We are ending our I AM A WORSHIPER CHALLENGE with a night to focus on Jesus and all that He has done for us.
‘But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” ‘ John 4:23-24
Keep Austin Weird. The City of Austin’s motto is lived out through its artistic culture and love of food trucks. But with any rapidly growing big city, there are also underserved neighborhoods. Through our local partnerships, students will learn how the church is responding to these needs in very real ways. Your team will serve in a variety of local ministries, ranging from a food pantry to a rescue mission. Students will also get the opportunity to explore Austin during our Mission Race and they’ll hike local outdoor adventure spots.
Why so close to home?
We understand that the location is not too far away. Given the current circumstances and the freedom to plan a trip, Austin seems to be a great match. Our heart at the Oakwood Student Ministry is to discover new ministry opportunities that might arise from this trip.
Through our various partnerships, students will gain insight into what ministry in an urban environment really looks like. Opportunities include: soup kitchen, working at a neighborhood outreach center, and more.
Students will have the opportunity to explore downtown Austin during the Mission Race, explore local parks and conservatories, and go hiking.
Weather: Summers are hot and temperatures frequently average 90°F.
Transportation: Rental Vans
First Aid: Most LeaderTreks staff are First Aid and CPR certified. Please bring your own team first aid kit.
Day 1: (Sunday) Arrive at site by 4pm- Settle in
Day 2: (Monday) Serve with local community ministry
Day 3: (Tuesday) Serve with local community ministry
Day 4: (Wednesday) Mission Race
Day 5: (Thursday) Serve with local community ministry
Our OSM GAME NIGHT before Spring Break involved a simple game called IMPOSSIBLE SHOT. We went “big time” with the huge logo print out and a board backing to set up the target. The prize?
One full year of all OSM EVENTS paid!
Check out the Video Below
The simple game involves a nerf bow and arrow, a long distance, and the perfect shot… that’s why it’s called IMPOSSIBLE SHOT!
We tied in IMPOSSIBLE SHOT with MISSING THE MARK referenced in Romans 3:23.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
Romans 3:22-24 ESV
We can literally insert the greek word hamartía into the text to pull out the word picture presented and end up with:
“for all have [missed the mark] and fall short of the glory of God,“
Reality is, we have all missed it. The accuracy required to perfectly hit the target of the Godliness expected from the Father is unobtainable or IMPOSSIBLE.
Take the Rich Young Ruler that encountered Jesus and seemed to have a successful life with wealth to back up his claims. He seemed to hit the target with resources and following the guidelines setup by the Ten Commandments. You could say he was a “good guy.” However, Jesus challenges him to give up all his wealth. It seems that the ask to follow Jesus went deeper than outer appearance. Jesus was going for the Rich Young Ruler’s heart.
Even the disciples questioned Jesus about eternal things. It seems that they could not wrap their minds around what Jesus was aiming at. What they saw with their eyes and heard with their ears seemed to make salvation itself… IMPOSSIBE.
Jesus comes back with a key statement that we can all take to heart:
Reality is, it is IMPOSSIBLE for humankind to reconcile with a Holy God.
That is why we need Jesus to take the bow and arrow, line up the shot for us, and nail it right in the target. PERFECT SHOT!
As fully God and fully man, Jesus aimed at the target of the cross. He lived as a perfect example and died in our place on the cross to pay for the overwhelming debt of sin that makes eternal salvation impossible. What seems to be impossible for mankind to pay, Jesus took care of by not only dying, but raising again to give us hope for eternity.
Will You Allow Jesus To Do The IMPOSSIBLE for YOU?
The man we know as St. Patrick was born around 389 AD in England. His father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest.
The Roman Empire was still in titular control of Britain, but their demoralized armies were unable to protect the island from Irish invaders. Farms were pillaged and teenagers enslaved. Patrick was taken at age sixteen. An Irish farmer bought him as a slave and put him to work tending sheep.
Somehow Patrick came to personal faith in Christ in the midst of his tribulations. He later wrote, “The Lord opened to me a sense of my unbelief, that I might be converted with all my heart unto the Lord.”
Patrick received a vision from God when he was twenty-two, a clear signal to run from Ireland for his home. Risking his life, he was able to evade his captors and return to his family. But his heart was heavy for the spiritual condition of his Irish captors.
Following another vision, Patrick devoted himself for seven years to Bible study, then he returned to Ireland as a missionary. The Irish were almost completely without Christ, worshiping the elements and spirits in trees and stones and engaging in magic and even human sacrifice.
Patrick got to work.
When his career was done, he had established some two hundred churches in Ireland and led more than one hundred thousand people to faith in Christ, despite more than a dozen attempts on his life. He is today the patron saint of Ireland. His death on March 17, 461 is remembered each year as St. Patrick’s Day.
However, there’s even more to his story.
In the following century, Irish Christians who were spiritual descendants of St. Patrick’s ministry sailed back to Britain, where they evangelized the heathen who had overrun the country. They established monasteries and copied books being destroyed elsewhere.
