God is not at the baseball field?!

On Monday, I took some of our kids to a youth rally about an hour away. The youth rally was part of a traveling summer series around the area in some of the smaller congregations. We actually missed the first two sessions, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. We had six show up to come with me, which was actually more than I was expecting. These kids are great and I have loved getting to know them better.

The theme of the series was “No Compromise” coming from the stories in Daniel; Monday’s lesson was “No Compromise in Service to God” using Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. After the singing, the preacher (I later found out he was from a congregation in Tennessee) got up and introduced the sermon. He started off with a fictional story about a baseball team in a tournament and they were about to find out that the final game of the championship was to be on Sunday night. He asked the kids “what would you [and the other Christians on the team] do?” and I immediately saw a disconnect between the preacher and the kids. The main point of the lesson was that the three in the story didn’t compromise their beliefs to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar, so we shouldn’t tell God that “You can have Sunday mornings, but give me Sunday nights. Or I’ll study the bible on Tuesday nights, but give me Wednesday nights.” I’ll go ahead and mention that I do not disagree with the importance of meeting together on Sunday nights, but there were a couple of things that were beginning to bug me and I’ll get to those in a second. He went on to ask the question that when it came time to choose between meeting at the building on Sunday nights and going to the baseball game, where would God be? He literally said “God is not at the ball field.”

I understand his intended message, and I know he meant well.

He said non-Christians are watching us (so true) and they see when us skip church (lower-case) on Sunday or Wednesday nights, they see that we aren’t any different or special and by skipping, we will “Never bring our teammates to Christ.”

Some of the teens from my group left feeling very guilty about being on different sports teams. One girl said that most of her teammates are Christians and they have a prayer and a devotional before each game. We’ve been studying the early Church in our class and I reminded her that her and her teammates are the Church. They’re the Church that is out in the community; what a good place for the Church to be! Christians are meant to always be with each other, not just during the “next appointed time,” so that people can see Christ’s example of Love, Forgiveness, Patience, etc.

On the way home, I started thinking about all of the statistics of the Church; how we lose close to 50% of our college-age Christians after they graduate. They fall away.

We’re doing something wrong.

I really think that instead of guilting teens into making sure they come to all of the gatherings, we should create an environment where they want to be apart of a living Church. For this group, it’s really been just getting them used to being with each other.

Guilt only motivates someone to do something reluctantly; it’s hard to get excited about something when you’re only doing it out of guilt. If someone is coming to church out of guilt, what’s to keep that person coming once that feeling of guilt is gone?

If a teen feels valued and loved and important and a part of something BIG, they’re going to keep coming and spending time with the Body.

Raising Support

SIBI officially starts on August 13th, and we have one-third of our support raised; we’ve reached a crisis point!

We’ve been so busy here in Scottsville, I haven’t followed up on some congregations! I’ll be calling our contacts tomorrow and Monday, so I need your prayers. We’re still about $1400 short on our monthly support, and we have some one-time contributions that should hold us over for a month or so, so we’re scrambling to get a hold of anyone who is interested in supporting us one time or monthly while we’re in school.

If you’re interested, you can call me at (806) 392-1832 or email me at logansmithfilms@gmail.com for more information.

If you’d like to remain anonymous, you can send in support to Sunset with a memo with our names on it.

You can even send some through Paypal to the above email!

I really appreciate you reading through this post!

If you’re not able to support us financially, don’t be sad! Pray for us as we continue to raise support throughout the month!

I know God will take care of us, because he’s put people in our lives that care about us! You guys are awesome!

Love,

Logan and Jess.

Camp

A couple of weeks ago Jess and I were counselors at camp here. It’s only 15 minutes away from Scottsville, which was nice; from Lubbock, most Christian camps with scenery are at least 5 hours away.

We had a really great time and we got to know our kids and we got to know members from 4 other congregations from the area that were joining us at camp. I taught the 10-year-old boys in the mornings and Jessica taught the girls. Of course, the girls were more talkative than the boys and I seemed to only be able to hold their attention for about 10 minutes, but I think the lessons sank in (eventually).

