And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
You may be seated. Thank you for worshiping with us this morning. Um, the youth ministry has had a very, very busy summer, um, but most importantly, a very fruitful summer. Um, and so coming up, we have a few students who attended these different camps and trips and would love to tell you more about their experiences.
Hi, I’m Lauren Shafer a freshman at Morristown high school. And this summer I went on the junior high mission trip to Chatanooga Tennessee, which was my second sun se trip. I had a lot of fun on the mission trip this summer, and I grew in so many different ways. During the trip we worked with widows harvest ministries, project 52, and a homeless shelter.
My group worked with widow’s harvest ministries and we painted widow’s house. Her name was Ms. Moore. After talking with her, we realized that she also needed help cleaning the inside of her house. So we did that as. Ms. Moore was extremely nice to us and appreciative of our help. She started telling us stories about her life and even showed us some old photo albums she had after each Workday, we prayed with her.
It was really beautiful to see how we were making such a big difference in our life, even if it was only for a week. The first thing we would do every morning when we woke up was spend time with God and quiet time for every suns servant trip. We get these books that have a certain theme for what we’ll be learning that week.
This year’s theme was pressing on based on Philippians three 14, I pressed on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. This verse has become one of my favorites because it’s a great reminder to push through and stay strong because through God you can, no matter what it is, everything you do should be done for the glory of God.
One of the leaders was describing how, um, the former director of widows harvest ministries would come up to people while they’re painting and ask what they’re doing. They would say painting. And he would say, no, you’re worshiping. I really saw this to be true throughout the trip because of sun servants, kids were able to help so many people and just be a light in their lives, through their work and that kind of impact.
Isn’t just temporary. It’s showing God’s love to other people and that’s a permanent thing. Thank you.
Good morning. So my name is Ethan Davis, and I have the pleasure to talk to you about my experience from Collwood week. So first off Collwood week was a chance for me and other high schoolers to go to the Collwood campus, actually the FCC Collingwood campus, and run a VBS campus at a local park nearby.
And so we had about 12 or so high schoolers show up and throughout the week we had a blast. So I’m gonna show you kind of what each day looked like. So around 7:00 AM, we would kind of wake up, just get ourselves mentally and physically prepared. And around seven 30, we would start our morning devotions, which were written by Ryan.
And they were just well written. They were amazing, a great way to just start the day with like God’s word. And so after that we would eat breakfast. After breakfast, we would, um, gather all our posters and stuff that we needed for the day. And we’d actually walk to the park, cuz the park was about only like a mile or so away.
So we’d gather all our stuff and walk to the park and just prepare for the kids to come. And once the kids came, we kind of just spent around an hour or so, just like hanging with them, getting to know them, just learning who they are. And after that we were able to just have worship time and they were like so energetic.
They were, they were ready to learn and they wanted to learn more. And so once we were all done, the kids left, we wrapped up, we packed up and we headed back. We headed back to the church and once we headed back to the church, we had about three or four hours to just relax and just like prepare for the next day by doing a dry run, which a dry run is basically just.
Doing our roles, but like speaking them to our leaders and just getting prepared and getting all the stress off our bodies. And then after that we would have dinner. And then right before bed, we would actually do, um, worship in the sanctuary of the church, which was just a great way to end off the day in on a good note with God’s word again.
And the week went amazing and God was really able to provide for us. We actually had three kids that were saved, which was just really amazing. You can clap. Thank.
That opened all our eyes to just really see what God can do and how he can work in just one simple week. And so from my personal experience, um, me and a friend of mine named Simian painter, um, we actually met this guy who was just sitting alone at the park and we decided to just go join him, just, just get to know him, you know?
And so we learned that he’s actually an artist and he’s just a really good painter and he collects art. And then he asked us what we were doing in the park, cuz he saw us just with a giant group of people. And we said we were running a VBS camp and his draw jaw dropped and he was amazed by what we were doing.
And he was just so happy that we were spreading God’s love throughout the community. And so he actually kept coming back day after day, just meeting me and SIM again and learning who we are and who he is. And God proved that week that he was really almighty and that nothing was ever gonna change that.
And so a little verse I wanna share with you that relates. Uh, to my experience from Collwood week is Matthew 28, 18 to 20, which says, and Jesus came and said to them all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.
God showed up so much in that week and I can’t wait to go back next year.
