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Missionaries to the Next Generation

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If you were at the leadership workshop in March, or at the AGM in April, you heard a determined message from leadership to focus on reaching the next generation for Christ. We talked about how the church should never tell the younger generation that they are the "future" of the church when they are here in the present. We should not communicate to them that they must wait for a few more years until they get to really belong to this church family. Instead, we must communicate to them that they are a valuable part of God's family today, and that we love being in community with them and seeing them grow in Jesus. 

Sadly, youth is often viewed as a disadvantage in Christian life as evident in the fact that Paul feels it is necessary for him to remind Timothy that people should not despise him for his youth (1 Timothy 4:12). The disciples made such mistakes as well; they didn't understand the value of the next generation. Jesus teaches his disciples to value children and to not hinder them from coming to Him (Mark 10:13-16). In fact, Jesus is indignant that the disciples are acting as a hindrance to children coming to Him when they should be pursuing them for Jesus! The disciples had it all wrong, and Jesus corrected them. 

The bible consistently teaches that we ought to treasure our next generation and pursue them with the love of Jesus. Apostle Paul valued Eunice (mother) and Lois' (grandmother) investment of faith in Timothy as they poured God's truth into him. Moreover, when Jonathan made his covenant with David, he asked David to have mercy on his descendants—Jonathan was concerned for the well-being of the next generation (1 Samuel 20:15; 20:42). So, we must ask ourselves, "Are we concerned for the eternal well-being of our next generation?" Are we concerned that, statistically, the next generation is more rapidly walking away from the Lord than ever? Are we concerned that our children and grandchildren are living in a post-Christian culture without being properly equipped to walk in the truth? If we aren't concerned for the next generation—if we're not doing everything we can to reach them—we are neglecting God's command to make disciples. If the gospel legacy of South Delta Baptist Church ends with our generation, that means we failed in our mission to go and make disciples. 

As the original missionary, God left heaven's throne to carry a cross; that was the extent of His pursuit of us. Imagine the great distance from heaven's glory to the shameful cross. That's the distance Christ covered because He loved us that much. How far are we willing to go to pursue our children with the gospel? How much are we willing to sacrifice so that the next generation hears and knows the gospel of Jesus? My prayer and desire is that our answer would be this: EVERYTHING.

Lord, take all of our preferences, all of our comfort, and all of our fears. We lay them down before Your throne. In their place, give us a passionate heart that burns with a desire to pursue the next generation with Your perfect love. Send us as Your missionaries to the next generation, and be with us as we pursue them.  

Posted by Paul Park

Internship

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A few months ago, we asked our church family to support a fundraising initiative that would help support three summer interns helping in our youth and children’s ministries throughout the summer. Through generous giving and our Mother's Day bake sale, we have seen over one third of the needed support raised for these interns. We asked each of them to write about their experience so far as interns and what they are working on for the summer.

James Cox
With every internship that I have done over the past few years, each one has been amazing and so far, this one is destined to be amazing too. I am always so excited to get hired again to continue working within our youth ministry and helping Kyle to make it the best it can be.

This spring has been full of great nights with the youth, running programs, building up the community, and helping to teach the gospel to the youth of South Delta. I have been involved in planning and running Sunday and Thursday nights alongside Kyle in our youth and pre-teen groups. Also, Kyle has been teaching me about running and leading a ministry, as well as taking time to teach me theology. I am excited to see how God will use me and this ministry to further His kingdom, and for all the ways our church can leave a lasting impact on those we encounter this summer. I am excited to see how I will be able to grow and develop over the summer as I continue to pursue vocational ministry.

Connor Bower
It has only been three weeks of working at SDBC and each day has gone by so fast. Between furthering my own faith with my coworkers and continuing to plan and be a part of the community, my days are filled. I am looking forward to continuing my work with the people of SDBC and the people of our community in hopes that they see my commitment to my work and God. 

I am currently helping with renovations in the youth centre to improve the environment for our weekly youth attendees. I am also looking into the different events that are hosted by the communities of Ladner and Tsawwassen so that we can have a regular presence at these events. Additionally, I am planning other events in the community that will be open to the public while using local shops and locations to establish more community connection. 