We had 10 baptisms during camp and a lot of great lessons. I really think the week had a big impact on some of the kids’ lives, and I was glad to be there.

Image

We’re here!

We’re finally here!
We’ve been so busy until today that it hasn’t hit us that we’ll be living here for the summer.

We left Lubbock on Saturday morning and met my family in White Oak, Texas to celebrate my Grandparents’ 60th anniversary, which was really cool. They met on a blind date and got married three weeks later! My mom and I made a slideshow about their history and all of their kids and grandkids, which was pretty emotional. We left Sunday morning at 6am to drive an hour and a half to Athens, Texas for Johnathan Ledbetter’s wedding to his wife Amarylis. Johnathan was one of my teammates in South Africa and I was a groomsman and the photographer, so I had been stressing for the previous week about how that would work out, but everything went well; Jess took our groomsman pictures and she took the ceremony pictures. I can’t wait to sit down and take a look at them all! After the wedding, Jess and I traveled back to White Oak to spend the night before her birthday on Monday. We woke up, drove to Dallas, got a hotel room to leave our dog in, and we left for the Texas Rangers game, which was really fun!

We finally left Tuesday for Kentucky and drove for 13 hours! We got in at midnight and hit the ground running yesterday!

Mitchell and I planned out our summer and I figured out what I wanted to teach in my Sunday and Wednesday classes.

Last night Jess and I were able to meet a lot of the members of the Church here and we were left so encouraged. Everyone here is so friendly and helpful and the kids are too cute.
When we got home last night it finally hit us that we’re actually here and we really got excited about spending time with all of the kids!

Now we’re busy planning the Church camp that starts next week, and I really think that the kids are going to have a great, uplifting experience!

Love you all!

Keep us in your prayers as we continue to raise support for SIBI in August!

Logan and Jess

Announcement two!

On Friday, I started a new job at Lowes and it seems like a great company to work for. I spent most of the day watching safety videos and the guy next to me fall asleep.

Friday was also my last day at Lowes.

Jess and I will be moving to Scottsville, Kentucky for the summer to be youth interns with the Church up there! Mitchell Covington called on Friday looking for someone to help out with the youth and we jumped all over it; it sounds perfect for us. We both love Mitchell and Gala and we are very excited to work with them!

Things will be a little crazy getting there, since we’ll be leaving from a wedding near Dallas (now we’ll have to bring luggage and a dog).

We’re asking for your prayers during this time both for the internship and our continued effort to raise support for SIBI in August.

I hope you all can share in our excitement of our plans, and we’ll keep you posted here during our 8-10 weeks in Kentucky.

We love you all!

Big Announcement!

First, I’ve changed this blog’s address to www.loganandjess.com so it’s easier to get to and remember, and I’ve added all of my blog entries from when I was in South Africa and you can go through the archives on the right side of the page.

The Announcement…

This may not be too big of a surprise for some of you, but it has been a big decision for us that we’ve been trying to decide on for the past year. We’ve been wanting to do this, but didn’t know when we’d be able to and now we’re really excited to announce that we’ll be a part of the SIBI’s 50th year starting in August! We really want to get back into ministry and to be a part of something that we feel is important. We’ve done a lot of growing this year as a married couple and we feel that we’re ready to take on this challenge.

We’ll be doing the Youth and Family Tract and we’ll also be working on AIM staff again as Assistants. We’re very excited to be working with AIM again; this year off has been great in a lot of ways, but we’ve missed being around other assistants and we’ve missed mentoring AIM students during their Lubbock time.

So now we start the task of raising financial support and people who will commit to praying for us and being partners in our ministries, whatever they may be, and I’m asking that you consider following this blog and praying for us as we start SIBI and consider places to serve the Lord. I’ll be updating this blog throughout the summer before school starts and more frequently when things get steady, so please bookmark www.loganandjess.com or follow via email on the right side of the page to check in on our updates.

Right now, our main prayer requests are for support as we begin to mail out support packets. If you would like to receive a support packet or know of someone who would, please email me at logansmithfilms@gmail.com and I can get you all of that information.

Thanks for reading!