Hi, my name is Leah Bennet and I’m a senior at Atlantic high school. This past summer, I attended my second high school missions trip to Panther. West Virginia Panther holds a special place in my heart, and I bet any of the other high schoolers would tell you the exact same thing. Once you’re there, it feels like no other place measures up.
It’s a place where community strengthens and extends me on the trip. A place of worship and teaching and a place to meet personally with God where I’m reminded that God is the only person that can satisfy the deepest longings of my heart Panther can feel like the life Adam and Eve lived at the beginning of a Genesis when they walk joyfully in the cool of the day with God.
But in reality, it’s only a small glimpse of what heaven will be like. Hopefully a place where we can flash toilet favor Panther. West Virginia is one of the poorest areas of the country and an area where many people are in need of some home repair this year, my work group and I, the blue team had the opportunity to help Mr.
McGuire by raising the kitchen floor of his trailer home, to prevent it from completely caving in the weather. That week was very rainy. So it slowed down our progress little bit, but by the help of God’s provision and the help of boys, not afraid of mud, my group was able to accomplish what we set out to do by the end of the week, while some of us were working, some of us went inside to talk to the homeowner and spread the love of Jesus.
The mission trips I’ve been a part of are so special because our week spent humbly serving the people who need our help and in turn serving Jesus. It’s like he says in Matthew 25 40, and the king will answer them truly. I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers, you did it to me.
The trip to Panora this summer was so fruit filled and a time of spiritual growth. But I can’t talk about all the good things without some honest reflection of my own week. I definitely dealt with being spiritually attacked that week. And my thoughts were clouded by one particular lie. No one really likes being around you.
I’ve always struggled with comparing myself to people and constantly seemed to need the reminder that God’s approval is the only one that I need. And I’ve been fearfully and wonderfully made. I talked about that same struggle and my baptism testimony. And here I am to say that I still struggle with it.
You’ll be wrong of me to say that I’ve been completely freed of cam comparing myself to people and caring what others thinking me. But that doesn’t mean God, isn’t still good. And isn’t still working during that trip. God showed me through different leaders and through different friends that people do care about me and do like being around me simple questions.
Like, are you okay? Do you wanna go on a walk together? You don’t seem yourself. Is everything all right? Had so much value during that week. For me, I still had a difficult time believing those questions actually had people attach to them who gen genuinely wanted to know how I was doing and spend time with me.
But when I reflect back on the trip from where I am now, I can see that God not only doesn’t want us to believe the lie that I did during that trip, but that even if no one really likes being around me, he does. And he loves me infinitely more than the love than the love I might search for from anyone else.
God created each of us for a specific purpose with specific gifts and personalities, all to glorify him. I might not be like the person next to me, but even if I go unnoticed here on earth, I’m never unnoticed by the king of heaven. My life is his and not my own. Finally, as Jared would end his sermons every night in Panther, if you forget everything I said today, remember that you are loved immeasurably more than you could ever imagine.
And you are valued more than anything in this world could ever give you. Thank you.
Good morning. Every. My name is Haven McCoy. I am a senior in high school at Trinity preparatory school, my family and I have been going to FCC for over nine years now. And I’ve always been involved in youth group and youth ministries. And that’s why I’m very excited for this youth. Sunday. I’ve loved having a stable place to come and be surrounded by other Christians.
It truly has been the biggest blessing in my life. So as far as this summer, I went on a missions trip with the youth group to Panther West Virginia. We partnered with sun servants, which is an organization that helps the Panther community. This was my first year going on at the trip. And it was just the most inspiring experience.
The whole Panther community. When we got there was so welcoming and encouraging toward us. The volunteers were so caring and made everyone feel safe and comfortable. They just wanted us to feel at home, everyone that got to go on the trip in many different and beautiful ways, fully experience the abundant love of God.
So what sun servants and all of us at churches that partnered with them did was we went into the community to help different people in need. So we split into groups. I believe there were about like eight groups of us and we got an assignment. Some went out into community and fix rotted, porches, others fixed up roofs.
And my group got the privilege of redoing a woman’s floor. Basically, she had no center beam in her floor, so it was sinking in. So we had to rip that out, redo her floor. And then we also fixed part of her wall that was infested with termites. And that is basically what we got up and did every single day.
But what I mainly wanna talk about is my experience with the love of the community, the community, including fellow FCC, people, other church participants, or the sun servants faculty. This trip was filled with the most God loving people I have ever been surrounded by. Everyone was there for one purpose.
