Monthly Archives: March 2011

April Activities

Believe it or not, April is almost here! I am really excited about some of the opportunities we are going to have during the month of April at Vann Avenue. I wanted to highlight a few of those opportunities as they pertain to the Youth ministry at Vann. Before I get to the opportunities let me remind us all why the youth ministry exists at Vann.

The Youth Ministry of Vann Avenue exists to Partner with Parents and Families to help the Home glorify God by leading youth to Encounter God, Experience Community, and Engage our Community in word and deed.

That may seem like a mouthful, but I hope the activities and opportunities we plan and promote will serve to accomplish the vision we see laid out for us in the Word of God. Now to the activities…

  • Caze Elementary Spring Carnival (Friday, April 8th from 4PM-8PM) We have been asked by Caze Elementary if we would like to support their carnival again by supplying volunteers and water. This particular opportunity is for the whole family as well. We will have the opportunity to pass out the bottled water and help them at different carnival games if needed. It is a great opportunity to be with some of the families from our community and engage them through the act of service.
  • Sunday Morning Madness (Sunday, April 10th at 9:30AM) We want to encourage all our youth to be present in our 9:30AM Sunday school time. This is the first day kicking off our Spring Revival and we want to work hard at bringing friends as well. Prizes will be given!
  • Sunday Night Revive (Sunday, April 10th at 5PM) This is the Sunday night of revival. We want to start the evening out in the Outreach Center where we will be eating, having fun, and giving out some more prizes as well. We want to pack the house on Sunday night!!!!! More will be said about this later, but if you know anyone who likes to have a good time and needs to hear about Jesus, Sunday night is the night! I believe Vann’s Youth can pack this place!
  • Youth Parent Meeting (Sunday, April 17th after the morning service) After the morning service we will be having a short informational meeting in the room behind the piano.
  • Youth Spring Jam (Saturday, April 23rd from 6PM-10PM) We are excited to have our first Spring Jam at Vann. We are encouraging all youth (7th-12th) to be here and bring friends, as we get together for food, dodge-ball Tournament, and music. We will also have a drawing during the evening for prizes, one of which is an ipod touch.

Although this is not an exhaustive list of all that is going on at Vann, it would be helpful to get these opportunities on your calendar. As always, I will continue to update as we go.

April’s topic on Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings is Apologetics throughout the month. We hope all youth take advantage of our small group ministry on Sunday mornings from 9:30AM to 10:15AM and our Sunday evening larger group from 5PM to 7PM.

Our Wednesday night gathering will continue to go through the book, Crazy Love, throughout the month of April from 6:00PM to 6:45PM.


Chapter 5 of Crazy Love

“Most of our thoughts are centered on the money we want to make, the school we want to attend, the body we aspire to have, the spouse we want to marry, the kind of person we want to become…But the fact is that nothing should concern us more than our relationship with God; it’s about eternity, and nothing compares with that. God is not someone who can be tacked on to our lives.”

How will they hear?

And I have other sheep that are not of the fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd…John 10:16″

But how will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?…Romans 10:14-15a”

When the Blind See!

This past weekend I was thankful for the opportunity to speak at Vann Avenue. We continued to look at the letter to the Philippians and specifically Philippians 1:12-14. From these few verses we recognized Paul, in light of his situation, continued to share with those who needed to hear about Jesus. Paul, by God’s grace, continued to share the good news of Jesus even when it might have been easier to feel sorry for himself. We also saw, in light of his situation, Paul continued to encourage followers of Jesus as well. Paul knew Jesus was bigger than any situation he was in. Others saw Paul’s confidence in Christ and gained confidence to share Christ as well. One might say they had a God Perspective on their current situation. As I was reading this morning through the Gospel of John, I was reminded of the time Jesus gave me this perspective as well.

In John 9 we are introduced to a man born blind. This man has never seen anything but darkness. This man has only contributed to society through begging. Now all the sudden he hears a man speak about being the light of the world, he feels him put mud on his face and tells him to go and wash it off. No ordinary day for this guy!

What we read next is this same man, returning from washing, seeing for the first time in his life. This man is now taking his first steps with a new God Perspective. As with all who have been brought from darkness to light, he goes from beggar to bold proclaimer. Asked by neighbors and the Pharisees how this man who was once blind now sees, he says Jesus did it.

