|The Operation Barnabas teams have finished orientation and begun their tours.|
Students have gathered in Norwalk, California, to begin their 2-week summer ministry experience. To follow the West Coast team (and the East Coast team when it starts June 29th), visit blogs.citylifetour.org/2015 to see reports and pictures and to sign up for the email list or follow CE National on Twitter or like CE National on Facebook.
A huge part of Urban Hope‘s summer ministries are Kingdom Kids Day Camps. This year’s camps will run June 22-26 and July 6-10. Amber Mallow, director of children’s ministries at Urban Hope, writes about this year’s camps.
The weather is scorching hot, the fire hydrants are open, and the kids in our neighborhood are finished with another school year. The streets are filled with kids throwing footballs, riding bikes, and playing in the park. All of this could mean only one thing—Kingdom Kids Day Camp! It is time to walk out to all of the blocks in our neighborhood and find as many children as we possibly can to come to Urban Hope for a week filled with games, art, laughter, and most importantly the truth of Jesus Christ.
This year, our theme for Kingdom Kids Day Camp is “God’s Kingdom.” Our church will be transformed into a giant castle with dragons and knights. As kids enter the doors to our Kingdom Kids Kingdom, it is our prayer that they will be ready to learn what it means to be adopted as a prince or princess into God’s Kingdom. Our theme verse for our two weeks of camp is Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Daily, we will present the truth of God as our King. We will talk about the moat of sin that separates us from God’s Kingdom and the serpent, Satan, who tries to keep us stuck in our sin. This will lead to presenting the truth of Jesus as our drawbridge who is the only way to enter into God’s Kingdom forever.
We will be doubling the number of children that we are able to pick up for day camp this year. In the morning, we will be picking up the West Side of our neighborhood for a camp from 10:45-12:30. Then, in the afternoon, we will be picking up the East Side of our neighborhood for a camp from 2:45-4:30. This could mean that we have the potential of seeing over 400 kids come through our doors at Urban Hope each day! Please pray that God’s peace would rule in our kingdom next week and that many children would choose to want to be a part of God’s forever Kingdom in Heaven by trusting in Jesus as their Savior.
God has also opened up another opportunity for us to start a new camp in a different neighborhood in the city. Both weeks, we will also be holding a mini-camp in the Southeast Asian neighborhood of Philadelphia from 2:30-3:30 p.m. This camp will be happening in a park across the street from the largest Buddhist temple in Philadelphia. We are praying for God to bring 100 children a day to that camp in the park. The children attending that camp will learn the same lessons as the children attending the camp at Urban Hope. We are asking that God would open the hearts and minds of the children in the Southeast Asian neighborhood to see that God is the only King and one true God.
We are so excited to be a part of what God is going to do in our day camps this year as we seek to see Him glorified. We are trusting that God is going to work mightily through every staff member, volunteer, and visiting team member. May we be the hands and feet of His Kingdom as we interact with each child and parent. We are praying that kids would choose to enter into God’s forever Kingdom and that many families would come to know Jesus through the example of their children. May the Kingdom of God receive all of the glory this summer!
Watch video testimonies from the recent visiting teams.
Northwest Chapel and Powell Grace Brethren Church of the Columbus area of Ohio both came to Urban Hope from June 7-13th. Northwest Chapel, a group of sixteen led by Matt Vohwinkel, and Powell, a group of ten led by Jonathan Strawser, came to serve and learn what it means to live ON MISSION at Urban Hope.
The desire of the staff at Urban Hope is not only to provide a memorable week, but to provide a life-changing encounter that equips teams to live ON MISSION wherever they are!
Here are four testimonies from the Northwest Chapel team:
- Sophie Magan: “Urban Hope led me to the realization that sharing the gospel comes more naturally the more you do it. I also realized how many opportunities I have to share the love of Jesus everywhere. I also learned that you can always make connections to people even if their lives contrast yours.”
- Jacob Jadischke: “Through my time at Urban Hope, I realized how complacent my walk with Christ was. This was a huge wake-up call for me and made me realize that if I am really going to be walking with the Lord and sharing my faith with others, my own faith needs to be growing as well.”
- Noah Carpenter: “This week at Urban Hope God has helped me bring my eyes back on Him. He has helped show me that I can be confident and that I can do things out of my comfort zone. In addition, I have realized that I need to be spending more time in His word.”
