Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PDYM book report

In seminary, I learned theology and I learned educational philosophies, but I never actually learned how to teach theology or to run a youth program.  Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry by Doug Fields has much practical advice for anybody leading a youth program, no matter how long the leader has been leading it.   

 Fields’s most important advice is for a youth leader to craft a vision statement.  A vision statement will explain why the youth pastor is there, why his church has a youth program, and what the purposes for all the programs within the youth program.  I have not yet presented my vision statement to the session as of the writing of this report, but I already know that much conflict will be solved when we know my reasoning for leading the youth at my church.  We already have wonderful programs going for the children, and wonderful leadership, but without a vision statement, confusion will continue as the other Sunday School teacher cannot read my mind and has different visions for the youth program.

My church seriously lacks in volunteers.  We have amazing kids, but I mostly lead them on my own 
when I should use help in classroom control and organization.  Fields suggests teaming up with the parents for help in leading the kids.  This is very Biblical because God instituted the family to raise children to know him.  If kids do not learn about God from their family, they are less likely to learn about him.  The youth pastor’s job is to nurture the kids in the faith and church and to equip the parents to teach during the week.

Both Rick Warren and Doug Fields pinpointed five purposes for a church: worship, discipline, fellowship, evangelism, and ministry.  According to the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, therefore, the church’s chief purpose is to worship God in the company of other believers as they grow together.  Thus, I reduced the five purposes to only two.  Worship and fellowship are merely the same thing as Christians commune with both God and other saints.  Evangelism, discipleship, and ministry are the other one purpose.  The different aspects of church are intended to address different purposes of the church.  The preacher uses the worship service to lead in worship.  The individual members are responsible for evangelism – getting the people in the doors.  My job as youth pastor and Christian educator is discipleship, nurturing the children to know the Bible, God, and how to worship him.  Ministry happens as a result of the church reaching out to the community, and like a true body, the church’s different parts all work together to meet all the purposes.  Not one ministry is responsible for all of them.

Also, since my goal as Christian educator is to nurture the kids into knowledge of God, his Word, and his worship, my goal for any program will be to teach the Bible to the kids.  There will be fun events such as movie night, corn maze trip, or talent night, but my main goal is for kids to graduate high school knowing Reformed theology.  I will not label different people groups as “crowd,” “congregation,” “committed,” or “core.”  To me, they are all sinners saved from wrath by God’s mercy, and they all need the same thing: solid Biblical teaching with no strings attached.  I will not rely on any gimmick to get people to come to church as right now, the kids have been faithful in bringing friends and even their parents.  I rely on the Holy Spirit and his miracles to grow my youth group.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Christ's First Missionaries

Yesterday at church, I taught from two different passages that I never knew had anything to do with each other. 

First with the teen girl, I successfully separated that class between boys and girls.  The boys studied Nicodemus, and we studied the woman at the well.

The Samaritan woman was an outcast of outcasts.  She lived with a people that the clean Jews would not associate with.  These were the gross half-breeds of Jew and Gentile from the post-exilic days.  And even among these people, this woman had 5 husbands and now lived with a man not her husband.  She had to go to the well when nobody else came at the heat of the day. 

Jesus talked to her.  He approached her.  He did two weird things: he, a Jewish man, spoke to a Samaritan woman.  Also, he offered her living water.  This woman was so thirsty for love and acceptance that she would talk to someone from a culture who hated her, a Jew.  When he revealed to her that he was the Messiah, she went off and told the whole town of Sychar, thus becoming a missionary to the Samaritans.

For Children's Church, I spoke about the man Jesus healed of demons.  He lived in a cemetery in the Gadarenes, and he ran around naked, cutting himself and beating up people who passed through.  He also lived near a Gentile village (they had herds of pigs).  Jesus brought his disciples there, and the man could not touch Jesus, the Son of God.  The demons were so frightened that they begged not to go back to the Abyss.  Then Jesus sent the demons into the herd of pigs who then ran down the hill into the water and drowned.  The man's village came and saw the man clothed and in his right mind.  However, they cared more about losing the pigs than gaining a man back.  They asked Jesus to leave; the man begged to go with Jesus, and then Jesus made him stay and be the missionary to the Gadarenes.