As they begin to question him once again, and even question whether he was ever blind, he says “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see (v.25b).”

Not only does he go from beggar to bold proclaimer, he goes from worthless (at least in the eyes of society) to worshiper. He says to Jesus in verse 38, “Lord I believe,” and he worshiped him.” Notice Jesus doesn’t tell him to get up and stop worshiping. This man knows God has said,  “You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3).” Why doesn’t Jesus rebuke him and tell him to get up? This man is doing what he was created to do, worship God!

This man went from blind to bold proclaimer. This man went from worthless to worshiper.

Can you relate to the story? Have you been given this God Perspective? God is still giving sight to blind people. The blindness I refer to is a spiritual blindness. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12).” Maybe you can relate to the man who would have been considered worthless. This man found worth, not in himself, but in Jesus. He didn’t just need a dose of self-confidence, he needed Jesus.

Having a God Perspective begins with God Himself giving you sight to see Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life. This perspective begins when you agree with God that you are have chosen to ignore Him and go your own way (Ephesians 2:1-3). Upon turning away from your own ways, you now turn to Christ. You believe He died for your sins and rose on the third day. You now see God as merciful, loving, and gracious (Ephesians 2:5-9). Lastly, you see your life with meaning and purpose. You now walk with sight. You seek to share and live for Jesus (Ephesians 2:10).

As I sit here in downtown Indianapolis, I am freshly reminded of what He has done for me. I sit here in a coffee shop watching people come and go, and I say the same thing that was said almost 2000 years ago. “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see!”


Does Love Win Like This?

I have finally got my copy of Love Wins by Rob Bell. Not finally, as if I can’t wait to dig in and learn. Finally, because I want to read this book with biblical discernment and recognize where author, Rob Bell takes a liberal approach to Scripture. I first was made aware of Rob Bell during my days of seminary where we read his book, Velvet Elvis. This book began my concern for Rob Bell’s theology, and so it is no surprise to me what comes out in Love Wins. Rob Bell is a great communicator. Many have enjoyed his Nooma videos. Bell usually enjoys asking thought provoking questions without landing the plane where he stands. The runway is getting clearer.

I want to make you aware of some helpful websites if you choose to read this book (prayerfully discerning).

Justin Taylor (The Gospel Coalition)

Southern Seminary (Video and highly recommended)

Rob Bell interview


In the back of the book, Crazy Love, Francis Chan is asked the question “You talk about what it means to be a lukewarm Christian. You make a bold statement that “churchgoers who are ‘lukewarm’ are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven.” How do you explain this? How does grace play into this statement?

Francis Chan’s response is, “I explain it through the passage of Revelation 3 and look at the passage objectively. God says that the lukewarm will be spit out of His mouth, and that is drastically different than God embracing you and welcoming you into heaven. The lukewarm still need to be saved. How can we say a lukewarm Christian is saved? Salvation has nothing to do with my performance. If I’m truly saved, then my actions are going to show. All through the New Testament a person’s faith is shown through his actions. New Testament teachings are clear that someone who loves God and doesn’t obey God is a liar, and the truth is not in him. It’s not popular to question someone’s actions and salvation, and Scripture tells us to test ourselves and see if we’re really in the faith. I believe 100 percent in grace, that I did nothing, and I’m completely saved by the cross. By the grace of God we believe and are saved. If someone has the Holy Spirit in them, there will be fruit, and there will not be a lukewarm life.”

Don’t Forget Your Clocks!

Whether you do it at 2AM or before you go to bed, don’t forget to spring forward Saturday night!

From Fear to Love

Sunday night we are going to be talking about the Gospel and have we “got it.” Hope you will plan to be there!

Villanova’s Team Managers

During Sunday mornings in the Youth area we are learning about the topic of Spiritual Gifts. The “big” question for the morning is “What are some of the spiritual gifts?” We will learn there are a variety of gifts. Yes, there are some gifts God gives to be used in the front of others. However, there are also gifts that are more “behind the scenes” but NO LESS important for benefiting others. This video reminded me of the lessons we are learning. These two student managers may not be making baskets on the court, but they are no less important to the team.

Click the picture, then scroll down and watch the video. Be warned, it will touch your heart.