Worship

Last week, I had to clear out the past two years of Worship@Infuse resources from Infuse. Looking back, it seems really strange looking at how we used to do things there, and also what my attitude to it all was.

We started out with the attitude that it was very much for the church kids in the town, then they stopped coming, then we spent ages going back and forth between whether this was a discipleship thing, or a way for us to evangelise. That was a question we never really found the answer to ourselves, but God clearly showed us through the people that He brought to that place on a Sunday evening what the purpose of that event was.

For a lot of the people that came, Worship@Infuse is their only ever experience of church, and God gave us the task of trying to engage with those kids as well as we possibly could, and God provided a fantastically committed team of volunteers who made it happen every month.
Looking back over the emails that were sent after most sessions, each one says don’t be disheartened about this, don’t be disheartened about that. I used to lead some worship during the session, and although we tried so many different styles it seemed like no one ever engaged, or made an effort to connect with God. Its really difficult to continually build yourself up to do omething like this, when nothing seems to go in.

Looking back now, I see that it was a very gradual thing. Looking back now I am not disheartened at all, I’m completely amazed by the way in which God works...it surprises me every time!

There are people that, when we started this journey of Worship@Infuse, would just play pool all night, and look like they weren’t at all interested in what was going on, but something must have gone in. I have no idea what it was that moved them from the pool table to listening to the worship, or to the speaker, or that then moved them to get into a cell group, that then got them to come to church!

It just amazes and humbles me every time I think about it; that a small team of people in a small little town, can be used by God in such incredible ways. For those few people that we manage to transform in a whole range of different ways, all the Sunday afternoons & evenings, all the frustration, all the anger that Go had put me into something that seemed to be achieving nothing all becomes worthwhile.

I know lots of people who are running these types of events, and I know the frustrations that you are almost definitely going through. God is working through you, you have no idea where the spark will emerge from that will really make that guy or that girl really sit up and take notice of how amazing a life with Jesus really would be for them. Stick with it, don’t feel like its wasted time, even just one life being transformed in the smallest of ways makes it all worth it.

King, High Priest, Saviour...

In my Cell Group yesterday, we were talking about the wise men and their encounter with Jesus. As I’m sure you all know, when the wise men meet Jesus, they all give him gifts; gold, frankincense & myrrh. These weren’t random gifts with no thought behind them; they had a strong significance both in terms of who Jesus is and how He is still impacting on our lives.

The first gift described is gold. Gold is something very royal, worn by a King or a Queen. This gift was to symbolise Jesus being our King. Jesus is often described as the King of the Jews, but He is also King over our lives. He is our ruler, He guides us, and He leads us in every part of our lives. There isn’t a part of our lives that Jesus doesn’t want to be a part of; He’s in every single decision we make, whether we recognise it or not.

The second gift was Frankincense. This was a perfumed that is said to have carried people's prayers to heaven. The High Priests in the temple would have used incense, and were also seen by some as the link between the regular temple-goers and God. In the temple, there was a huge curtain going from floor to ceiling. This separated the rest of the temple from what was known as the most holy place. The most holy place was somewhere only the high priest was permitted to go into because no one else was deemed ‘holy’ enough.

When Jesus died, ‘the temple curtain was ripped in two, top to bottom’ (Matt 27:51). What does this mean for us? It means that now nothing can separate us from God, because we have Jesus.

‘So, friends, we can now – without hesitation – walk right up to God into “the Holy place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of His sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is His body’
Hebrews 10:19-21

The final gift was myrrh. This was a substance used, in those times, for embalming dead bodies. Possibly the most significant part of our faith is that Jesus died and then rose again. He showed that not even death could hold Him, His power far surpasses the devil, and the sheer act of dying for each and every one of our sins shows that His love for us surpasses any love that we feel for someone else, or they feel for us.

By dying on the cross, Jesus saved us from sin, Jesus is our Saviour. Through Him we have salvation, we have eternal life in a place that doesn’t even compete with the best bits of the world we currently live in, we have freedom from the life of sin that we once led.

Jesus is our King. Jesus is our High Priest. Jesus is our Saviour.

Another busy weekend...

So, almost two weeks into the job already! I can't believe how quickyl the time is going.

I discovered that Saturday was affectionately known as Synod Saturday, and for the first time I took part in Synod Saturday!

Me and Huw Hides, an OPP from last year who worked in Sedgley, went to the Birmingham District Synod held in Stratford-upon-Avon. It was a really good opportunity to meet people, and chat to them about Youth Assembly, the ONE Programme and the YPS. Part of this job that I love, is the opportunities that I get to meet people, and I met some lovely people on Saturday who were really supportive and encouraging in what they said. Thank you to all those that were there on Saturday, it was really good to be with you all.