In both these stories, Jesus met with the grossest people.  He brought his disciples to those rough areas in fear and trembling, but fearlessly, Jesus picked out his targets, cleaned them, and their towns came to know the Christ because of these people.

Are you a gross person?  Do you at least know someone who is gross, who you avoid like a literal plague?  Perhaps you should talk to such people and show them God's love.  I convict myself as I write this as I'm thinking of people I feel uncomfortable around.  With much prayer, God will soften your heart toward them, and they will change through that love, and they will show their hometowns that Christ is real and that his salvation is for all kinds of people.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What I did this Weekend

Saturday:  I'm sitting here.  I did go to Starbucks and read for business org.  I also went to Chick-fil-a and got a better understanding of the civil litigation lecture from last week.  I guess you could say I had a progressive study lunch.

While sitting in CFA's parking lot and talking to my friend on the phone, I saw one car rear end a pick-up.  I decided to stay there until it was cleared and finish coloring my poster for Sunday School.

I also read some Tabletalk articles, both February and March. 

Yesterday, I helped my old bible study leaders move.  It was great to get some exercise, see other people, and eat pizza.  I really miss the old fellowship from that. 

Tomorrow I will teach about Jesus healing the man who had demons as he cast the demons into the pigs.  It is my plan to first define "demon."  Then I will read the story with the poster that I made as a visual.  Then I will have them do a cryptic puzzle about Romans 8:36-39 using wingdings.  I'll also have a code key.  I might try to figure out how to play 4 corners, too, but I mostly plan on doing worksheets. 

I had fun making the poster.  I sat at Chick-Fil-A, colored, ran out of marker ink, switched colors, and finally came home to finish it.  Looks like the demoniac lived on a golf course rather than a cemetery.  Also, kids came up to my table to watch me color.  It was kind of weird for them to see a grown woman coloring.  I'll probably loaf at Chick-Fil-A more this lent without forsaking Starbucks.  However, as I gave up secular music, it will not do for me to sit in Starbucks for hours listening to their music.  At CFA, if I do hear music, it's usually CCM  music.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vision statement

1. Does your Church have a vision/ mission statement?
Vision: To be a church where God's truth is alive.
Mission: to seek, worship, and follow God while sharing the love of Christ
Core values: 1. Seek God's will
2. Make Scripture authority
3. Reach out to others with love of Jesus
4. Demonstrate God's love in all we do.
5. Worship God and seek to grow spiritually
6. Hunger and thirst for righteousness.

2. Is it useful (explain)?
The vision statement, mission statment, and core values are all excellent. They are framed in the back of our sanctuary, but I didn't even know they were there until yesterday. The pastor couldn't tell me the vision statement over the phone. It's an excellent vision statement, and I do feel like we live up to it, but maybe it should be on our bulletins or something.

3. Does your ministry have one?
My ministry does not currently have one but I might be playing off of the church's statement. To be a church where God's truth is alive and learned.

4. Is it useful (explain)?
It doesn't exist yet, but I think with some explanation it could be good. The mission off of that vision statement is to teach Scriptures, theology, and the worship of God through love and fellowship. I think I share the core values with the church's.

Monday, February 20, 2012

John 2

I take a break from my PDYM reports.  I read some chapters that I agree with so there's not much to talk about there.  Yesterday's teen Sunday School was really good.  Anything involving the Gospel of John is very good.

I started out asking the kids to tell embarrassing stories.  Then we read about two embarrassing stories in John 2.

So a happy couple gets married but toward the end of the celebration, they run out of wine.  This is so embarrassing.  Mary asks her son Jesus to do something about this.  In words that are highly respectful, but odd to say to your mom, he mildly tells her that it's not his time to reveal himself as the Messiah the way she envisions it.  Then he goes ahead and does what she says. 

The Jews at the time envisioned a Messiah who would come on a white horse, slay the Romans, and reestablish the Israel nation with its temple.  How does Jesus solve the problem of no wine at the wedding?  He uses the stone jars intended for guests to wash their hands before meals.  Why did they wash their hands before meals?  Because Leviticus set standards for what was clean and what was not clean.  Before Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, people had to clean themselves to appear before God and not be cut off from the Israelite community.  They had to avoid shrimp and pork, bring a sacrifice once a year to the temple, and still worry about being clean enough because God was trying to show them how impossible it is to be completely clean.

