This series draws on a body of work entitled, Imaginative Hope – Reaching and Engaging the Next Generation with the Gospel. This was the product of work done by 50 Canadian Baptist leaders from across Canada. See imaginativehope.ca.
We begin by overcoming ‘Seven Major Obstacles’:
- Neglected spiritual health and wellness.
- Church structures that hinder change.
- Lack of engagement with issues of our time.
- Failed intergenerational
- Embracing a discipleship that is failing our young people.
- Underestimating the transformative power of God.
- Embracing a consumerism culture.
September 23: Journey to “First Love” (Revelation 2) Our story is a love story. Love stories are good news and attract audiences. Be a people that loves Jesus so much that it reflects in everything we do and say. We take some time to understand what love is from the author of love.
September 30: Fall Rally and Grand Opening – A Place for All (Luke 14:15-23) After many years of preparation and fund raising, the long held dream has become a reality. The new entrance stands as a testimony to the welcome of God and his people. It testifies to God’s miraculous provision. It testifies to the courageous faith and generosity of his people. So welcome to this celebration appropriately held as part of a worship service. At the front is a table that represents a great banqueting table to which, all are invited.
October 7: Thanksgiving Overflow (2 Corinthians 4:13-18) This is a day, chosen for the season of harvest; to give thanks for all that we have received. Clearly, we especially, living in prosperity, have much for which to be grateful. In the passage we study today, we come to the treasures of our faith, and the unseen eternal gifts for which our praise of thanksgiving should overflow.
October 14: Shape Shifting (1 Corinthians 9:19-23) Shape shifters are imaginary beings that can take on new shapes or forms to fit their need or context. In such rapidly changing times are there any shifts we need to make to respond quickly and appropriately to new and morphing realities?
October 21: Next Gen? (Psalm 71) There sadly seems to be a growing gap between generations and that seems to be especially true in matters of faith. In a rapidly changing, multi-faith and complex world, how do we declare and demonstrate the good news of Jesus to those that follow. We dare not drop the torch before it is received by the next generation. “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:18)
October 28: Bridge Building (Luke 10:1-24) What are the tangible expressions of the reign of Christ in our lives and in our communities? We pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Is that prayer being answered in our living and witness? Jesus sent his disciples out to declare that, “the Kingdom of God is near”. It is a message our communities need to hear and see. (Check Imaginative Hope-Opportunity 1.)
November 4: Let Them Come (Matthew 18:1-11; 19:13-15) Children hold a dear and honoured place in the heart of Christ. Jesus held children up to us as examples to learn from, as the greatest in his kingdom and as those most welcome to his presence. He warns us not to hinder them from coming to him. How can we strengthen our mission and ministry to children?
November 11: Future Investment (Matthew 4:18-22, Acts 4:13-14, Psalm 78:4) We know that reaching the next generations is important. Jesus did so with his disciples. We’ll explore the relationship between Jesus, Peter and John and extrapolate what it means today. This venture is a most worthy investment. We will also take time to honour those who served and who serve in peace and protection services. (with Rev. Alvin Lau)
November 18: Engage Culture (Isaiah 40) We live in strange new times with change happening faster than we can keep up. God gives us his vision for the world and invites us to participate with him in the making of it. To engage culture we need a Christian mind cultivated by the Spirit and Word. The next generations especially need help with this.
November 25: Let Them Lead (1 Timothy 4:11-14, 1 Samuel 16, Esther 4:14) God calls people of all ages to serve him. There is strong support for granting responsibility to the young and helping them to grow into ministry responsibilities. We will look at the examples of some and consider our next steps. Shall we practice some imaginative hope together?