- Alex Parrott: “During my time at Urban Hope, I learned how to speak to people I’ve never met before about God’s love for them and was able to openly pray for someone who had never been prayed for before. It opened my heart to the people around me and the ways in which I can reach them for Christ.”
Four testimonies from the Powell team are:
- Mackenzie Scott: “As a result of being at Urban Hope, God has taught me many things. He has taught me to be bold and not to shy away when having a chance to talk about God. Also, I have the tendency to be anxious about things and God showed me how He will always be with me and I should never need to feel nervous.”
- Abby Spoelstra: As a result of my time at Urban Hope, I have been informed of many things I didn’t know. Being able to talk to the homeless and get to know them, I have learned that it is harder than it looks to get off the streets. I hope to able to talk to more people in Ohio and be more compassionate and less judgmental.”
- Hallie Kaiser: As a result of my time at Urban Hope, I have really understood how to start a conversation about the gospel.
- Sarah Groh: My time at Urban Hope training center has given me passion and excitement to share my faith. I am excited to tell my friends about Jesus when I get home!
Both groups engaged in many activities.
- Both groups had regular devotional time to spend in prayer and in the Bible, regular group time to debrief about the day, regular teaching times and regular ON MISSION training.
- The teams got in on Sunday evening, got unpacked, and then went through orientation to get acclimated with the ministry, area, culture, and more.
- The teams went on regular prayer walks throughout the community where they engaged in spiritual conversations and prayed with individuals with whom they came into contact. All teams also receive a large white board on which they were encouraged to write down the names of people they met and continue to pray for them. Urban Hope encourages the groups to take the white boards home and use them in their own churches.
- The teams took part in homeless ministry. They made and prepared a hot meal, wrote encouragement notes, and engaged with the homeless at Love Park in Center City with the gospel.
- The teams had opportunities to partner with Rock Ministries (an afterschool program), the Faith Thrift Store, and Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission.
- The teams went “FISHing” for people at the Reading Terminal Market and Chinatown, as well as FISH for people in the Cambodian neighborhood in South Philly. Urban Hope emphasizes FISHing (F-Friendly, I- Initiate, S- Share your story or serve, and H- Hope: Jesus is the answer). The staff seeks to give teams opportunities to FISH for people and urges them to do so back home, as well.
- >The teams rode the El (the elevated train) and engaged in spiritual conversations and prayer with the people aboard.
- >The teams also got a chance to visit some historical sites here in Philadelphia, including: the Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Visit urbanhope.net if you want information about bringing your group to Urban Hope.
The Wild Brothers: Welcome to our World
A DVD for kids
Let the adventures in creation begin! Enter the reality of a homeschooling missionary family, and meet the four sons of Mike and Libby Wild deep in the remote jungle of a Southeast Pacific Island. Experience creation, and evangelism, like never before!
The Wind, the Road and the Way:
by Jenny Cote
A book for young adults
Eleven terrified disciples cower in the Upper Room, wondering what is to become of them. Jesus is dead, crucified on a cruel Roman cross. It’s only a matter of time before the Jewish leaders come after them to crush what their self-proclaimed Messiah started with “The Way” movement.
Visit cenational.org/library for these titles and more.
Operation Barnabas orientation has begun! Students from around the globe gathered at CE National’s headquarters in Winona Lake, Indiana, to begin their summer ministry team experience. Visit tours.operationbarnabas.net/2015 to read reports, see pictures, and sign up for regular emails.
All too often, within ministry there is an assumed amount of tension between Lead Pastors and Youth Pastors. While I do not believe it exists in all churches–as we seek to “make ministry simple” in today’s article we are going to discuss quick advantage points which you can bring to the table before there is a “Big Ask.” Read more…
God has been so good to us! I could tell you about solid numbers already registered for Momentum Youth Conference for this summer, or all the Operation Barnabas and City Life plans, or the excellent Pastorpedia Live event we just held in Winona Lake for over 50 pastors. But something that I wanted to you to be aware of is that we have almost completely finished a complete refurbishment of an entire building at Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia.
God provided the funds for us to purchase this three story building on the corner of A and Tioga—right across the street from my apartment at Urban Hope—to house the new Studies in Urban Ministry program that we are launching with Grace College. Beginning next year, students majoring in urban ministry will live in this building while they do a school-yearlong internship with us at Urban Hope. Under the direction of Dennis Boyd, the interior of this building was gutted and has now been rebuilt completely.