Jesus came to change the whole works-righteousness and sacerdotal system.  He came to fulfill and replace that with new life.  Therefore, he's going to take the means of cleanliness and make it more fun and fulfilling.  He's going to pour his blood into our lives, meaning that we no longer have to work to clean ourselves.  He's not a messiah who is going to re-establish the temple, but one who will replace the temple and human works with his righteousness.

This is why John takes the rest of the chapter to describe his cleansing the temple.  The three other gospels place this act at the end of Jesus's ministry.  John talks about it in the beginning of his Gospel.  People will say Jesus just cleansed the temple twice.  I mean, if he really did that, then he can do that and it's fine.  My faith doesn't hinge on that, but I seriously don't think he cleansed the temple twice.  John is simply placing the story here for rhetorical emphasis.

Jesus goes up to the temple at Passover.  People are expecting him to enter the temple and affirm all their activities and all the rules they used to dress up God's original rules.  He goes in, makes a whip, and drives out all the merchants, flips the tables over, and rightfully embarrasses the religious leaders because they had their own idea of what Messiah was supposed to be.  They wanted to keep their culture pure from non-Jews, or at least make the no-Jews pay extra to be in the community by crowding out their only area in the temple to make money.  He came to put an end to man's hope in saving himself and take his throne as King of the world, making his sinful people righteous and including people from the whole world.

So, John 1, John establishes that Jesus is God and that he is the Messiah.  John 2, he further defines what that role entails as contrasted to what the Jews thought.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Miscellany

Mostly just music facts today:
I'm finally getting used to playing the Overture to Handel's Messiah on piano.  Still slow and choppy, but starting to have form.

Congratulations, Adele!  You have a Grammy for probably the world's most depressing song.  I turn it off every time it comes on the radio, therefore people think it must be a good song.  Congrats, Adele. 

Sorry about Whitney Houston.  She might have had some faith somewhere but like most famous people, also have issues.  It's like God is more your magic charm than your Lord, but I can't judge you.  You were a good singer.

Giving up secular music for Lent, so I'm binging on all my favorite British indie rock such as Travis and Keane.

I never realized how long the song "Life in the Fast Lane" by Eagles is.  It was playing in Mellow Mushroom today.  I was sitting there and I kept realizing that the song was still playing.  A while later, I still feel like I can hear Don Henley, and yes, the same song is still on.

My housemate wants me to sing for her CNA class graduation.  I have no idea what to sing for a graduation during Lent time, but she says we can do Christian songs.  I sang a Christian song for my high school baccalaureate.  It don't get more politically incorrect than that.  Still, don't know any good recent songs to sing for a graduation, and "Friends" by Michael W. Smith is just too cheesy.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Family Matters

Read chapters 13-15 of PDYM.  I don't recall chapter 13, but 14 was about Parent involvement, which gets from me a hearty AMEN!

These are the people that we need to place the burden of lay ministry on.  The kids see me one day a week.  They see their parents all seven days.  We need to equip the parents for their God-given roles in raising little Christians. 

Then I realized, as overcomplicated as Doug makes youth ministry at Saddleback, it does feel like I should be doing more to reach parents.  I did start posting my lessons and Scriptures in the monthly newsletter.  I probably should start having parent meetings.  I tried to have one in January.  Not even the kids came to church that day.  I do like Doug's idea of "inviting" parents to volunteer rather than "recruiting" them.  Maybe I should send out invitations to a breakfast on a Saturday and discuss what both the parents and the kids would like to see.

I still only see the Christian education aspect of the church as only one of the purposes of church, the nurturing.  It's not in charge of the whole 5 purposes that I whittled down to two.  We are all supposed to worship no matter what we do; that's the purpose of all the church.  But the other four, which are all just extensions of the same thing, are delegated to all the church.  We nurture in Sunday School and Children's Church.  We evangelize when we send the kids to school during the week.  I still need to find more ways to do that, but without my help, kids keep bringing their friends.  We minister with Shepherd's Staff, and my 3 As are there with that as their parents lead the whole ministry.  And we fellowship whenever we just take a break and play or do a craft.  Maybe fellowship is just an extension of worship.  That is what we'll do forever in heaven.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Good ideas and bad ideas

Now that I have internet again, I'll comment more on PDYM by Doug Fields, inspired by Rick Warren.  I'll start with Doug's final C, the Core students.  These are the truly committed kids who actually become disciples.  What does he suggest we do with them?  Train them to be ministers.  These are kids who have school, homework, band practice, football practice, and all kinds of stress, and we want to pile on the extra burden of being ministers.  Now, I do agree that if you are a Christian, you are automatically a minister.  I believe that we should instruct children in good, solid theology from birth.  However, to make them actual student ministers would add stress to their lives and they would feel guilty to say no.

