Miss Mary. A crooked contractor made off with all of her money about 5 years ago, and recently thieves broke in and stole her a/c unit, copper plumbing and electrical wires. The money that our students raised and that others have generously donated will allow us to help Miss Mary move forward with getting back into her house. What an incredible opportunity for us to be the Church and demonstrate God's love!
#4 - Here are your comments (and a few of mine) from last weekend:
- I love the better = better than yesterday, not others. My drum corps motto is “Better Every Day.” It’s an amazing way to live. (I love it too! Not sure who came up with that tag line, but I've got a feeling it was Dan Lukas)
- Great and meaningful message.
- Great job Tim! You really brought substance and clarity to a very (possibly) confusing passage. Thank you. Powerful!
- Excellent message Tim. Your point that my children’s gifts, abilities and accomplishments do not prove anything about myself. Those things will not (and were never meant to) satisfy my need for affirmation and acceptance. God is the only one who can do that for me. Justin – “I’ll Stand” – reminds me to surrender it all everyday.
- Thanks Justin – for rocking the house – we love you, Lord!
- Great job Tim!
- Tim Bubar! Isn’t it fascinating how simple God’s creation appears. Like a simple tree, doesn’t look ominous or massive. But how complex it is when we see how God root’s it to God’s foundation. How can a root that small be so tough and strong and hold so much. We are so simple minded. (Couldn't agree more. There were a lot of illustrations in that "little" yard project. A friend who came by and saw the dead, diseased tree after it was removed and the new, living tree in its place said, "Well, that's a picture of the gospel right there!" I love that God can use every part of our lives - even home improvement nightmares - to remind us of his power and grace.)
- Tim, great point you made that our spouse, our kids were never intended to sustain us. Thanks for that perspective as we disciple our kids in everyday life!
- I loved this worship set and the harmonies, guitars and Alex you are a great drummer! Great message Tim. Thank you so much. Excellent finish with treasure in the field. We know the cost what we are getting because we know who and what we are getting in return. Great final song.
- You spoke to my heart Tim Bubar. God wants nothing to be placed ahead of Him. Not our spouses, not our kids. I pray I will continue to understand what this truly means.
- Great message! Love the use of “what is he not saying” and “what he is saying” to reinforce the points. Great job Tim! (Its always good to know what "works" to help people learn from a message. Preparing a message for our weekend services in an intimidating and humbling task. Every time I do it, I'm amazed that Henry does it every week! But its an incredible privilege, and God always provides, and He deserves all the glory.)
- Music too loud as I was on the prayer team. I had to yell, almost can’t hear persons request and pray with them.
- The floor-level backlights on stage were distractingly bright and “in your face” pointed out into the worship center as they are (5:00 Sat. gathering). (This was a leftover oops from VBS stage reset. We fixed it for the Sunday services)
- Recycling bins for leftover communication cards.
#5 - We send comment cards to guests and here's the latest one we received back:
- 5/21 I will continue to worship with you. I’ve been praying and seeking a church since I left Mt. Olivet AG in Apple Valley. This church is SO similar. Thank you for being ‘real’ in your ministry. Thank you very much for coffee mug and café coupons.
- 6/17 I am a member of another church. I occasionally visit church with my granddaughter Emily Hagen. I always enjoy your service.
Serving with you,
Tim Bubar - Student Ministries Director