Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Behind the Cheddar Curtain... Districts 2013

Sometimes as Cadre missionaries, God makes it possible for us to take Jesus-like disciplemaking encouragement and training to potentially hazardous places. This is the story of how God took us… Behind the Cheddar Curtain!

Last weekend, I had the honor of being a small part of a youth conference for the Evangelical Free Church in WI. (Pictured below: Rob and Nancy Weise, along with lots of well coordinated volunteers, make this student ministries conference happen… and happen well.) [Note: Click on any image below to enlarge for viewing.]
Cadre brought training and coaching to some of the 3,800 students and youth leaders who attended. Did I mention the conference was in Green Bay? Yeah, that's where the Packers play—and they were playing on Saturday night. As a Bear's fan, I felt alone… so alone behind the Cheddar Curtain (especially after all the fun trash talking I've done with Packer fans this year). And then the first of many miracles happened….

I found another Bears fan!  It's true: God has his people everywhere… even behind the Cheddar Curtain.  (Note: I have this same jersey, but I didn't have the guts to wear it to Green Bay… especially THIS year. Thanks for inspiration and encouragement Zach!)

Many students trusted Jesus Christ as Savior and many others indicated that God spoke clearly and directly to them concerning their relationship with him. That's exactly what we hoped and prayed for. God has a history of doing great things at this district youth conference.

Two of my favorite missionaries, Dave and Rennie Garda, also did training and coaching at the conference.

Our goal was to love, encourage, and equip every student and youth leader who crossed our paths! As you can see by the picture of our training above, students crammed into the training room with some students actually sitting on the floor because there were no seats left. That room was filled, fun, and very warm.

For students we did, Overcoming Your Spiritual Identity Crisis. Open Bibles, fun, and friends... it's how we like to roll.

Here's a photo I took from one of the student's notebook during our training. (click the pic to enlarge for reading.) Students were gathered together into small groups and studied Ephesians chapters 1-3 and Colossians 1-2 and were asked to make note of the specifics of their identity in Christ as found in the Bible. Note the title of this student's notes: "What I am because of Jesus." Exactly.

For volunteer and vocational youth leaders (pictured above) we did a training lab called, The Life God Has Always Wanted You to Have and Your First and Most Important Job as a Youth Leader.

Above: Youth leaders who want to do more than just entertain students... they want to help students become disciplemakers!

Only Jesus can make Bears fans and Packers fan enjoy working together for His kingdom. It's nothing short of miraculous.  But that's how Jesus rolls… in the miraculous.  And we, as Cadre missionaries, like being along for the ride.

And in February and March of 2013, I'll be heading back up north... to tread again Behind the Cheddar Curtain... as I will be bringing disciplemaking training for paid AND volunteer youth leaders. Honestly, I can't wait! If you are reading this, then you are invited. See contact info above to get information or make arrangements to be a part of one of these disciplemaking training experiences.

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