Troop Movements

Fun night. Leaders meeting was relatively small tonight, just had a handful of students show up. Definitely a good night for that to happen. We wrapped up eternal security tonight with a study on the consequences of sin in the life of a believer, and then we talked about our upcoming church services. This is where they really snapped to attention! We talked our way through an entire church service, outlining the whole order of service on the whiteboard like a football play. We talked about every position we would need a leader to fill. We talked about the purpose of each part of the service, including the music, the specials, the welcome, the opening prayer, the announcements, the offering, the message, and the invitation.  

Though most of them have no clue what in the world a church service is supposed to be like (apart from what they’ve experienced at our Bible study), because there are a couple elements that are generally not used by a lot of churches here, we spent some more time there. Especially the offering and the invitation. Though I braced myself for some resistance, I was surprised where it came. It wasn’t that we gave people a chance to give that was the hang-up; it was their fear that someone would try to steal it somewhere down the line – either the treasurer or as we passed the basket. One guy was afraid that someone might till-tap the offering. I told him not to get too worried about it – even Jesus’ church had a guy lining his pockets with the offering!  

The invitation will really be a challenge. They understood it well, it made sense to them, and, as a lot of these students are overly emo anyway, they actually like the idea. The tough part is our space. We’ve got to develop a plan that gives people a chance to respond – in a cramped environment. Besides a general time of prayer at the end of the service, the government churches don’t have an invitation. So we need some wisdom in this regard. 

We prayed together for our coming Christmas service. And then the guys discovered Risk. Which, of course, ignited a five-sided war for world domination. So I spent the next hour pulled back and forth from a conversation about God’s desire for worldwide glory. I’d explain a little bit, then get summoned to defend myself in Africa. Of course, we didn’t finish what would have been, like, the eighth game of Risk finished in all of history. My wife was sick and ready to go home, and besides that, fake plastic wars wear me out almost as much as the real ones.

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