Viewing entries in
2010 Project

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A Definition Please?

Campus Outreach, at times, seems to adopt its own vernacular.  Although this vernacular is very helpful for us as members of Campus Outreach, I believe that it is helpful for outsiders to have some definitions.  Here is my best attempt at describing some common CO terms. “One on ones”: a one on one is a time shared between two individuals of the same gender for the purpose of getting to know each other.  This is a time most often shared between a mentor and his or her disciples, but it can occur between any two individuals of the same gender.  This time is most productively used to talk through sin, give council, and learn about each other.

“Talking through sin”: talking through sin is an activity used most often in a one on one.  It is often approached as a series of questions aimed to identify, confront, confess, and ultimately repent from sin.  To be truly successful, t is an activity that requires both teachability and vulnerability.

“Getting in the word”: getting in the word is merely slang for studying the bible.

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Accountability For August

This Tuesday at campus time, we talked about the change that will happen in August.  We will be leaving the most intentional Christian community we may ever live in, and go back to our homes where we will be tempted to fall into old habits, adopt laziness, and let time slip away from us.  In order to combat these coming tendencies, we set ourselves up with accountability groups.  I now have three guys who will be checking on me during August to make sure that I set myself up for more growth.  This is only to encourage each other to study the bible, to confess and repent, and to share the experience with others.  I am excited to know that I have friends that care about me and my growth—that they would be willing to check on me even when I am not nearby.  I am blessed to have this community.

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The weeks are speeding up

I am beginning to wonder if STP has some sort of control over the space and time continuum.  Our first month down here seemed to be in slow motion—the days were so packed that each day felt like three days.  It was as though some power was slowing down time for us to enjoy and take in all of the information.  Then about two weeks ago, its like time was not only brought back to normal speed, but also then accelerated past control.  It seems as though we are flying through time now.   This last week has been a whirlwind; I only hope that we can hold on and really live in the present as time tries to leave us behind.

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Wally Versus the Pig

Walmart and Piggly Wiggly are two of the primary employers for project this summer.  I work at Walmart, and recently I have talked to some people from Piggly Wiggly, and I am beginning to see some inherent differences. Walmart management is a bureaucracy.  For this reason, it is easy for management to be distanced from us as employees.   Therefore, there is a very “we are here for business and nothing else”.  Piggly Wiggly is much smaller.  Ergo there is a much closer relationship with the management, and working there is almost like being part of a family, not an army.

Piggly Wiggly is for the most part strictly a grocery store.  It has better food, fresher meat, and higher prices.  The sort that shops at Piggly Wiggly is often upper class, and might even “dress up” to go shopping.  To the contrary, Walmart is all about low prices.  Therefore people do not dress up to go to Walmart, and people buy the cheapest brand when getting items.

Piggly Wiggly creates an atmosphere.  There are often little tables set up to eat at, one Piggly Wiggly has a Starbucks with seating, and it is just generally a nice place to go.  Customers look foreword to going to Piggly Wiggly—customer’s just want to get home from Walmart.

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Staff left?

On Thursday night the entire North Project came together under the canopy to say farewell to the staff.  Yes, the staff leaves for the last month of project.  We said our goodbyes and prayed over them in a bittersweet moment.  We like having them around, but it is sort of exciting to think of them leaving us as an autonomous student population. There is still order on project.  Mike Owczarek, a student from Northwestern, is the project director, and he looks after pretty much all of the logistics.  In addition there are three pairs (male and female) of team leaders looking after the teams, a female servant team and a male servant team looking after the food and maintenance, and room leaders caring for every room.  Basically, project is designed to not need the staff.  Students will now be giving the talks, leading all events, and investing in each other.  It is an opportunity for growth for everyone, whether in leadership or in being lead.  I am excited to see what the rest of this summer will bring as our life-on-life discipleship continues apart from the staff monitoring.

The leaving of the staff is a great opportunity for us to grow on project as a community of students lead by students.

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When do we start work?

Parents, I come baring good news.  The majority of students already began working on Monday.  I am placed with a large group of students at Wal-Mart.  In addition students have jobs at Piggly Wiggly (a grocery store) and McDonalds.  Most students will be working around 40 hours for the duration of STP.

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Why Should I Bring A Car to Project?

Every year students are unsure about whether or not they should bring their cars to project. There are benefits to bringing your car to project. 1. Save $200!!! – If you bring your car to project, you don’t have to pay additional $200 transportation fee

2. Help serve the project – Every day you and your room will need rides to work, meetings, and/or church. By bringing your car you can help everyone on project get to where they need to be on time.

