Faith & Learning Blog
Connecting Faith and Learning Blog
In 2017, Calvin Christian School will share a blog from a local pastor every month. For January, we share a post titled "Discover Your One Word" from Pastor Shawn Kennedy of Existence Church.
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When we think about entering into a new year, we can’t help but think about all we didn’t accomplish in the previous year and all we hope to accomplish in the upcoming year. Which is why new year's resolutions are so popular in our culture.
Have you been thinking about or already made a list of new year’s resolutions?
Well if you have or will, you are certainly not alone. In 2017, it is projected that almost 150 million people will make new year's resolutions.
I know some of us think new year's resolutions are silly and foolish, so we have made a unique new year's resolution of our own. It’s to never again make a new year's resolution. I can understand why someone would come to this conclusion. The research shows that 90% of new year's resolutions are broken by the middle of the summer.
Although new year’s resolutions can be helpful, I believe there is a better way. After all, the majority of our new year's resolutions typically focus on “what we want to do,” rather than asking the question, “who do we want to become.”
What we do matters, who we are matters more.
I want to go a step further and dive even deeper. It is good to ask, “who do we want to become,” but there is even a better, more biblical question. In my opinion it is the most important question we can ask all year long. It’s the question, “God who do you want me to become?”
It’s this question that positions us to slow down, listen to God, and put Him first.
“Samuel said, speak Lord for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10b
“Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.” Matthew 6:33a
DISCOVER YOUR WORD
At Existence Church, where I have the privilege and honor of serving as the Lead Pastor, we are asking everyone to forget about making a long list of changes based on last years regrets and focus on slowing down, thoughtfully reflecting, and prayerfully asking God for one word to take into this new year. One word that most captures who God is, inviting us to become, and what God is calling us toward in this next year. We may have a million word’s circulating in our mind. We are trusting for God to just put one word on our heart.
You can do this as well by the way.
What is “Discover Your Word?” Discover your Word is a simple, but powerful spiritual discipline to help you know, love, and serve Jesus this year.
Here is some wonderful things that happen when you discover your word.
+ You have a lens to notice God at work in your life throughout the year.
+ You have a clear area of focus to learn and grow.
+ You have insight into how God wants to use you in the life of others. When God gives you a word it is never just for you.
+ You have a way to include others in supporting, encouraging and praying for you all year long. We encourage you to give your word to your friends and family.
+ If you do this as a family, you have a specific way to support, encourage and pray for each other this next year.
My word this year is “sow.” It comes out of Galatians 6 and Matthew 13. I believe God is inviting me this year to sow faithfully, generously, and decisively for His glory. Now that you know my word, I would encourage you to pray for me as a local pastor as I attempt by God’s grace to help people from all backgrounds know, love, and serve Jesus.
Pastor Shawn Kennedy
PS: You are more than welcome to join us at Existence Church for either our 9am or 11am services. For more information visit: www.existencechurch.com
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” - Ephesians 4:1-3
One of the many exciting activities here at Calvin Christian is an opportunity for all junior high students to have a time to meet in small groups of students, with a parent or staff member, and to think about how the gospel is relevant to their everyday lives. The goal for the sixth grade curriculum is to help students learn ways to avoid conflict and to resolve conflict in a biblical, Christ-centered way. Throughout the first semester our sixth graders have been going over how to respond biblically to bullying, and, for the rest of the year, they will be looking at peacemaking principles found in the Bible and how to apply them to their relationships and conflicts.
The curriculum will be based on The Peacemaker, a book written by Ken Sande. In The Peacemaker Ken Sande lays out what he calls the Four G’s: The four major principles from the Bible on how to be a peacemaker and resolve personal conflicts:
Glorify God: The ultimate goal for every christian is to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Col 3:17) and, by our conduct toward one another, bring glory to the God who made us and redeemed us (Isaiah 60:21).
Get the Log Out of Your Own Eye: Part of resolving conflict is having a willingness to be humble and honest about your own contributions to a conflict, apologize and ask for forgiveness (Matt 7:5).
Gently Restore: Once we have apologized for our contribution, we can then go to those who have sinned against us and gently show them their fault in order to win them over to Christ and restore the relationship (Matt 18:15, 2 Tim 2:24-26).
Go and be Reconciled: After apologizing and then showing our brother how they have sinned against us, we can then work toward restoring the relationship as we forgive one another, just as in Christ God forgave us (Eph 4:32).
This outline for conflict resolution is a radically different way to approach conflict and it will be a blessing to your student and your entire family, just as it has been a blessing to me. I would encourage parents to read The Peacemaker and to be talking to their children about biblical peacemaking as they learn these principles and how to apply them to the conflicts they find themselves in every day as we all continue to grow and build one another up in the body of Christ (Eph 4:11-16).