During the school year, SUM students will live on the top two floors (men on the third floor, women on the second) and the first floor is the kitchen with some living space. Urban Hope Community Church will be able to use the first floor for various meetings and in the summertime, more housing is open for visiting ministry teams. We are currently the largest short-term ministry facility in all of Philly. We are going to be able to train another 40 individuals each day due to this new building. Incredible!
While the purchase and renovation of the SUM Building has been funded by a generous gift, we are now at the point where we must furnish the facility. We already have a target date as ministry teams are scheduled to arrive later this month and are set to stay in this building.
Thankfully, we have a group who is making the bunk beds for us. PTL! By June 25, we need the finances to allow us to make these necessary purchases:
I am sure there are other things that we will need to add to this list, but these are the known and immediate needs. Would you be willing to help us and send a special gift towards the purchase of these immediate, necessary items?
If you wish to give a gift right now, you may give by credit card gift by going to cenational.org/give and selecting the “special project” category. If you would like to write a check, you may write it to CE National and send it to PO Box 365, Winona Lake, IN 46590. Please write “SUM special project” on the memo line and it will be applied to this immediate need.
Do you see how many people will be impacted by this? Year after year, team after team, student after student, individual after individual…I am so grateful for the friends of CE National and Urban Hope. You are our partners in ministry, you pray for us, and you financially support this outreach, discipleship, and training center. May God continue to use us to live ON MISSION for Him!!
Operation Barnabas 2015 has begun and students have said goodbye to their families and said hello to choir practice. (So I guess you could say we’re starting the day on a high note!) Game time soon followed and the students were able to participate in a few mingling games led by a couple of the leaders that would allow them to get to know each other. Read more and see pictures on the Operation Barnabas summer ministry team blogs.
ON MISSION Insights, a new ministry thrust from CE National, has a new Facebook page. OMI authors publish regular content focusing on equipping biblical leadership, impacting the rising generation, and reaching neglected people. Short articles are regularly released on these subjects, usually 300-500 words in length, along with powerful resource tools and discussions on current church-wide, strengthening tools.
“Like” the OMI Facebook page to be notified when new articles are posted.
Preparation for Operation Barnabas 2015 is in full swing as our OB leadership team has gathered at CE National for their orientation. Spiritual challenge, programming selection, and team dynamics are all a part of these next several days. Please pray for these adults as they do final planning in anticipation of the OB students arriving to begin their orientation on Monday, June 15, here in Winona Lake, Indiana.
The first official team of the summer came to Urban Hope from June 2-7. The team was from the Ashland (Ohio) Grace Brethren Church. The group of eleven, led by Chad Painter, came to serve and learn what it means to live ON MISSION at Urban Hope.
Here are two testimonies from the Ashland team:
Krista Strausbaugh: “[Being at UH] opened my eyes even more to the broken and lost people and that everyone has an eternity at stake. Praying for people and showing kindness means so much.”
Jane Strausbaugh: “[Being at UH] made me more aware of those around me that I need to get to now and speak about spiritual things on a deeper level.”
The group had a packed week of teaching times and ON MISSION training along with many incredible opportunities to put what they learned into practice.
- On Tuesday night the group helped with the children and nursery for Family Groups, the weekly Bible study and fellowship time at Urban Hope.
- The group went on a number of prayer walks around Urban Hope where they engaged people in spiritual conversation.
- They made a hot meal and wrote notes of encouragement for the homeless and distributed them at Love Park, a prominent place where homeless people live.
- Ashland Grace helped many of Urban Hope’s partnering ministries including: Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission (distributed food to the homeless, cleaned beds, and wrote notes), Rock Ministries (helped with the after-school program), and the Faith Thrift Store (helped distribute fliers, engaged in conversation, and helped around the store).
- The group took the El (the elevated train) into Center City where they got to FISH (be Friendly, Initiate conversations, Share your story/hear their story or Serve, give Hope: Jesus is the answer) for people at both the Reading Terminal Market and Chinatown.
- At Chinatown, they got to see the Chinese Christian Church and engage in spiritual conversations with shop owners, customers, and people walking along the street.
- The team went to the Cambodian neighborhood of South Philadelphia where there is a large Buddhist influence and engage people in spiritual conversations.
Visit urbanhope.net if you want information about bringing your group to Urban Hope.