What we could do, however, is take your most faithful kids, perhaps have dinner with them, and discuss things like the 5 points of Calvinism, Covenant theology, etc.  If they would like to present what they've discussed, then great.  We'll schedule a time to do that.  If they would like to do pastoral visitation, then great.  We'll schedule a time to do that.  But let's not guilt trip them by telling them they ought to be ministers against their better judgment when they already have enough stress just being teenagers.

Now for the good ideas.  As much as I rebel against the five Cs and the five purposes, Doug brings them together in harmony in chapter 12 of his book.  He mentions drawing a visual representation of your plans with the Christian education program.  Saddleback, of course, has a baseball diamond scheme.  I decided to go with a bullseye with Core students at the center.  However, I still don't really believe in teaching the five groups differently than the other.  If they are solid believers or baby Christians or even completely lost, I will adjust my lessons to their level, but I will not treat them differently.

Doug had one really good suggestion of hot nights.  On the more party-like occasions like New Year's or Prom night, have a church event planned so that students can have a good alternative to whatever atrocities they could be involved in.  Today is Valentine's and next week is Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday.  I have class on all those days and will not be at church, but in the future, perhaps we could plan some event, invite people from the community, and have some kind of Christian message with the Gospel presented.

Here are things Trinity EPC currently does that could be considered in Rick's 5 purposes.  Number 1, we have worship ever Sunday.  2, we have Sunday School and Children's Church for discipleship purposes, though discipleship doesn't end there.  3. One Wednesday a month we have family night supper.  I used to call it Mayberry night because we'd watch Andy Griffith, compare it to Scripture, and eat.  When kids started coming, I showed Pinocchio, Toy Story, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor dream coat.  No real lesson, just a time to chill.  So that's our fellowship.

4. For evangelism, I never have really had to push the kids to invite their friends.  They invite more friends who invite friends than can fit in our rooms.  I do need to teach them theology and how to confront those who disagree with them, but our kids are automatic evangelists, and I'm satisfied with that for the time being.

5.  Shepherd's staff is our ministry.  One couple took over what was originally a food pantry and turned it into a whole outreach that meets basic needs of people in Loganville.  They also have a Thursday night supper and Bible study to feed their souls, and we have most of our members from that ministry.  I rejoice in that.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Beware his attacks

Tim Challies pointed me to this article today about ways Satan may attack you this week.  He's already attacked me in one of my weaknesses, and I need much prayer for remedy, but I trust the Lord to lead me to the end of the tunnel.  Satan reserves his heaviest blows for people who take ministry positions, and I often feel tortured mentally from paranoia, emotional dependency, discontentment, and I think I've almost ruined a friendship again.  One that the enemy wants ruined but that we need to pray him out of there completely.  Daily.  Oh, how I forget to do that.

Here is one of the ways mentioned:

"He may slander God to you in order to cast doubt on God’s goodness and shipwreck your faith."  Just like he did to Eve, questioning whether God really has her best interests at heart when he banned he from that fruit.  I thought of even more ways that I find people trapped into resenting God out of this same vein. 

Sometimes, he gets you distracted from the Lord so that you start looking to your own deeds for salvation.  Then you start working and working off your sin through acts of penance, totally insulting the fact that Jesus paid for your complete sin on the cross.  It doesn't need to be paid anymore.  If someone is in hell, it is because Jesus has not paid for his sin.  Or else, he wouldn't be there.  And there certainly is no need to pay your sin when Jesus already paid it to atone for subsequent sins.  He specifically paid for all your sins if indeed he has saved you, and all you can do is let him change you.  But just the same, people will work and work and sacrifice themselves until they begin to resent God and eventually turn away.  I see this in all Christian circles where they place any effort on man's ability.

