Most of the Story of Redemption updates can be found over at www.MissionalOutreachNetwork.com or www.StoryofRedemption.com. But I wanted to go ahead and share this one here.
While I have been developing the Story of Redemption Film series, I have enveloped teaching and training on how to use this tool into my "Reaching the Next Generation for Christ" coaching/consulting/training/seminars that I am doing with churches.
While some churches are unaware or resistant to the cultural disconnect that exists with younger generations and Christianity (including our fellowship), others desperately want to reach people today for Christ, but simply do not know how. The coaching, consulting, and seminar sessions that I give help to address this gap with preaching (to motivate and inspire), teaching (to help with understanding), and coaching/training (for follow-up and implementation) in:
Recently, I took a couple of trips to California to attend the Pepperdine lectures, do some filming for some teaching segments on Love and Creation and Grace from the Story of Redemption at some beautiful Southern California locals, and to preach and teach on "Reaching the Next Generation for Christ."
On my first trip to California, I gave part of the "Reaching the Next Generation for Christ" series at two churches, preaching and teaching a class on the Story of Redemption and how it fits this fits into reaching the next generation. The first church I spoke at was the North County Church of Christ, where Kevin Withem is the Senior Minister (he was great and very gracious for this) and where our tour guide for the filming in Israel, Tim Brinley, is an elder.
The second church that I went and gave these presentations at was the Hilltop Community Church of Christ in Escondido, California, where Jon Reed is the Senior Minister (and Scott Lambert served as an elder). Jon is a great evangelist and quite a contagious fellow. He and the staff there (including Monica Moreland, a former missionary to the Ukraine and their small groups minister) are planning on using the Story of Redemption, and I will be doing some coaching and training with them in the fall and in 2017.
The third church that I presented at (this was on my second California trip) was the North Oaks Church of Christ in Canyon Country, CA. I also met with their worship committee and discussed a lot of the cultural disconnect in worship that I highlighted in the blog post series, "Why Churches of Christ are Shrinking: A Left-Brained Fellowship in a Right-Brained World" --a post which went viral with over 85,000 hits. Of course, making worship more experiential is only a part of the disconnect, and if the value system of younger generations is not upheld--which, positively, includes focusing upon love of God and neighbor and not peripheral issues--this can have limited affect. We discussed positive ways to help this socially conscious, media-savvy, participatory Millennial generation want to be a part of a church--from worship to service. I was encouraged by this church's leadership and commitment to reaching people today, and we are looking at perhaps doing a year's worth of coaching/consulting/training together.
The fourth church that I connected with (on my second California trip) was EPIC Church, a church planted by Matt and Melissa Raines along with associate minister and worship leader Jeff Brimberry, a Kairos church plant, recently highlighted along with Kairos and Mission Alive church plants/planting in an article on church planting in the Christian Chronicle. (Appreciate so much what Kairos, Mission Alive, and Genesis Alliance are doing in our fellowship for church planting!) The Raines actually started the Story of Redemption before we even met, finding the material online. (The Raines, Jeff Brimberry, Jon Reed, and Let's Start Talking Executive Director Scott Lambert talk about the Story of Redemption and the Reaching the Next Generation for Christ consulting/seminars in the testimonial video above.)
Churches are starting to wake up to the need to re-focus upon the Greatest Commands and the Great Commission, and finding better ways to connect with younger people today. These are just lost people that we may not really know as of yet, but now our own kids and grandkids. May we do all that we can to reach people for Christ today!
What do you see needs to be done to better reach and connect with younger generations today?
Interested in "Reaching the Next Generation for Christ" and/or Story of Redemption consulting/seminars/training? Contact James Nored, Doctor of Ministry, at firstname.lastname@example.org; (817) 773-7902; www.StoryofRedemption.com
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Dr. James Nored (Doctor of Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary) is a preacher, evangelist, church consultant, writer, and missional leader located in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.
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