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Let’s step up our discipleship game

Re Teaching them to observe everything…(October). I fully agree that discipleship has been an MB priority, but in recent times it’s falling by the wayside. The fact is today we (myself included) are too biblically illiterate, and “don’t have time” to work out our relationship with God. Churches don’t want to impose on people and don’t want to push too hard so as to make people not come back. It’s as though we think the only way people will come to church is if the church doesn’t act like a church.

In our efforts to make the church appealing to the non-Christian, or the new Christian, we are watering down the programs our churches are running. If people coming to the church – be it for floor hockey, daycare, or Sunday worship – don’t see the church actively pursuing a God-filled, real, biblically based relationship, if they don’t hear, see, or feel God, his Word, and works when they walk into our churches, what will encourage them to actively pursue that kind of relationship? Where will we learn to run the race marked out for us? To throw off the sin that so easily entangles? To read our Bibles? To become disciples of God?

One way is to get back to teaching the Bible, instead of casually mentioning it week after week. “Relaxing our guidelines” has in turn relaxed our teaching, resulting in a decline in discipleship. Let’s step up our game and really teach the Bible. It’s God’s Word – it will not return empty (Isaiah 55:11)! Let’s not be afraid we will offend someone with God’s Word, that it might be too harsh to hear what God has to say on a subject. Actions speak louder than words, yes, but if we hear God’s words, it will change our actions.

If we invest our time in God’s Word, if only for the 20- to 60-minute slot “reserved” for teaching every week, hearts and minds will change because of Jesus. Disciples will arise.

Steve Rempel
Richmond, B.C.

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Thankful, yet left to wonder

Re “For I needed to tell my story, and you listened to me…” (Viewpoint, October). What a wonderful good news story of grace and fortitude. It would appear to me that Peggy’s recovery might have been expedited had the Christian church she had joined made an attempt to confront the abuser or abusers (who then could also find healing) and at least protect the public from further abuse cases.

It is actually a legal requirement for such cases to be reported to the police. Could it be that the state is more resolute in protecting the public than the Christian church? Hushing up the incident seems to reflect a painful level of indifference and a spurious level of spirituality. Sadly this is not a new story.

1 Corinthians 12:26 says, “If one part [of the body] suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” In spite of Peggy’s protracted suffering, grace, courage, and healing prevailed.

George H. Epp
Chilliwack, B.C.

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Help our youth pastors

I wonder why we as a conference, especially in B.C., are currently finding ourselves with a huge lack of youth pastors. I find it quite distressing that more than six youth pastors, to my knowledge, have resigned since January of this year in B.C. alone.

What is happening here? Why has the common life expectancy of a youth pastor dwindled to a mere two years? And more importantly, what are we as churches and as a conference doing about it? Is anyone asking these pastors the hard questions, and if so, are they getting truthful answers? What are we doing with the answers? I know three of these pastors personally and have spoken to them. The answers I am getting are very disturbing. My question is when are we going to do something about it?

We have lost control of our own churches. The conference – which at one time tried so hard to maintain balance – has handed us the reigns, but not taught us how to drive. We need these men and women to help us lead and raise our children in the current church. We want these men and women to help us. Why then is it so easy to judge them and the way they develop their programs and work with our children? They are trained professionals, chosen by God and led to us by his guidance through our prayers. We need to allow God to work through them as he sees fit! I ask that you all join with me in prayer to find a way through this crisis and that we – as churches and as a conference – would be open to God’s leading as we work together to support our youth pastors in this very difficult time.

Gail Derksen
Chilliwack, B.C.

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