Posted on Sep 10, 2015 in Faith Updates
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity of getting together with a very close friend, one whom I’ve known for as long as I can remember. He was at one time a believer, but no longer calls himself a Christian. As I met with this friend, we began, as good friends often do, to reflect on deeper subjects, particularly hot button issues that have emerged in the media as of late (gay rights, social injustices, etc.). It was not anything heated or tense, but rather an honest discussion between two people with different points of view.
I am thankful that God has put people like my friend in my life. Although my heart often breaks for him and his leaving of the faith, there is something eye-opening about engaging with someone who stands outside the religious circle. As an evangelical Christian, I try to view the world around me through the perspective of Scriptural teaching, seeking to live in such a way as to honor Christ in every aspect.
It is conversations like this one that remind me how much tension there is between a God-honoring Christian life and the secular world around us. All the more, this tension is not solely outside the church, but in it as well, as Christians will grapple with how they ought to live in light of our belief, yet effectively engage our culture.
This tension is real, and can be frustrating. However, it’s ultimately a good thing. Often times I am tempted to flee our culture altogether, staying reclined in my “Christian bubble” with the hopes of not coming in contact with a polluted world. But this is not how Jesus lived. Again and again we read of how Jesus engaged those who were outside the Jewish religious circle of his day: the tax collectors, Samaritans, adulterers and prostitutes. In fact, when the Pharisees questioned why he dined with sinners, Jesus answered simply; “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matt. 912). He knew that his purpose was not to remain with those who were righteous, but to live with those who were in the world. As the Apostle Paul notes, a lifestyle of avoiding these kinds of people would involve leaving the world altogether (1 Cor. 5:10)! The tension brought upon followers of Christ by fallen humanity is one that stretches the believer and ultimately grows their faith.
God is not against culture, nor is He defined by it. Rather, He is the Redeemer of culture. He seeks to conform his people ever more to His image. And a life of holiness often causes tension for each of us who have been born into an unholy world. So rather than running from this tension, let’s embrace it. Let us wrestle with our own sin, struggle with our faith and culture, and demonstrate Christ’s love to a world that is broken and yearning for a Savior.
Living in tension,
Interim Director of Student Ministries
Here’s What’s Happening at Faith
Sunday’s All-Church Picnic – Don’t forget to join us!
Two Important Things:
1. Seating will be provided on a limited basis (for our seniors or parents with young ones), so if you’d like to sit while you eat and you don’t fit one of those categories, be sure to bring a lawn chair!
2. We will be holding a “Dollar Draw” at NOON, giving away some sweet prizes. Be sure to bring a few dollars with you so you can enter into the drawing!
Pastoral Search Team
Initial interviews for our four Senior Pastor candidates have been scheduled; they will take place in the next couple of weeks. Once these have been completed, selected candidates will be invited to a second round of interviews. We continue to rely on prayer, Gods direction and Gods timing in the process. Please continue in prayer with us as we move through the search process. Contact the Search Committee at SearchCommittee@FaithCovenant.org with comments or questions.
Men’s & Women’s Ministry Kick-offs
All men and women at Faith, mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 16 at 6:30pm so you can participate in the fall ministry kick-offs for Men’s or Women’s Ministries. Beginning at 6:30pm, women will enjoy fellowship through a game night (with chocolate), and men will kick off their new ministry with a cook out. Each ministry will also have sign-ups available for their new studies, which begin the next week. Contact Chase at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Beth at email@example.com with questions.
Men’s and Women’s Fall Mid-Week Studies
Beginning the week of September 21, our men’s and women’s ministries will offer weekly studies on Wednesday nights (also Tuesday mornings for women). Sign up in the lobby today, or at faithcovenant.org (adult ministries). Men’s study: A Man and His Marriage; Women’s study: Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted. Contact Chase at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Beth at email@example.com with questions.
Faith Food Outreach
We have been serving 300-400+ families each month for the past 7 years at FFO. We have had many helpful hands and feet assist in making this outreach a success. Currently we are getting only 2/3 of the volunteers needed to continue this event. There is a sign up in the lobby and we need ALL volunteers, new and long time, to sign up so that we know in advance that we have enough volunteers for the evening. For more information, please contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Vision Night of Worship
Tickets are available in the lobby for the Night of Worship Benefit Concert on September 24 at 7pm. All proceeds from this event will provide sustainable access to clean water to children in Africa. See Vicki Newendorp or TWVnightofworship.eventbrite.com for details.
On Sunday, October 18 we will have baptisms in our worship service, open to all who wish to participate in this step of faith (including adults, students and infants). Classes will be held on Sunday, Sept 27 at 9am, and Wednesday, Sept 30 at 7pm. Please attend one. Parents of infants/toddlers need to fill out an application by September 21, and attend class. RSVP to email@example.com.
Prime Time September Lunch
Our monthly lunch gathering for seniors at Faith will kick-off on Thursday, September 17 at 11:30am with a yummy lunch and remarks from Aaron & Anne Eicher about how they feel called to volunteer with Team World Vision. If you are 55+, RSVP to 952.890.3110 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat. Volunteers are also needed monthly to prep, serve or clean up. If you can minister to our seniors this way, contact Sally at email@example.com.