3. Freedom to go wherever you need while on project - If you bring your own car, then you will not have to wait on others or look for someone else's car to drive in order to run errands or grab a bite to eat or anything else you would need to do while at project. A few common objections:

But I don’t want my car to suffer all the wear and tear… It is true that a two-day trip can be taxing on a car, but every year we have dozens of cars that make this trip with our project and come back in good condition. We understand the potential risk, but we ask you to serve the project by bringing your own car.

I don’t want to have to pay for all the gas while we’re in South Carolina… We ask all students who did not bring their cars for the summer to help out for gas on a regular basis, so that the car owner is not stuck paying for gas by him or herself throughout the project. You can raise additional support to pay for gas while at project (so you can drive for free!)

I’m on my parents' insurance, so I don’t know if I should bring my car... Many students drive the whole way to project, or for short periods let other students drive their car.

I’m afraid of having to lend my car to other people while on project... It’s not a requirement to allow others to drive your car, however it does serve the project by letting your friends borrow your vehicle.

If you have any questions about bringing your car to project, please dont hesitate to contact our office. office@cominneapolis.org

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Cleanup

Yesterday, Joe Johnson gave a talk on mercy ministries.  He stressed the importance of loving and serving others around us. As a follower of Christ, we are called to give to the needy.  Yet, so often in our lives, we neglect that aspect.  He gave three reasons why we do mercy ministries.  First, it is commanded. Second, Jesus modeled it for us. Lastly, it gives God glory.  Joe explained that if we realize that we were children of wrath, we would be in awe of the fullness of forgiveness that Christ has for us.  We have absolutely everything because of Jesus Christ! True knowledge of this should transform every aspect of our lives, including giving and serving those who are needy.

In regards to this, John Piper states, "We do not love people so that we can be adopted, we love people because we have been adopted."

After the talk, we went back to Project.  There, we served the motel owner, Greg, by cleaning the entire outside area.  He recently had a heart attack and has been unable to do much upkeep with the motel.  All the students worked in the heat of the day in order to serve Greg.  We pray this is incredibly encouraging to Him, and that we would be able to speak truth to Him. We long to be witnesses of Christ in both word and deed.

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Vision and Vigilance

Last evening, Zach Simmons, our North Project Student Director, gave our Theme Training talk.  He talked about our need for discipleship and community throughout the entirety of our lives. North and South Projects met again last night for the combined meetings. Zach's goal, in his own words, was that, "Thirty years from now you would be vigilant in you're relationship with Christ."  He talked about the necessity of growing in Christ and enjoying Him more. He encouraged us to use discipleship as a means to knowing Christ more.

We can search the Bible to find supportive reasoning for the vitality of discipleship in our lives. Philippians 3:17-18 Paul writes to the church of Philippi, "Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ." Paul urgently tells the church to imitate him so they may not walk as enemies of Christ.  Paul is in no way desiring that they idolize him, but he understands the importance of seeking older counsel.  When we imitate lives that reflect Christ, we can come to know Christ in a deeper understanding.

Hebrews 3:12-13 talks about exhorting one another daily so that we may not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. This leads us to conclude that honest and true community is essential in the Christian's life.  In addition, imitating others above us is beneficial to our growth.  Zach finalized the talk by discussing the importance of discipleship rather than evangelism.  Yes, our goal is evangelism and the world being reached with the truth, but we need to be making disciples.  By discipling others we can equip them to walk in a manner worthy of Christ and reach others with the gospel.  The ending in reality is two fold.  As we long for Christ we can seek out discipleship for ourselves and disciple others in the gospel.

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CCP Send-Off and Fourth of July

This past weekend, we said goodbye to the India team.  Thursday morning, students woke up early before sun-rise to pray for

those going to India.  On the beach, we spent time praying for the Lord to work in the hearts of Indian students.  We prayed they would be receptive to the Gospel, and that He would graciously protect our team as they travel across the world to further His glory.  Saturday evening, we officially sent the India team off with a short time of prayer in the evening.  We continued to pray that they would be united as a team and that they would find joy in ministering in India.

After a day of rest on Sunday, students got back to work yesterday.  In the evening, Matt Reagan gave a talk on Missions.  He talked about the necessity of declaring His name and making disciples throughout all nations.  He said that we should be praying about where the Lord has us in regards to mission.  Not everyone is called to be a missionary oversees, but as a believer, we should make it our mission for the nations to be reached.  This can be done through praying, sending, or going.  Matt pushed us to see the necessity of missions and encouraged us to truly pray and see how we can play a part in it.

After the talk, most students enjoyed the Fourth of July here in Garden City.  The beaches were crowded with tourists enjoying the fireworks.  The North Project joined the South project joined together to shoot fireworks, and enjoy a patriotic sing-along.  Everyone was able to appreciate  a night of fun and laughter celebrating Independence Day.