And that was just to work hard and give all the praise to God. Every single person that came to Panther that week, either came already filled with the joy of Christ and to work hard and be a disciple to him. And if they didn’t, they certainly left with the desire to grow in their relationship with Christ.
Didn’t matter if the power went out for the third time that week, and we had no light or fans to keep us cool. Or if we were sweating from a long work day and had no water to shower overall, I didn’t care about any of that. All I could focus on all week was how excited I was to be surrounded by so many Christlike people, personally, even being surrounded by so many Christians, I’ve struggled with finding a group of Christians that genuinely desire to just share God’s love and show him through themselves.
And this trip, didn’t only bless me with the experience and missions, but it blessed me with a community of friends, whether they’re new or old, that I feel like I’m growing closer to God, just by being in their presence. There was no friction, no one wanted friction. Everyone desired so much to be connected with each other because God put together such a wonderful group that week.
No one split off into groups. We just wanted to be around each other. And the night before we left, we were all obviously very sad and everyone was crying, saying their goodbyes because no one wanted to leave the community where we felt so loved, cherished and safe, and don’t get me wrong. Although I was so sad leaving the next morning, I couldn’t wipe a smile off my face all night because I was just overwhelmed with joy.
And I was just so grateful. I just felt the presence of God in me and in the community that he put together that week so much, I knew we impacted the Panther community by helping those in need, but they impacted me so much more than I could have ever imagined. I was so grateful to experience a type of love from people.
I had only met five days before God’s love was shining through everyone that week. And I’m just so blessed to be a part of that experience. It’s the community. There was the community. We try to seek home in reality, but the mission trip was just a symbol of how Christ’s family should always be. So thank you him.
This getting set up. Sorry about that. Great to be with you all this morning. This is our use. Like, isn’t that crazy? it is.
It is wild to, uh, have this privilege, Jared, to lead middle schoolers, which if you don’t know me, my name is Ryan. Um, I’ve been on staff here at fellowship for the past three years. Um, I love my job today. I just realized that I love it more. Um, but yes, this is our youth. Um, and it is a joy to be with you all this morning as we look at God’s word together, but I am not gonna dilly D it’s 9 39 today is not just youth Sunday, but as you’ve heard earlier today is officer the ministry fair.
Um, we had balloons, but they fell over. It was really cool. Right. But there’s tables everywhere. We wanna make sure that you stop. Everywhere you want to stop at for you and your family this year, before you go home, uh, and watch the Cowboys lose to the Bengals. So yeah, if you have a Bible, if you have a Bible, uh, or someone around you does that you can look on with, or if you want to reach for a fancy black pew Bible in front of you, that’s gonna be on page 7 59.
Um, but Matthew chapter four versus 18 through 22 is where we’re gonna land this morning. And we’re gonna look at the cost of following Jesus, but while you’re turning there, I’m just gonna set the stage. We’re taking a break from our series in acts, which is a beautiful backdrop behind me. We won’t be there this morning.
Um, but this morning we’ll be looking at the calling of Jesus’ first disciples as recorded by the disciple Matthew. This call from Jesus and Matthew four is actually a, a parallel writing from mark chapter one. So mark chapter one versus 16 through 20, we can really piece together some context around this whole event, not just to see where these two authors are different and the details of their writing, but also seeing where they align in similarity.
And if we look for just a second, uh, in terms of similarity, both Matthew and mark, write this calling of Jesus’ first disciples, which is where we’re gonna land. They write this immediately after they write about Jesus’s announcement of the beginning of his earthly ministry. Um, this announcement is verse 17 in Matthew four, uh, and mark one, it is in verse 14 and 15, which should be up on the slide.
Mark. One 15. Jesus says this. The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand repent and believe in the gospel. I believe Matthew and Mark’s intentions were pretty clear to yes, record the importance of this beginning, work of Jesus here on earth, but then immediately demonstrate to their audiences what repenting and what believing in the gospel actually looks like.
So here we are. We’re in Matthew four with a couple different parties of people, Simon, Peter, and Andrew in their boat, James and John with their dad ZDI and their hired servants in their boat and Jesus walking by the sea of galley. So I’m gonna read for us and then we’ll, we’ll pray this morning. Matthew four verse 18 says this.
While walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers Simon who was called Peter and Andrew, his brother casting a net into the sea for, they were fishermen. And he said to them, follow me. And I will make you fishers of men immediately. They left their nets and followed him and going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zeb and John’s brother in the boat with Zeb, their father mending their nets.