According to Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization, these men “single-handedly refounded European civilization throughout the continent.”
You could make the argument that St. Patrick deserves to be on anyone’s top-ten list of all-time most influential Christians. But you’d have a hard time getting Patrick to agree.
In his Confessions, Patrick wrote, “I am greatly a debtor to God, who has bestowed his grace so largely upon me, that multitudes were born again to God through me. The Irish, who had never had the knowledge of God and worshiped only idols and unclean things, have lately become the people of the Lord, and are called sons of God.”
He closed his memoirs by explaining the secret to his history-changing ministry:
“Do you judge, and let it be most firmly believed, that it was the gift of God. And this is my Confession, before I shall die.”
The Oakwood Student Middle school Ministry Wednesday Night Activities and Sunday Morning Bible Study will continue to follow Mask Protocols in regard to keeping in step with Oakwood’s Statement by Pastor Ray.
Below is a repost from Pastor Ray’s written statement and a link to the original post.
This past week the Governor of Texas rescinded the mask mandate that Oakwood has been observing in accordance to the Scripture’s direction to obey those in authority (Romans 13:1, Titus 3:1). Beginning Sunday March 14, 2021 masks will not be required at Oakwood. However, wearing a mask is highly recommended by the CDC and health professionals to help stop the spread of COVID-19. For the safety of our volunteers in the children and student ministries areas, we will continue to require masks while in those facilities. Throughout this pandemic, it has been my prayer that we—as Christ’s followers —remember our Lord’s instruction in Mark 12:30-31: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Let’s continue to work together to keep those attending safe.
When we are faced with this question, many things might pop up in our minds. That movie scene, where monks are walking in a single file line, mumbling something in a monotone voice. We might easily envision the “praise and worship” time during a church gathering. Maybe you have read an account of a great man of faith that portrayed a “worshipful” way of life. Perhaps you have encountered God yourself, and visions of that moment bring back encouragement or remind you of a sense of great conviction. The truth is, if we are Christ Followers, we are meant to end up DOING WORSHIP FOR ETERNITY.
BEGINNING WITH THE END IN MIND
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
AND HIS SERVANTS WILL WORSHIP HIM.
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
Practically, it takes effort to worship an INVISIBLE GOD.
Lets really think about this for a second. At least Revelation states that those who follow Jesus will “SEE HIS FACE.” So what are we supposed to do now? It seems a bit odd to an outsider to see people gathering on a weekend, singing songs, closing eyes, and talking to some BEING that is UNSEEN. As a believer, have you ever explained what WORSHIP IS to an unbeliever? How about trying to explain this thought to a group of young teenagers that mostly look at things in a concrete way and are learning to think in an abstract way.
This is where the lava lamp seems to help…
Worship is like a lava lamp.
If a lava lamp is not plugged in, it doesn’t do anything. Once it is plugged in, the lamp begins to heat up, the colorful wax in the center begins to react to the heat, and the “lava” does what it is meant to do, produce interesting shapes and designs that might make us ask, “How does it do that?”
Similarly, once you start a relationship with JESUS, you begin to encounter him in your daily life, sort of like the LIGHT BULB turning on to heat the wax.
Your Spiritual “LIGHT BULB” comes to life and you begin living from the INSIDE OUT, reacting to what the Holy Spirit “heats you up” with. Worship begins to be that NATURAL RESPONSE to what God has started on the INSIDE.
The Truth is that WORSHIP is simply a RESPONSE.
When we start a relationship with JESUS, we begin to hear the “still small voice” that leads us to line up with the Word of God. As we read TRUTH in God’s Word, we find that His Spirit transforms us internally, We begin responding to His leading. As we follow Jesus as our example, it is like we begin responding to what we were wired to do in the first place. Every response, whether you are responding on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, is an act of worship. Every move toward Jesus and His Righteousness is a move of WORSHIP.
Worship is an INTENTIONAL response to an INVISIBLE God.
What would it look like if you began to consider WORSHIP to be an INTENTIONAL RESPONSE to GOD in your daily life?
If you are willing to take the WORSHIPER challenge consider this:
Write Out a prayer to GOD from your heart for the week
Set a reminder on your cell phone or device to remind you to connect with GOD through prayer.
We are challenging our Middle Schoolers to take the WORSHIPER CHALLENGE for the next 40 days and take the journey of discovering what Worshipping God is all about. We have some Devotional Journals left as a gift to your student to help them walk with JESUS and GROW in their relationship with HIM, or you can check out the link below.
After a JAM PACKED weekend with Worship, Challenging Teaching, Student Hangouts, Small Group Discussions, and Fellowship with the people of JESUS, we celebrate 19 decisions to follow Christ and 18 students that followed in believer’s baptism.
Whether you are jumping back in with us or joining us for the first time, we hope that these messages and worship songs bless you on your journey in following JESUS.