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Gracious Sanctification

Last evening, both projects met to hear a talk on "sanctification".  Matt Reagan talked to us about God's faithfulness to sanctify us. Matt Reagan described sanctification as, "the killing of sin".  The more we see Christ as beautiful and as truly satisfying, the more our lives begin to reflect Him.  Isaiah 55:1-3 talks about turning to God who truly satisfies.  So often, we are prone to seek out satisfaction in things of this world. However, the Bible is clear that nothing apart from Christ satisfies our longings.  When we begin to rest in what was accomplished at the cross on our behalf, we taste true joy and life in Christ.

One might ask themself, "Now what?" We know, that Christ has forgiven our sins, shouldn't we now do something for Him in return? The startling answer is, in fact, "no". If we think that our obedience pays God back, we are wrong.  The same way you have received him, you now walk in Him.  The process of sanctification in our lives comes by hearing His truth, which is, the gospel of Christ Jesus.

John Piper puts it this way, "The cross is the blazing center of the glory of God." The more we see what has been done for us on the cross, the more our actions and lives reflect our belief in Christ.  We must get ourselves off of ourselves and onto Jesus Christ, and then overflow into loving others and counting them more significant than ourselves.

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Leading and Evangelizing

Yesterday, disciples enjoyed a morning of rest.  As they spent the morning relaxing, the leaders went to leaders training.  Andrew Knight gave a talk on becoming a godly leader. One point he made was that as leaders, we too should always fight to make sure someone is leading us.  As someone pours into us and points us to Christ, we can pour into others and lead them to Christ. During the afternoon, Reid Jilek gave a talk on evangelism to everyone.  We watched a clip in which an atheist made the point, "How much do you have to hate someone to not share your faith?" He said that if you knew for sure that heaven and hell were real, why would you not be urgently telling others of truth? This stuck out to many of us because we often shy away from sharing our faith. However, the reality is startling, that unless people know Christ, they will be forever eternally sepertaed from Him.  This comment gave students much to think about.

After evangelism training, students went out on the beach to share their faith.  This was a wonderful time for students to practice sharing what they believe with others.  Many students desire to continue praying with those that they had shared their faith with.  Even though people may not immediately accepted Jesus Christ as the way to God, it can be seeds that are planted.

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'It is the most important thing. Period.'

At Theme Training last night, Matt Reagan proclaimed, explained, and rejoiced about the gospel. He described it as “our whole life,” “the thing that is the center of all history” and “the clearest picture of who Jesus is.”

For most of his message, Matt talked about how good the Good News is.

Hebrews 10:14: For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

But how can we hear this and so often feel nothing? How can there be such numbness to the gospel in our hearts?

Matt brought up three sedatives that put us to sleep when it comes to the gospel.

One is a shallow understanding of sin. This blog post could never fully describe the weight that was felt in the fellowship hall of Garden City Baptist last night. With full conviction, holding nothing back, Matt preached about sin that was in every heart in the room.

“You must get to a place in your life when you say, ‘how could he possibly love me?’”

We must know we are broken to understand the gospel.

Another sedative is the distraction of personal performance. This one hit home for many people (probably everyone). He talked about how we perform for people, and we perform for God. He stressed how there is nothing we can do for God.

Romans 4:4-5: Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness…

There is nothing that we do. Matt quoted something he has read: “the law requires 100 percent doing; the gospel requires 100 percent not doing.”

Luke 18:9-14 is a perfect passage for what we have a right to say before the Lord. “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” We can’t pay God back with obedience or gratitude, and there is nothing we can do to improve him or improve ourselves.

But, this is such good news!

1 Cor. 3: 21-23: So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.

All work has been done. It is finished. Now, we can rejoice that all is our’s because we are Christ’s.

The third and final sedative is the forgotten reality of eternity. We are now free to say that God’s wrath has been taken away from me forever, and I will never see it.

Matt said, “The rest of your life should be a celebration.”

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A Day of Rest

After a busy week, this past Sunday turned out to be an ideal day for students to rest and relax. After a morning of worship, most disciples spent an enjoyable day relaxing with friends.

Yesterday morning, Stephen Discher gave a talk regarding technology.  He discussed both the benefits of technology and the trappings we often fall into.  He explained that technology in and of itself, is not bad.  In fact, Christ has created all things good. (1 Timothy 4:4)  However, our sinful hearts turn good things into idols.  Therefore, as believers in Christ. we want to be aware of technology as an idol so we can effectively use technology to spread the gospel of Christ.  We want to be faithful ministers of all that the Lord has blessed us with, including technology.

After Steve's talk, everyone split up for campus time. During campus time, students were able to form relationships with other students from their campuses.  After campus time, everyone went to their designated church in garden city.  Sunday morning proved to be an enjoyable time for students to worship Christ.

