Others First

I remember my college days, a loooooong time ago, and I am grateful for some people that invested in my life. They pointed me in the right direction with God’s Truth and what He has to say about living a life that follows Jesus. One of those thoughts had to do with Servant Leadership. I have to admit, I seem to find myself failing at this attitude that is so greatly displayed in Christ. I must remind myself, as Paul does here in Philippians Chapter 2, that the commandment to LOVE my NEIGHBOR requires me to individually and personally to LOOK UP.

OTHERS FIRST is an easy way to explain this posture. We must move from a ME centered spectrum, that revolves around all MY INTERESTS and move toward an OTHERS mentality that LOOKS UP and realizes that there is a whole world out there that needs attention. I think that if we take this simple concept and decide to put OTHERS FIRST, we realize that we are making an impact by following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ Himself.


This month, we have been going through the Rebel lesson series for our MSM Sunday Morning Bible Study, and your student is learning about the importance of obedience and what not to do when God calls you through studying the story of Jonah.

We realize that you, as parents, are the primary faith influencers in your child’s life. The best disciple making takes place when students’ parents take the lead. Here are some conversation starters to help you talk with your child about what they’re learning:

  • What’s something that stood out to you or surprised you from this lesson series on Jonah?
  • What’s an application you’ve made and how is it going?
  • In what areas of your life is it hardest to be obedient to God? How can you grow in that?
  • How can I be praying for you?

6th Grade Retreat is Next Weekend, October 8-9

We are heading to Camp Eagle Friday, October 8 with a Charter Bus full of 6th graders!

We have a few spots still available, so sign up on the link below to guarantee your 6th Grader makes it on the BUS.

As the Middle School Pastor, I find great joy in getting to know the new students that step into the Oakwood Student Ministry for the first time. I realize that there is a wide gap between a 6th grade student and what will eventually be a 12th grader that graduates out of the Oakwood Student Ministry.

Our intention for the 6th Grade Retreat is to get away, focus on what counts -that’s relationships –and help your 6th grader own their personal growth in their relationship with Jesus.

We know that 6th graders have TONS OF ENERGY! That is why in such a short time, Camp Eagle is the perfect place to do life with your student and have fun. From capture the flag, to bonfires, to the mineshaft experience, to our “family style” meals, we find a sense of community and enjoy running off some of that “youth energy.”

6th Grade Retreat at Camp Eagle

Our overnight retreat is designed with your 6th grader in mind. We hop on the Charter Bus after School Friday, enjoy the great outdoors at Camp Eagle, and spend time talking over the basics of following Jesus. This is an opportunity for your 6th grader to get up close and personal with Small Group Leaders, the OSM Band, and Pastor B, along with some ADVENTURES we take at Camp Eagle. Before you know it, we are back at Oakwood Saturday night.

Step 3 – SHOW


When we find the goodness and the sweetness of Shipley Do-Nuts, we have a choice to make. We can keep the goodness to ourselves, or, perhaps, we might love those tasty treats so much, that we want to share the goodness with others.


The truth of the matter is that living the life for JESUS is GOOD NEWS. This is something that we don’t want to keep for ourselves. We’ve got to give it away.



The essence of who God is… IS LOVE! Read what 1 John has to say about it:

1 John 4:7-8

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

The ultimate reality is that GOD IS LOVE. The self-sacrificing love that is displayed in Jesus Christ is something that no human being can offer without the influence of a personal relationship with Him.

In fact, this LOVE can be the single most important evidence of GOD.

1 John 4:9-10

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:11-13

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

The sweetness of following JESUS is that HE LOVED US first, and we get to take part in showing that LOVE to others. The beauty of God’s amazing plan is that when we do SHOW THE LOVE OF JESUS, we put GOD on display. That love can even be “perfected in us.”



Second Step – GROW

OUR MSM Second step is GROW.

As we work to connect the amazing SHIPLEY DO-NUT to Spiritual steps in the MSM, we take the second step to think through and realize that this one is a process.

Think about all the brain changes, hormone changes, brace-face changes, school/educational changes, on top of all the cultural and world-wide changes that hover over us on a daily basis. Just the body alone is a growth process and seems to have intentionality within it.

Much like a GOURMET RECIPE for a SHIPLEY DO-NUT, God has a certain WAY of moving in our lives and a PATH for GROWTH spiritually.

1 John Chapter 2 speaks to those who keep HIS WORD as those who find the perfection of GOD’S LOVE. If we live in HIM and walk as JESUS walked, we begin the process of growth.

THIS RECIPE comes with GOD’S WORD or HIS TRUTH. WE GROW WHEN WE KNOW GOD’S TRUTH. In fact, John goes on to say that the “anointing” as reference to the Holy Spirit is what teaches us THE TRUTH.


Growth is a process