Sunday was spent in Birmingham, with multiple train related disasters...but aside from that we had some training and planning for Youth Assembly. The whole event is looking really exciting! In all aspects, from the worship to the fun, to the workshops, to the drinking coffee...God is going to be there, God is really going to be at the centre of all that is done at Youth Assembly this year.



If you haven't signed up yet, or want some more information about Youth Assembly and what it's about, go to www.methodistyouthassembly.org.uk, or email youthassembly@methodistchurch.org.uk.

New OPPs...


Wow...almost a week into the job already! I've already met and worked with some fantastic people, I feel so privileged to have this opportunity!








The celebration event last Friday was brilliant. All of the OPPs from last year worked so hard and we all really felt like it was an awesome way to end the year!


I spent the weekend with the new OPPs which was really interesting. The range of projects they're working in is massive, and almost all of them sound really interesting as I'd love to go and see them all in their projects at some point over the next year.

I think everyone who has been a part of the ONE Programme would say that it was probably one of the best years of their life. Not only does it help your personal development, but the amount of young people you work with that you see a change in , that you see God's love working in, only helps the development ofyour relationship with God too.

So to all the new OPPs, I know many many peopel are praying for you over the next year. I pray that your work does not only benefit your local communities and the Methodist church as a whole, but it also helps you in your relationship with God.

If you're around at Birmingham Synod on Saturday, or the Youth Assembly Planning Day on Sunday, please come and say hello. I want to be able to meet as many people as I can this year and find out whats goign on in the church all around the country, so I may as well start as I mean to go on!!

Hi!

Hey everyone!

My name is Sam Taylor and, as of today, I am the new Youth President of the Methodist Church!

I go to my local Methodist Church, Great Park Street, and have been involved there for many years; both in leading the worship, and other parts of the Sunday morning, but also outside of that time in helping to run the church's youth project which is based right in the town centre.

For the past year I've been an OPP, working in the youth project. The project runs a youth cafe which opens 4 drop in sessions a week, and one of the things that I was doing as part of the year was helping to run one of these evening a week. I've also set up a cell group for those on the fringes of church, and a ministry for all the churches in my local town; going right back to Acts 2 and the early church, and trying to replicate the kind of church that they had then.

The past year has been amazing, I've seen God's never ending love so much in other people, in the world around me, and working through me! It has been incredible to see the change in other people, how God is continually impacting on their lives, and how God always makes strengths out of our weaknesses. I pray that the passion and enthusiasm I finish this year with, continues throughout next year in all the work I do.

Probably the biggest thing that I've learnt over the past year is that worship and being a Christian is far more than just about a couple of hours of a Sunday morning. Its the building of relationships in the youth cafe, its the discipleship we do in small groups, its the fellowship that we have with other Christians throughout the week, its our whole lives. There isn't a part of our lives where God isn't there, there isn't a part of our lives that God doesn't care about!

This is something that I want to challenge the church with over the next year. If the church as a whole is to move forward, then it has to focus on fellowship, and emphasise the importance of building relationships. In our society especially, we need that encouragement from each other otherwise we get so disheartened at the world around us that we lose sight of God. But with those people to encourage and support, we can do incredible things, we can make a difference in our local communities, the world, and everywhere in between.

We believe in a God that goes way beyond our comprehension, there are no words that do any kind of justice to his power, his love and his grace. If we have faith, if we believe that through God's strength we can do incredible things, the he will do those things.

I'm so excited for this next year, I want to thank all those people who have encouraged me and been so supportive, and of course I want to thank the amazing OPPs that I had the privilege of spending the last year with. Please remember me in your prayers as I go into next year serving our incredible God and His church.

That's all folks...

Wow. What an amazing year. I can't begin to express everything that I have gotten out of the previous 12 months as the Methodist Youth President, but some of my highlights have included;

* Hosting Youth Assembly 2011
* Visiting the Shetland District
* Comparing in the Big Top at Greenbelt Festival
* Going to 10 Downing Street twice- once to launch Church Action on Poverty's Close the Gap campaign and once to the Prime Ministers Easter Reception
* World Methodist Council/Conference in South Africa where I was appointed chair of the youth and young adult committee of the World Methodist Council

This year has confirmed for me all the best things about being Methodist. I've met so many fantastic people and have made friendships that I'm sure will last a lifetime.

Please pray for Sam as he takes over from me and for all the work he will be doing over the coming year.

Christy-Anna

Matthew 17:20
Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”