John 8:32, however says you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.  If you aren't free, then you aren't following the truth.  It doesn't guarantee painlessness, but you will be free.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Thankful for swing dance.  Like riding a bike.  You don't forget how to do it.  But it is hard to communicate with your partner.

Anne Shirley, of Anne of Green Gables.  She's amazing.

The monastery.  It's like my new Smyrna.  Not only can I walk there, I can hear the monks sing at the right time, which is always heavenly.

Always thankful for my church.  The new boy came back.  The 3 As, however, were out again.  I wish I knew a better way I could minister to them.

Additionally, I'm thankful for the clothes pin doll craft that came with the lesson about Jesus raising Jairus's daughter.  It was such an easy craft.  I'll definitely recap that lesson next week and include the lady who hemorrhaged for 12 years, but also find a kid-friendly way to explain it.  She was just ill for 12 years, that's all they need to know.

thankful that we have two new cats in the house.  I wish they would come upstairs to see me.  One is friendly.  One is catty.  Since they are sisters, I named them Rachel and Leah.

Thankful that I finally put my aluminum cans in the recycling bucket and started laundry.  I might even put up my clothes tonight.

Thankful for my Lord who never leaves me nor forsakes me.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Back in the Swing

My computer died Wednesday afternoon.  I'm on the internet again today.  And there was much rejoicing.

I did go swing dancing again for the first time in 5 years.  It's one of those skills I don't really forget but also lose the beat after 5 seconds.  My arms ache today.  But in lieu of writing a bunch of facts, here are things I thought while dancing last night.

Somebody asked if my style was east coast or west coast.  I have no clue what that means but "white girl" wasn't an option. 

One Mexican guy really confused me by doing either the salsa or the Charleston, neither which I know very well.  He was more doing some Charlesa, but I could not make heads or tails of it.

When it was time to stop and get a water break, a wonderful game of dance floor Frogger commenced.

Some guys, I'm not really sure why they were there.  You'd look into their eyes and they would just wave back and not dance with you.  Well, it is Georgia Tech, home of the nerds.

My favorite dancer all night, and the only one I danced with twice, was Silvan.  He's a neuroscientist from Emory.  He was at least sweet and good looking.  I have no clue if he is liberal, pro-choice, a Christian, or anything, but he was a gentleman and he has a job.

Well, now, I have to do what I really need to do, and that is study for a test on Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


This is more from the youth ministry class.  Lesson 4 is about keeping your Christian identity.

How have you seen your identity in Christ impact your ministry?
What helps you restore your identity?

My identity in Christ definitely gives me encouragement on days when my lessons are more dry or just not as good. This identity keeps me going if I ever mess up or say something stupid. Especially being Reformed, God's grace and sovereignty give me the security that I need when things are just not going my way.

What helps restore my identity? Lots of reading from Reformed folks like R.C. Sproul and even Calvin keep me afloat. Taking time to sing from my hymnal and read the Scriptures also helps. Here lately, God has been showing himself to me through my friendships. It's like they make his love more tangible.

The next is about youth culture: Are you up to date with youth culture? This lecture is 10 years old, how do you recommend we stay current? – what has helped you? 

At this point, I am out of ideas on keeping in touch with current trends in the culture, but here is my answer: Right now I'm pretty fluent in the Hunger Games books and the Twilight books. I can talk to the 13-year-old about them. I usually follow YouTube trends to see about culture. I'm a bit out of touch. Sometimes, there will be media commentary shows on YouTube like Whatthebuck that I watched for a while. Facebook also keeps me posted on what's going on. Sometimes I read what's trending on Yahoo!. I listen to the radio from time to time. I actually would like to be more up-to-date. I look forward to other remarks.  

I don't even follow WTB anymore because I finally couldn't get past his gayness.  I haven't found a really good alternative, though reading the news helps.  

For now, I'm feeling a weight off of my shoulders, although I also can't help thinking about events this week.  Last year, I joined the EPC church by becoming a member of the church where I youth pastor.  This past weekend at Presbytery, my dad joined the denom as an ordained minister.  We are both free from the PCUSA, but until now we had not felt free from Smyrna, my home church.  Now, I've been released from that as the preacher this week decided that it's okay to ordain gays.  I honestly didn't see that coming, but I had been estranged from the youth pastor since about 2005, who has no restraint in his liberal ideologies.  Our falling out became official just before the new year.  He left a perverted looking comment on facebook.  I commented on it.  He sent me a nasty letter calling me judgmental and unfriended me.

