Fishers UMC Blog

Showing items filed under “Troy Richards”

Jesus Loving Adults

In the past few weeks I have had a few parents come talk to me. They are all in different situations of life and talked to me about their children who are anywhere from high school age to married with kids. But they all had this in common:

Their kids don't know Jesus

For some it was even more than that, they hated the church, hated God, whatever it may be. And many of these parents wanted to know what our youth ministry is currently doing to reach students and/or what we could have done (and still can do) to help their children know Jesus.

The reality, the best thing anyone at any age can have to help them know Jesus is people in their lives who love them and love Jesus. That's it. Nothing I can do will ever trump that. If these children who are far from God had adults in their lives (or even in their lives now) who they know care for them and these adults reflect Jesus in all they do, that is the best thing we can offer them to help them know Jesus better.

So what can you do?

If you have or know of a grade 7-12 student, get them to FIRE & WATER. We have adults who love students. Our Sunday School teachers love them. Our small group discussion leaders love them. Adults on trips and retreats love them. Liz and I love them. I had a student the other night who was going to text me late at night (their mom stopped them). When asked why they would text me so late they simply said, "He's still up." They were right, I don't sleep much, but they also knew I would be willing to hear from them. I'm not saying have everyone text me in the middle of the night, but think about your children. It's that age old question, do you/they know someone they can call at 3am if they need to?

The other thing you can do is get involved. You're not perfect? Great, neither am I. Students don't need perfection, they need to know they are cared for. They need to see Jesus in the lives of imperfect people. We are always looking for more adults who are willing to get to know students. A great way to get started is Sunday nights, it's an easy in. We are looking for adults who are willing to serve food (that will instantly get students to love you) and lead a small group discussion at the end of the night where all the questions are provided. You can sign up for a night at http://signup.com/go/ZLeXhas. Or, you can simply talk to Liz or I, we will do all we can to find a place for you.

Nothing beats a Jesus-loving, caring adult. Nothing.

Troy Richards
Director of Sr. High Student Ministries
Posted by Troy Richards with

Do We Lose Our Sense of Awe?

The first church to ever hire me as their youth pastor was in a little tiny town called Grande Cache up in the Canadian Rockies. It was beautiful.  There were 23 mountains visible from town alone (and many more if you took the time to climb one). So, of course, when I moved there I started climbing mountains. All the time. I even helped with a program called "Passport to the Peaks" where you could get a stamp at the top of the mountains visible from town and try to scale every one. No, I didn't get them all, but I did help place some of the stamps up there.

When I moved to town I only knew one person. His name was Chad. He came into the music store I worked at in college quite often to buy new gear. And as God usually works things out, Chad and his family attended the church that hired me (he was kind of excited when I moved to town, I could show him how to set it all up). Chad and his family worked as loggers in the forests at the base of the mountains and when I found that out I asked him what he thought of working in the mountains. "Meh". Wait, what? So I asked what he thought of the mountains and the scenery. And you know what he told me? He'd never climbed one. He'd never seen the top of a mountain. He had lived there his whole life and never taken the time to actually go up above where the trees grew where you could see for a hundred miles.

I was reminded of this while reading the story of Jesus going to Simon of Bethany's house for dinner (you can read it in Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9). Simon was a man Jesus had healed from leprosy, a disease that had no cure and ostracized a person from their loved ones. And the disciples were there eating too, people who knew Jesus deeply. And another person was there, a woman who came in and washed Jesus with expensive perfume. When she did it the disciples were furious, they called it a waste. Simon contributes nothing to the story, he didn't say anything either way (or it wasn't important enough for us to know). When this woman chose to worship Jesus and honor Him in a way that was expensive those closest were upset and the one who had been given back his life and everything with it was silent.

I wonder if they had been with Jesus so long they lost a sense of who He was. The Person some saw as the Son of God they saw as the Person we eat dinner with, kind of like how I saw incredible mountains but Chad saw the things in his backyard. As we pass celebrating Christ's resurrection and put away our nice Easter clothes and finish up the leftover ham do we still hold that entire event in awe? Do we fully grasp all that moment entails and how eternity will be forever different because of that one sacrifice and how thanks to Christ's triumph over death things will never be the same again? Or do we hear it so often and do the dance every year that it just becomes that nice day we dress up and have dinner with our extended family after?

Please don't lose your sense of awe with what last Sunday meant. The Living God came to earth and took our sins upon Himself, dying on a cross all so we could be forgiven and have a relationship with Him because He is still the Living God who rose again and lives today. And He did it all for you. So you could be restored to that holy image of God He created in the Garden of Eden so long ago.

A week later are we still living like Easter really happened, like it made a difference?

Troy Richards
Director of Sr. High Student Ministries and Modern Worship
Posted by Troy Richards with

Previous12345