A new name.
In this new season of ministry at Woodlawn Baptist Church, I want our service to reflect the glory of God, that we might enjoy our Savior and His benefits. He is worthy of our singing, listening, learning, and doing.
We want to be taught of God’s Word by the power of the Holy Spirit. But in our day and age we face a difficult challenge before this generation of students. One of the foundational challenges facing teens who confess faith in Christ is the split between church life and the “real” world.
Many of us have this problem and it by no means is limited to students. When I say us–in this context–I am referring at least to evangelical Christians in the West. Not to say this problem doesn’t apply to those who don’t believe Christianity because I definitely believe it does, but for my purposes here I am addressing my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
This blog isn’t comprehensive to the subject, but it briefly will explain the reason for the name change, NOT for the name of the Student Ministry at Woodlawn (which is, Woodlawn Baptist Student Ministry), but specifically for our Wednesday night gathering.
The new name (if you can’t tell by the blog title) is #Converge. (Not the Hashtag part, but definitely use it on Social Media!)
Why you may ask?
Webster defines Converge as “to come together and unite in a common interest or focus.” That’s at least definition #2 out of 3 according to old Merriam.
There are two separate areas of our lives that are not united: what we do on Sunday and Wednesday versus what we do when we are not there. This may reveal a deeper issue of carnal Christianity, but also may reveal a lack of understanding of what it means to have a worldview and understand why.
You see, in our lives we tend to live in two different realms or in two different stories as Francis Schaeffer would put it. Nancy Pearcey illustrates it well in her works and refers to it often, because it is a major problem in the Western church today. This is the fact/value split. Also defined as the public/private or objective/subjective split.
Here is how they’ve illustrated it–as two stories of a building: In the Upper Story you have your values or private beliefs. The upper story of the building is separate from the Lower Story. In this Upper Story is religion, art, morals, etc. Things that are treated as if they are subjective.
Then in the Lower Story, you have your facts. Or the publicly held beliefs and they are claimed to be objective. Our culture places subjects like science, math, and empirical matters here.
There is a major problem with this distinction, because it separates things that are not meant to be in the subjective. For example, morality. If morals are subjective, then murder is relative, if murder is relative, then there is no reason to call for justice when murder happens. People do call for justice when murder happens, therefore it is false morals are subjective. Morality is objective because morals deal with what is true about our behavior and how it should be addressed–offering real solutions based off of a just standard.
If morals are relative, then anyone’s moral claims are rooted in subjectivism, even the claim itself that they are relative is relative. So they can’t be trusted. In other words, a relativist is self-refuting or as a professor of mine would say, “they are sawing off the branch they are sitting on.”
Truth is exclusive. Truth is absolute.
Every claim is a truth claim. Stating how one views the world. If things like religion or morality are subjective, then we have no basis to call one another to do as it says in Micah 6:8.
“He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 (ESV)
As Christians we want to love and obey God in this way–to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” We can’t do this if we live completely different every other time of the week when we are not at church. We want to be the same every where.
Being the same everywhere is called “Integrity.” In a world full of counterfeits, they need those who are real, those who are consistent and have integrity–they are the same in private as they are in public.
On Wednesday nights at Converge, I want to help to equip Students at the Woodlawn Baptist Student Ministry to enjoy Jesus and become equipped to do the ministry God has called them to do (Ephesians 4:12). God has definitely not called all of them to be preachers or missionaries, but he has chosen each one of them to be ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-21). As ambassadors for Christ, when they leave the Student Ministry and grow up to be Teachers, Engineers, Artists, First Responders, Grocers, or Politicians–God has given them the ministry of reconciliation.
If they leave Woodlawn Baptist Student Ministry not understanding that from Monday-Saturday they should be living for Christ wherever they are at; that His truth, goodness, and beauty, must be spread to the ends of the earth (Matt. 28:19-20), then they are going to live in this fractured worldview that will keep their faith shallow and make their impact lesser than what it could be.
My main purpose for #Converge on Wednesday Nights stated as such:
We exist to give glory to God by enjoying Jesus and equipping students with the training they need to live for him.
This is our heartbeat. Our aim to please Christ and make Him known throughout the world–until every person hears the name of Jesus.
I hope you will join us and let your day-to-day life see how it can #Converge with the truth of the gospel. We will see you at 6:15 in the Upper Room of the FLC at Woodlawn Baptist Church.
W. Travis McNeely, Hebrews 4:12