Now, I know that judgment is probably my biggest flaw, but this guy doesn't really know me anymore.  And besides, isn't it judgmental to call someone judgmental?  Either way, I'm shaking Smyrna's dust off my feet for the time being.  I really do feel free from that old weight, but I still feel sad for the youth of Conyers who have to be influenced by this.  But on the bright side, I can focus on my own ministry without being divided by another master, and you don't know how happy that makes me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sailing the Cs

Labeling aside, I've now read chapters 7-9 of PDYM.  I read one terrible chapter and two that I actually agree with. 

We'll start with the terrible chapter: techniques on reading the community.  It seems that both Doug Fields and Rick Warren believe that if a church spends most of its resources tending to the people that already go there, then we are coddling the insiders and ignoring the outsiders.  That's simply not the case.  The church exists to rehabilitate its members every week with worship and fellowship.  It's not to the detriment of the outside, because the outside is just as welcome in the doors. 

But just the same, here are Doug's ideas on reaching the lost:

“A preference of worship style seems to be more sociological than theological.”

Who says it has to be a style?  You’re getting music and worship confused again.  They work together but are not the same.  Worship is not a style.  Worship is the way you live.  A worship service should not be following a style but following what God ordains and it should be respectful, not crapped together at the last minute.  Everything must have meaning.  I’m not against electric guitars or drums, but I am against reducing worship to ulterior motives and gimmicks.

“Until students are environmentally comfortable, they won’t be theologically aware.”

So Finney-ish.  You’re looking to your own powers to contrive a spiritual high rather than relying on the Spirit to move in the students.  The Bible shows how the Spirit moves: not through lights and music but through the preaching of the WOG, through the proper administration of sacraments and church discipline.  If you want lights and music, great, but that’s not what makes people theologically aware.

“Many visitors will evaluate your entire ministry based on how they were greeted when they arrived.”

Sometimes I do like being invisible, but it is flattering when someone notices you and seems to appreciate you.  And what is wrong with organ music and senior citizens singing, anyway?  Sure, one member usually really sticks out and sings off key, but your prejudices are going on the other direction.  They need to feel welcome, too.  You need the best of both worlds.

“God wired us with the capacity to laugh, and we shouldn’t view fun as ungodly.”

But we also have to know the difference between having fun and being disrespectful in worship.  There are ways to have a meaningful and fun worship service, but you don’t need extra embellishments because you are trying to bribe people. 

I do agree with getting them involved. 

“I have put information into my message that would impress my deceased seminary homiletics professor instead of a message that a living fourteen-year-old crowd student could understand.”

And what is wrong with them?  I find that students are more intrigued by meaty theology rather than fluffy sentiments. 

I do agree with the Pray, Point, Plot, Personalize, and Practical plan.  If nothing else, I agree with that.  But it’s also going to be meaty.

Next, we get to the chapters that I agree with, labeling aside.

First, we reach the congregational people through small groups.  I can't agree more.  Especially when you run a mega-church like Saddleback.  Without small groups you will have no community, and honestly, if a church gets that huge, it probably should divide into smaller churches and not congregate around one man.

“A leader who can nurture a group of students will experience a depth of ministry never reached in just being up front and running the show.”

This is why we don’t label our people with Cs.  The same thing will work for all people.  We do reach the community people.  We are at Shepherd’s Staff.  We feed them both food and the Word on Thursday nights, and many come on Sundays.  We have seen homeless people get homes, carless people get rides, and families get prayer.  There’s no pop culture gimmick involved.  It’s not what we can get out of it.  Just our genuine love. Seriously, Saddleback only reaches out to people for what they can get out of it, not genuinely wanting to meet their needs.  If the numbers are good, then the individuals don't matter.  We'll just label them.

And chapter 9

Finally, he had a pretty good idea with the more Committed members.  He recalled a guy he discipled who later left the church.  He said, he had the discipling right and the interaction right, but he never prepared him on how to live his faith during the week.  Jesus did all that and then prepared his disciples for his death.  We have to prepare our kids for when they are free from their parents, not just give them head knowledge.