You Lost Me. Why Young Christians are Leaving Church … And Rethinking Faith – David Kinnaman

Close to 60 percent of young people who went to church as teens drop out after high school. Now the bestselling author of “unChristian” trains his researcher’s eye on these young believers. Where Kinnaman’s first book unChristian showed the world what outsiders aged 16-29 think of Christianity, “You Lost Me” shows why younger Christians aged 16-29 are leaving the church and rethinking their faith.

Based on new research, You Lost Me shows pastors, church leaders, and parents how we have failed to equip young people to live “in but not of” the world and how this has serious long-term consequences. More importantly, Kinnaman offers ideas on how to help young people develop and maintain a vibrant faith that they embrace over a lifetime.

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God Works in Mysterious Ways: One Korean Woman Learns of Christ through Her Torturer

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada May 2018 edition tells the story of a North Korean woman who first learned of Christ through her torturer.

The Voice of the Martyrs reports that “About 30,000 of North Korea’s estimated 100,000 Christians are thought to be suffering in one of the four known Kwanliso camps. These camps are reserved for prisoners convicted of serious crimes … In the Kwanliso camps, inmates are often locked in cages like animals; and they are inhumanely forced to stand for hours in torturous positions and beaten until they vomit blood. Nearly 40 percent of these inmates die of starvation. …” (p. 6 VOM Canada May 2018, p. 6)

One woman, Kyung-ja, was beaten with clubs and interrogated for her recent trip to China and her daughter’s recent defection to South Korea.  During the interrogation, she was asked repeatedly about something called, “Christianity.” Up to this point in her 56 years of life she has no belief system nor any concept of God. In prison, she began to search for answers to her questions about “Christianity” by asking other inmates about God, the Bible, among others.

Eventually she was released from jail and she was able to defect to South Korea with the assistance of a Christian pastor.  Kyung-ja was able to ask her questions about Christianity and she soon became a Christian placing her faith in Jesus as her Saviour!  She credits the prison guard, who was beating her for uttering Christian words that set her on a course that eventually led to Jesus! Now, she worships the Lord everyday!

Please pray for the Christians in North Korea! Pray that the Spirit of God will bring other North Koreans to faith in Jesus Christ!

Order your free monthly publication of the The Voice of the Martyrs Canada by clicking on VOM Canada.

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30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World — May 15-June 14, 2018

You are invited to spend the next month praying for your Muslim neighbour, friend, family member, co-worker and classmate.

30 Days of Prayer is an annual worldwide call for prayer for Muslims.  There is an unprecedented number of Muslims who have embraced Jesus in our time. And, we want more Muslims to believe in Jesus as their Saviour so that they might live in His love, forgiveness, and with the hope of everlasting life.

David Garrison, author of A Wind in the House of Islam observes, “We are in the midst of the greatest turning of Muslims to Christ in 14 centuries of Muslim-Christian interaction. More than 80% of all the Muslim movements to Christ in history have occurred in the past two to three decades, a time period that coincides with the modern prayer movement for Muslims. At the heart of this modern prayer movement is 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World. Come, join us, and be a part of shaping salvation history.”

Resources are available for this prayer initiative. Visit 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World to access these resources.

Posted in Christian-Muslim Relations, Evangelism, Missionary, Muslim Evangelism, Prayer, Witness, Word of God, World Missions | Comments Off on 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World — May 15-June 14, 2018

Are You Planning A Short-term Mission Trip? Have You Purchased Travel Insurance for Your Team?

As you make plans to send a team on a short-term mission trip, have you purchased travel and liability insurance?  If not, you should talk with the insurance provider for your congregation.

If your congregation is a member of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) you can purchase short-term travel insurance for your team through the CCCC.

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“I Can Only Imagine” — Take An Unchurched Friend to See this Movie

It’s the song that brings ultimate hope to so many … often in the midst of life’s most challenging moments. Amazingly, the song was written in mere minutes by MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard. In reality, those lyrics took a lifetime to craft.

Although he found faith at a young age, life wasn’t easy for Bart. He leaned into an active imagination and his love of music as escapes from a troubled home life. As he grew older, Bart turned to football in hopes of somehow connecting with his abusive father. But a career-ending injury—combined with the vision of a teacher who saw unlimited potential—set Bart on a musical pathway.

Chasing a dream while running from broken relationships with his father and Shannon, his childhood sweetheart, Bart hits the road in an old, decrepit tour bus with his new band MercyMe—named for his grandmother’s favorite expression. With the guidance of a grizzled music-industry insider, the band begins a journey none of them could ever have imagined.

Directed by the Erwin Brothers (October Baby, Moms’ Night Out, and Woodlawn), I CAN ONLY IMAGINE stars J. Michael Finley, Madeline Carroll, Trace Adkins, Priscilla Shirer, with Cloris Leachman and Dennis Quaid.