Kaitlyn Shipowich
I cannot believe that it has been over two years since I started working with SDBC Kids. This internship has been such a blessing and is so much more than just a summer job. As my role shifts from doing part-time administrative work for Sunday programs to a full-time summer position, I am excited to see what God has in store! The staff and attendees of SDBC have been so supportive of us interns and I am very thankful for the intentional mentorship of the pastors and staff. I have grown significantly in my leadership and administrative abilities thanks to them and none of it would be possible without God's incredible love and providence. He has shown me that ministry is not always easy and is so much more than a 9-to-5 job. Still, God has never given me a task I cannot handle with His guidance. 

The SDBC Kids team is working hard on our summer events. Planning the Carnival, Breakout, and church picnic. I am really looking forward to each of these events as I know they are going to be quite fun! I believe that God is doing some amazing things in this church and I am so thankful to be a part of it.

Posted by Kyle McDonald

In Sickness and in Health

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A month ago, Paul Park asked me if I would write a post about marriage for this week; I was immediately confused. Would that be weird? And what would I possibly have to say after just two weeks of being married? All that aside, I said what most people would say to their boss; I said, "yes."

Phil and I got married two weeks ago, and it truly was a wonderful day. We set out on the road trip we had been waiting a year to go on, the Tuesday after our wedding. Working full time, going to school, and planning a wedding had been our lives for the last year, and we were looking forward to this blissful rest that was to be our honeymoon. However, God had a different story waiting for us; one that was definitely not the story that we had been expecting.

Phil's "cold" that he had for the last week and a half got severely worse while we were in Oregon, and after a few slightly traumatic experiences, we decided to go to a clinic where they told him that he had strep throat. Now that we had a diagnosis, I was relieved that things could get back to normal and maybe I would get some of the "rest" that I had been looking for and thought that I deserved; maybe I wouldn't have to take care of him so much and do so much. His illness continued and he was definitely not well, but we finished out the trip anyways.

When we got home I was exhausted and just wanted to enjoy the last few days of being off before returning to work. Unfortunately, Phil started picking up more strange symptoms and getting even more ill. Last Saturday, our last day off, we decided that we had had enough and decided to go to the hospital. After a series of unfortunate events, many tests, and seven hours of waiting, it was decided that Phil had mono; and this is what he had had all along. All that was left to do was for us to go home and let Phil rest until the illness fully passed.

There's a little honeymoon drama for you. What is the point of all of this? Why am I telling you this? Well, I am writing all of this to share with you the huge lesson about marriage that I believe God has been teaching me over these last few weeks.

As Christians, and as the church, we are the bride of Christ; we are taught to love the Lord with all our hearts and minds and strength, and we are also taught to serve and sacrifice our lives to the Lord. David teaches us in 1 Chronicles that giving to the Lord must cost us something, for if it doesn't, then what is it worth? David states, "I will not sacrifice something that costs me nothing;" a powerful, perspective changing statement.

You see, Phil and my relationship has been pretty amazing as a whole. Yes, we have been through trials and we have made tough decisions, but loving Phil has always been simple; it has been a joy. However, these past two weeks--the ones that were supposed to be my rest, my bliss, my relaxation, my respite--were trying. These weeks tested my patience and my selflessness. I have been physically and emotionally exhausted and so frustrated with God that my only break this year was spent having poor sleeps, worrying, making phone calls, etc. But then I realized, Phil is now my husband, and if he is now to love me like Christ loves the church, then why should I not sacrifice myself like the church sacrifices for the Lord? This is the cost that David talks about. If I cannot love Phil with my whole heart and life in the difficult times, then I do not deserve to love him in the times when everything is "butterflies and roses."

Our honeymoon ended up costing me my rest and relaxation, but I have learned that the time has been more fulfilling than I ever could have anticipated. I have felt so close to the Lord and to our community, and I have learned an incredible lesson about love and sacrifice. Loving Phil should cost me something so that it can truly mean something; so that our relationship can reflect the beauty of the love that the Lord has for us--His people; His church.

Praise be to God, and his overwhelming grace for His children.

Posted by Mary Grierson

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