Tag: Merge

Students in the Lancaster PA Area “Merge” Together

Students in the Lancaster PA Area “Merge” Together

On May 15th, 2019, the Lampeter-Strasburg High School Fellowship of Christian Students hosted The LS Collective Podcast for a night of worship, teaching and discussion at the L-S High School PAC. The idea was to blur the lines of denominations and simply worship Jesus as the body of Christ. The outcome was about 130 students from 13 different churches, different denominations (and even school districts), all worshiping Jesus in our local public school.

Does Truth Matter?

This was our topic for the night. We live in a world where your “truth” might not necessarily be my “truth.” This kind of relativistic mindset has a tendency to be our filter as we read Scripture. Simply put, the Bible was written 2000+ years ago in a different culture on the other side of the planet. Their truth and our modern truth may be different, but that’s okay, right?

Well, a major problem is that truth is not always relative to culture. This means that God’s truths span across time and people groups (we call these “overarching truths”). After all, if the Bible could mean whatever we want it to mean, then what would be the point of following it? If we allow the Bible to stand on our own truths rather than the ultimate Source of truth – God – then does it not stand to reason that we might be completely missing the truth that God wants us to know?

Philippians 4:13 is said to be the most misused verse of the entire Bible. So, naturally, this was the example that we had the students study. Students found out that the phrase, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength,” has nothing to do with earning a better job, buying an expensive car, finishing a half marathon, gearing up for a boxing match or having the resolve to eat healthy (all of which were taken from Instagram, #philippians413). Here’s the issue…

When we use Philippians 4:13 in this way, we’re using it in a self-promoting, self-centered way and yet Paul used it in a selfless, other-centered way.

Students were broken up into smaller groups by grades and began to investigate Philippians 4:13. Who wrote the letter to the Philippians? Where did he write it? What caused him to write? All of these factor into the context surrounding Philippians 4:13. The best way to get the context of a passage is to simply read the entire letter. Think about it: If you received a personal, hand-written letter from your friend, would you skip to the backside of the second page to focus on one sentence without reading the rest of the letter? I hope not! To help us determine the author’s context, we used The Bible Project as a resource (which we highly recommend!).

Jillian, the Student President of FCS at L-S, felt that the topic of misreading Scripture due to our own truths is “really dangerous and applicable.” She clarified by saying that it’s “the difference between looking to the Bible for wisdom and looking for the wisdom that we want to see in the Bible.” And that’s the key to this discussion. We need to remember that “the Bible was not written to us, it was written for us” (Dr. Mike Heiser).

Recognizing this truth when we approach the Bible will help us avoid reading our own “truths” into it and allow it to speak for itself.

Big “C” Church

As a member of The LS Collective Podcast, I (Scott) was really encouraged to see the support from other youth pastors in our area. Check out what some of them had to say about Merge:

“It was beautiful to see teens from so many different churches coming together. I enjoyed every aspect of [Merge], except for the fact that we got lumped into the LS district! That’s enemy territory, my man. GO CV! But seriously, it was a great opportunity for our teens.”

Jason Snyder of Lancaster Alliance Church

“I loved the idea of the night… the small group times [and] getting kids from different churches to interact… [and] teaching the teens how to study the Bible. [Merge] was a great night and a great idea!”

Charles Hirschy of Grace Church at Willow Valley

“I think it is important to work together to reach our community. In Youth Ministry, it is easy to think we are all competing over a limited number of kids. The truth is that we are working together for our community. Like Jesus said, ‘the harvest is plentiful.'”

Addison Roberts of Grace Community Church of Willow Valley

We’re excited to see how Jesus will continue to work in our schools and our community as we, the body of Christ, work together to further His kingdom!