A gripping reminder of the power of forgiveness, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE beautifully illustrates that no one is ever too far from God’s love—or from an eternal home in Heaven.

Posted in Christian music, Discipleship, Evangelism, Forgiveness, Jesus Christ | Comments Off on “I Can Only Imagine” — Take An Unchurched Friend to See this Movie

Every One His Witness Workbook by Mark Wood

The Every One His Witness workbook accompanies the DVD (included in the kit) and delves deeper into the topics discussed there. Important points are highlighted, and and references to external resources for further information are included as well.

What is Every One His Witness?

Every One His Witness is a Lutheran evangelism program that teaches you to witness to your friends, coworkers, and any other nonchurched people you may know. Using the LASSIE approach to witnessing (listen, ask, seek, share, invite, and encourage), you will learn how to naturally share the Good News of Jesus Christ through relational, contextual witnessing.

What does this mean? It means listening to those who are unsure about Christianity. It means asking questions that aren’t accusatory. It means sharing the Good News about Jesus. Notice how there’s no bashing, no judgment, and no forced imposition of beliefs. Instead, there’s understanding, communication, and honesty between friends. And Every One His Witness teaches you how.

Posted in Church revitalization, Discipleship, Evangelism, Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Missional, Priesthood of all Believers, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach | Comments Off on Every One His Witness Workbook by Mark Wood

Ishimwe Niryawe Yesu (Praise & Glory Be To You Jesus)

The translation of the song from Kinyarwanda into English is below. May your faith be enriched by this song focused on the hope that Christians have through Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.

Mwami Mana yacu
Waratuvinze, uturinda
Umujinya wa Satani
Uturindira muriyisi ishaje
Uraturinda ntitwapfa
Nubwo twahuye nibigeragaezo
Ninzitanye zibibazo
Byomiwisi
Wagaragaje ukuneesha kwawe
Uraturinda ntitwapfa,

Our Lord God
You kept us and protected us
from the wrath of the devil
you kept us in this aging world
Lord you kept us and we did not die
Though we met many trials and tribulations
and many world troubles
You showed your victory by protecting us from death, You showed your victory by protecting us from death

CHORUS:

Ishimwe niryawe, Ishimwe niryawe, Ishimwe niryawe yesu. ishimwe ishimwe niryawe ishimwe niryawe yesu X2
Praise and glory be to you Jesus, Praise and glory be to you Jesus, Praise and glory be to you Jesus, x2
Mwami tukweretse ababkozi bawe
Tukweretse itorero wironkeye
Tukweretse nabasubiye inyuma
Garura izo ntama zawe
Mukiza dufite agahinda kenshi
Ku bwabayoba bava mu byizerwa
Muriyi minsi kora ibitangaza
Bamenye ku dahinduka, Bamenye ku dahinduka

Lord we show you – you’re servants
We show you the charge that you redeemed
But also we show you those who have fallen/retreated
Lord return your ship
Savior we are so heart broken
For those that are leaving the faith
How we pray, that in thesedays you will perform miracles, so that the world may see that you are the God that never changes, you are the God that never changes

CHORUS

Indura zunvikaye mururu World
Amarira nokuboroga kwinshi
Ntakiza twakoze Mukiza Wacu
Kyaturmye uturinda akaga
Benshi waraba cyuye baratashye
Bararuhutse baranezerewe
Nta kabuza tuzabonana nabo
Mu birori byomwijuru, Mu birori byomwijuru

Many crys and yellings were hear in this world
A lot of tears and desperate pleading
There is nothing good we did, Our Savior
to deserve being protected from this horror
But we know, that you have taken many to Glory
They are rested and happy
And there is no doubt, that we shall see them someday
During the celebration in heaven, during the celebration in heaven

CHORUS

Imyaka ishyise ya saha wajenye
Ubwo tuzakubona uri mu bicu
Uzahamagara amazina yacu
Tuzagusanganira ubwo
Niwerckanwa ko tuzasa nawe
Uri kumwe nabo twatandukanye
Tuziruhutsa tugeze mwijuru
Halleluia iteka ryose, Halleluia iteka ryose

When the years come
At the very moment that you planned
When we see you in the skies, you will call our names
We shall come and meet you in the air
And when you are revealed, we know we shall be like you
At that time you will be with those that left us to be with you
When at last we get heaven born
And we will sing Halleluia, forever and ever
we will sing Halleluia, forever and ever

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Help Send Two Instructors to Rwanda to Provide Theological Education and Training for Rwandan Church Workers

Beth Ammi Christian Fellowship Church and the Reformed Lutheran Church of Rwanda have invited Lutheran Church – Canada to help them train pastors, elders, and deacons/deaconesses through theological education and mentorship.