During the afternoon, everyone spent time relaxing.  Some people went to the beach, some played pool ball, and others went on group dates.  This time was a time for them to re-cooperate before, again, another busy week ahead.  At night, there was an optional worship time where they were able to worship and praise Christ though song. Praise the Lord that he created us to need and enjoy time of rest!

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Two weeks in

Five-cent coffee is just around the corner. But at the 2011 Summer Training Project, caffeine has nothing to do with staying awake.

Awake is the theme for the summer, and Elliot Stokes gave the first theme training June 2. He said there is an awake way to live and a sleepy way to live. We want to be awake to all spiritual truth, and we want to see the world through a Biblical lens. This is what we will be focusing on for the two months in Garden City, S.C.

So what’s been happing at Project for the past two weeks?

The staff and student leaders arrived late-afternoon May 30 and were instantly hard at work. In a matter of a couple days, 37 rooms that hadn’t been unlocked since last summer were made livable.

On June 2, the rest of Project arrived. As each new car unloaded, Larry Martini’s energy level kept rising. After the 22-hour car ride, the disciples were greeted with lots of cheering, Jordan Zurek sprawled on top of their car, and a popsicle.

It hasn’t taken long for the room leaders and disciples to get to know one another. Each room has one leader and three or four disciples. In each relatively small space, friendships have been formed, meals have been made, sin has been exposed, and dance parties have happened.

Everyone has heard a variety of thought-provoking and convicting messages. At the second theme training, Matt Reagan talked about being in awe of God. He said that God is glorified by us “receiving him and enjoying him.”

Students have also grown through learning about evangelism. Jon Saunders challenged people by saying that we are natural evangelists for what we love most. Each Wednesday, everyone at Project goes out on the beach and shares the gospel with people. On June 8, people paired off and evangelized for a little over an hour. Then, everyone sat around the pool and shared how their discussions went, praying about specific individuals.

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are work days. Students work at a variety of places, including Walmart, McDonalds, Krystal Burger, Sonic, and Buy Low. The Lord was so gracious to provide every person a job, and we are working to be thankful as well as joyful about work.

Every Thursday night, we have a project social. We have had two so far. For the first, everyone went to see Kung Fu Panda II, and all the disciples dressed their room leaders up as a jungle animal. It was pretty interesting. For the second social, we had a “boat social.” To sum it up: there were three spectacular performances by the pool – one with pilgrims, one with pirates, and one with The Little Mermaid. Each team had to build a boat that could take people across the pool, all the while acting out the scene.

On Sunday mornings, each team attends a different church that is close to Project. Sunday nights, there is optional worship and optional theology time. For many people, Sundays are a day to rest.

Note from Emma DeJong (author):

Hello! I’m very excited to be blogging this summer about STP. This first post is an extremely brief summary of what has happened so far. Somebody could probably right a novel about each day, but unfortunately, our schedule is pretty packed.

I’m hoping to post at least once every day. As of right now, I’m planning on posting each morning about something that happened the previous day. So basically, stay tuned and be ready to hear all about Project!

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End of week 9...

There is actually less than a week left! Everyone’s last day at work was on Saturday and Wal-mart people were working early so the AiT soccer was moved to the evening (a lot more pleasant because it wasn’t as hot). On Sunday, Ken Currie led Life Training - Why People Quit Campus Outreach (theological dissonance, no time in the schedule, the pain of a broken relationship or hidden sin). Campus Time was moved to the evening, so there was free time, church and then our last Sunday to go in the pool or the beach. For Campus Time (from around 6pm-9pm) each campus met up and shared their vision and experiences from the summer – some of them played sports beforehand. Curfew was at midnight, as it will be for the rest of Project as no one works on Monday.

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The Return of Staff

On Friday, at 12am (curfew) war began. The students were called together on Thursday (at 11.45pm) and told that curfew was at midnight but that they could hide around Project (within certain boundaries) and when they were hit with a water balloon throw by one of the student leaders they had to go to their rooms. By about 1am almost everyone was in their rooms – the last few people were hiding behind fridges, in water cisterns and Ken (who was on the roof last year) was in a mysterious hiding place – no one knows where. 9am found us at Bible Study Training and after some rapping from Sahr and Greg we dove into the topic “How do I study the Bible without Bible Study Training Each Week?” lead by Jens Paulson. Basically, we can do it by dependence (IOUS), discipline (have a plan) and community (getting someone else involved).

Here is the link to the Bible reading plan for Shirkers and Slackers http://www.ransomfellowship.org/publications/notes_biblereadingprogram.pdf

Everyone headed off to work and in the afternoon staff started to arrive back, it was great to see them again as well as the Curries!

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The long awaited Job Social!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

Pray for the students as they have only two more days of work with their co-workers and the conversations that will happen after last night’s social. It was very encouraging to see so many co-workers come and know that they have heard the gospel.

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