Vol. 3 Issue 03 | January 20, 2017
Three Things This Week
1. A Series of Unfortunate Events
What it is: Netflix’s adaptation of the popular 13-part children’s book series by Lemony Snicket, starring Neil Patrick Harris as the villainous Count Olaf.
Why it’s important: A generation of original avid readers (now in their 20’s), along with a new lineage of teens are engrossed in the sufferings of the three orphaned Baudelaire children. The theme song warns “this show will wreck your evening, your home life, and your day.” But just like a train wreck, our students can’t look away. In fact, Harris calls the show “shockingly dark”. If television is the “signature American art form”, what does it say about our culture that even our children’s shows are foreboding and portentous?
2. Shape of You
Why it’s important: Sheeran became the first artist in history to debut two songs simultaneously on Billboard’s Hot 100 top 10, with “Castle on a Hill” currently sitting at #6. The lyrics begin “The club isn’t the best place to find a lover, So the bar is where I go”, and continues “Girl, you know I want your love.” But is it love or lust? Love is patient, love is kind, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not self-seeking, it takes no pleasure in evil. But lust does. It is in fact the exact opposite of love. Ask your students, is Sheeran really talking about love, because he keeps using that word, but we don’t think it means what he think it means.
3. America Turned Upside Down
What it is: Frank Underwood isn’t about to let President Donald Trump steal his thunder!
Why it’s important: 30-minutes prior to today’s Inauguration, House of Cards released a sinister ad for their upcoming season. The trailer is ominous, showing the United States flag flying upside down, done so only in times of great distress.
The Long Term Investment of Discipleship
One of the best parts about working at Axis is that everyone here truly loves Jesus and seeks to model Him in daily life! But that spiritual formation didn’t happen overnight, it required countless mentors pouring into our lives over a period of years. Making disciples is a lot harder than creating converts. David Kinnaman from the Barna Group says that most Christians in America are not being transformed, “They are not being encouraged, or equipped to love or to think like Christ… Transformation is a process, a journey, not a one-time decision.”
Remember, discipleship is incarnational. It’s life-on-life. Below are ways some Axis staff have experienced this.
“Knowing someone is interceding on your behalf even behind closed doors is huge.”
“My youth pastor took me to lunch just to talk about life. Because he had built up that relationship, he was able to speak into my life.”
“Christie would consistently meet up with me for dinner weekly. And if ever I was having a hard time, she would let me text her.”
“When my mentors started inviting me into their family, into their home, they took the theory of loving Jesus and loving others and made it practical and real.”
-Dhugie, North Carolina
“My Sunday school teacher found a way of making Scripture come alive when he was teaching…He had a great way of expressing the Bible so that a 7th grade boy would want to know more about it.”
“My friend Skye spoke the Gospel over me in a way that was real. Hearing it from someone I trusted and love was life-changing, and made the Gospel the most real and beautiful part of my story ever.”
“I got to live with a few other guys, including one of my mentors, my senior year. Being around him through meals and conversation and literally just sharing space radically changed my perspective. I knew that he loved Jesus because he lived it.”
“One of my friend’s mom’s had me and four other girls over weekly in high school for a worldview class. We drank tea, ate chocolate, laughed together, and talked about ideas that had consequences in history. She loved Jesus in a natural and genuine way, and she showed us how the gospel actually affects all parts of life.”
Remember, you don’t have to do anything extravagant or crazy when discipling students. Your faithful presence with them might be the greatest gift you can give. Be consistent. Be brave. Be vulnerable. Because they are watching, you just might never know the role you are currently playing in the eternal trajectory of some kid’s soul.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
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