Concordia Lutheran Mission Society has set up a special opportunity for you to make a financial donation, with the goal of raising $7,000.00 so that two instructors from Lutheran Church – Canada can travel to Rwanda to teach a week-long course, to visit/preach in some of the churches, and to continue to build trust with the leaders of the churches related to the Beth Ammi Christian Fellowship Church and the Reformed Lutheran Church of Rwanda.

You can make a donation to this project in a few different ways:

1. Write a cheque to: “Concordia Lutheran Mission Society” and send it to CLMS with a memo that it is for Project 1825 — Special Exploratory Mission to Provide Theological Education in Rwanda.

2. Donate money through your congregation asking your congregational treasurer to send the donation to the Concordia Lutheran Mission Society with a memo that the money is for Project 1825 — Special Exploratory Mission to Provide Theological Education in Rwanda.

3. Visit the Concordia Lutheran Mission Society and make a donation through CanadaHelps for the Rwandan project. You need to scroll to the bottom of the projects until you see: Project 1825 — Special Exploratory Mission to Provide Theological Education in Rwanda.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact President Schaeffer at gschaeffer@lccabc.ca or 1-888-474-0063 (ext. 109).

All cheques can be mailed to: Concordia Lutheran Mission Society P.O. Box 455 Water Valley, AB T0M 2E0.

Posted in Concordia Lutheran Mission Society, Lutheran Church -- Canada, Rwanda, World Missions | Comments Off on Help Send Two Instructors to Rwanda to Provide Theological Education and Training for Rwandan Church Workers

Pray for and Support the Lutheran Bible Translastor’s Missionary Work of Rev. David and Valerie Federwitz

Missionaries Rev. David and Valerie Federwitz have been serving in Africa since 2003. David’s focus is to help people to read and use the Holy Scripture in their own languages. He worked in Ghana with Komba-speaking people to develop a Komba language primer series. These primers are used to educate the local people and to encourage reading and writing. He also helped identify and train literacy facilitators, supervisors, and other workers in the Komba Literacy and Bible Translation Project.

While David continues to encourage and support the Komba Literacy and Bible Translation Project, he is now LBT’s Regional Director for Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon. He spends time with current and potential partner organization leaders in these countries, including Bible societies, church bodies, and groups that do language development work. He supervises the LBT missionaries who work in these countries, encouraging and advising them as they serve in their various locations and capacities.

Valerie manages their busy household, homeschools their children, and communicates with family and supporters. David and Valerie have four children.

LBT is seeking Lutherans to serve overseas through the ministry of Bible translation and Scripture Engagement. If you feel that God may be leading you towards missions or if you wish to make donations to assist with the translation of the Bible for a missionary, LBT may have a place for you.

Posted in Bible, Bible Translation, Lutheran Bible Translators, Lutheran Bible Translators of Canada, Missionary, World Missions | Comments Off on Pray for and Support the Lutheran Bible Translastor’s Missionary Work of Rev. David and Valerie Federwitz

Maundy Thursday: “Preparing for a Culinary Feast.”

The following sermon excerpt is from a Maundy Thursday sermon I preached on Mark 14:12-26. The title of the message is: “Preparing for a Culinary Feast.”

A lot of preparation goes into a culinary feast. The grocery stores will be packed with shoppers on Saturday as they purchase the necessary ingredients for the Easter Sunday meal. The liquor stores will have a steady stream of wine connoisseurs searching for that perfect wine to serve with the Easter dinner. The cooks will be busy in the kitchen preparing the delectable meal. Yes, a lot of preparation and hard work goes into making a festive meal. …

Once again, the Passover Meal is prepared for you. The wafers overflow on the paten. The flagon, the chalice, and the individuals cup are full of wine. The preparations are complete. The Lamb has been slain for the sins of the world … for your sins and mine. The Lamb who rose from the dead and ascended on high is present among us. According to His promise, He is present so that we might eat of His Body and drink of His Blood broken and shed for us. All that remains is for us is to take a seat at His table, eat of the Lamb’s Body, as we partake of the bread, and drink of the Lamb’s blood, as we drink the wine. We hear the Lamb speak to us the most delightful words: “Your sins are forgiven.” …

Yes, the preparations for the Passover Meal, this culinary feast, are complete. The Lamb slain for the sins of the world invites, “Come, for I have prepared a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and finest of wines. We have reason to rejoice for I have destroyed the shroud that that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; I have swallowed up death forever.” (Adapted from Isaiah 25:6-8)

May the Lord grant you spiritual nourishment and refreshment as you meditate upon the Passion and Resurrection of the Lamb!

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