Momentum’s rolling back the cost for the #bestweekofsummer, Momentum 2015, to our earliest deadline rate, $439. For the first 100 students who register on June 15 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. the price will be reduced $50 to roll it back to our earliest rate.
The savings only applies to NEW registrants and the full balance must be paid upon registration. June 15th is Momentum’s final deadline for full balances to be paid for all registrants. The rollback event ends at 8 p.m., July 15th or after 100 student registrations. Register at buildmomentum.org/register.
Already registered? Momentum’s more fun with your friends! Encourage them to register and join your group for a great week! Share the news about Momentum’s Rollback Event and tell your friends by downloading and sharing this picture on instagram, twitter, and facebook!
When it comes to real estate, we have all heard the famous success mantra. The key is “Location, location, location!” But in terms of ministry wins and building a strong staff team the emphasis must be on “Relationship, relationship, relationship!”
This integral bond of unity and sharing of one another’s lives is at the center of the gospel. Jesus came to first restore relationship with ourselves to the Father. But his ministry of reconciliation reaches beyond just our relationship with God–it also spills over towards our bonds of fellowship with one another. The church is privileged to develop some of the strongest, most meaningful connections with one another, as we corporately seek the Lord. Read more…
Just the title alone may have you ready to turn the opposite direction. Very few people get excited about leaving an area of comfort and ease. And yet–the vital importance of living life to the fullest regardless of fear, security, and comfort is often the call of a disciple. As a youth pastor, I am aware of my need to embrace these things in order to pass on the value of them to my students. Read more…
The Masculine Mandate: God’s calling to men–by Richard D. Phillips
Beginning in Genesis, Rev. Phillips shows that God commissioned Adam to “work” and “keep” the Garden of Eden. In these twin tasks, he perceives a template for manhood, one that, when carried out with diligence, provides dignity to men, service to mankind, and glory to God. He then goes on to show that men are called to lead, to love their wives, to discipline their children, and to serve the church of Jesus Christ.
Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Bloodpressure–by Rick Warren
This is a small group study DVD with accompanying study guide.
“Kids are not things to be molded; they are people to be unfolded.” Whether you’re just starting a family or you’re an “empty nester,” there is something in this study for parents of all ages and in all stages of life. This three session study will cover; Growing Healthy Kids, Bringing out the best in your kids, and Hope for Hurting Parents.
Saturate: being disciples of Jesus in the everyday stuff of life–by Jeff Vanderstelt
Many Christians have unwittingly embraced the idea that “church” is a once-a-week event rather than a community of Spirit-empowered people; that “ministry” is what pastors do on Sundays rather than the 24/7 calling of all believers; and that “discipleship” is a program rather than the normal state of every follower of Jesus.
To check out these and other titles visit cenational.org/library.
Each summer Urban Hope chooses Summer Servants. These local students are challenged in many different ways. “We desire to push them to grow spiritually. This includes their prayer life, Bible reading, quiet time with God, sharing their faith, and setting an example for younger generations,” says Logan Conley, Summer Servant supervisor. “We desire the students to understand what it means to be a servant. We are praying they become a servant for the rest of their lives. We also desire they learn what it means to work. We will hold them accountable for being on time to work, fulfilling responsibilities given to them, and working as a team with others.”
The purposes of Summer Servants are to help the students:
- learn leadership skills.
- pour into children – set an example for them.
- be around believers daily.
- learn what it means to work (they will someday be able to use this as a reference on an application).
- be held accountable in a discipleship relationship.
- disciple someone who is spiritually younger.
Chasily, Rafael, and Chasily were all summer servants last year. This is Malik’s first time being a summer servant. The group started with orientation June 10th and their first day will be June 21st.
The group will help lead park programs and day camps, attend Momentum Youth Conference and go on a mission trip to Washington DC. They will also join ministries that visit Urban Hope.
Spoken word poet, Jackie Hill Perry, is one of the special guests at Momentum Youth Conference. Jackie was saved out of a homosexual lifestyle and now witnesses to thousands of people, thru the gift of poetry, about the grace and power of God! Her life’s goal is to see people believe in Jesus for the IMPOSSIBLE!
Rapzilla talked with Jackie about Bruce Jenner’s sex change in this online article.
Both Operation Barnabas and City Life orientations start in June. You can be ready to follow the tours once they begin by signing up for the email lists. Visit the Operation Barnabas blog and the City Life blog to sign up.