And he called them immediately. They left the boat and their father and followed him.
Lord, we look at your word this morning. We need you. We thank you for all the testimonies this morning from different missions trips. Seeing your spirit, not just here in this church building, but in Panther in Conwood in Chattanooga, we pray Lord that we would gain a clear sense of what it looks like to follow you in our lives this morning, your name, amen.
Two things. Uh, we’re gonna, we’re gonna go quick. So two things I think I see from, uh, scripture this morning, I think we see one, we see a radical call and second, we see a definite response. Uh, the first phrase, Jesus in verse 19 calls out to Simon, Peter and Andrew follow me. And I will make you fishers of men.
This wasn’t the first time Jesus had met Simon, Peter and Andrew in verse 35 of John chapter one through the end of John four, Peter and Andrew were beginning to gain a sense of who Jesus was as rabbi. Uh, they were starting to build relationship with him, getting to know him, learning his ways, training under him, witnessing his power amongst all kinds of different people.
But here’s why this situation is radical. Jesus called fishermen. And I think the misconception today is to think, at least in our brains, that fishermen were part of this low class of society, poor people. That’s not actually the case, which we’ll talk about in a second. But the reality is again, Jesus called fishermen.
These were common men without any sort of theological credentials or status. These four guys were likely not the most educated people. They probably smelled . Most rabbis probably wouldn’t want these guys to, to study under them, but they were hardworking. They were strong laborers and they were willing.
and here Jesus is saying, follow me. And I will make you fishers of men. I will make you fishers of men implying that this will be a, a steady journey of training under Jesus, not sharing the ways and the truth of who he is with others is part of following Jesus. So disciples of Jesus can make other fishers of men too.
So we see a radical call. And I think, secondly, we see a definite response immediately. They left and filed him. These four men left behind their nets, but I think that symbolizes a lot for them to follow Jesus. These men left their incomes to question to follow Jesus. They left their wives. Children’s family.
For periods of time, maybe not knowing when the next time they would be home or come back in town to follow Jesus. They left behind their financially stable businesses and futures to follow Jesus, James and John, even when against the cultural norms at the time and left the family business to follow Jesus again, James and John left their dad in the boat.
They left everything, but what’s even crazier is that they didn’t just leave slowly making sure you know, okay. Like if I leave, is everything gonna be all right? Is everything set in stone? Like, Hey, Hey man is sorry if I go and follow this guy. No, like that says they immediately left and followed him because they knew Jesus was better.
He was different than the other teachers. He’s the one who spoke with the greatest of authority. Who was rooted in the old Testament, who, who also gave application and presented conviction to others as he taught. And although being the one who spoke with the greatest of authority, the same Jesus had the deepest of compassions for the sick who guided the lost, who loved the poor and helped those in need.
I think for Simon, Peter, Andrew, James, and John, this decision was a no must have been a no brainer. It was definite I don’t have it on the slide, but thought of the lyrics from a hymn written very long time ago, um, called I’ve decided to follow Jesus. Some of the lyrics are I’ve decided to follow Jesus.
No, turning back, no turning back though. None go with me. I still will follow no turning back, no turning back the world behind me and the cross before me. No turning back. No turning back our second point. So to follow Jesus back then 2000 years ago, and even today in 2022, what’s the cost. I believe the cost of following Jesus requires two things.
First, a denial of self and an embracing of Christ in a Matthew 16, 24 kind of way. Jesus speaking to his disciples that if anybody will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me for whoever would save his life will lose it. It, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Tish Harrison Warren’s book. Uh, I wish I brought it up here. I think it’s on a slide. Great. Um, it’s called a liturgy of ordinary. It’s been super meaningful to me as I’ve been kind of processing what it looks like to deny myself actually, and embrace Christ actually in my daily life. Um, the preor of her book brings up a really good idea, uh, denying yourself and embracing Christ is a day by day and moment by moment thing.
And most of the moments that we experience in our lives are pretty ordinary. Like losing my keys. Uh, your husband forgot to do the dishes again, um, rocking your baby to sleep and they will never ever go to sleep. Have a three month old. I thought you guys were kidding that they didn’t sleep. Wow. I was wrong.
But here’s what Warren says in her book about following Jesus in every moment she says this, uh, I don’t have the quote. So, but it says small bits of our day are profoundly meaningful because they’re the sight of our worship. The crucible of our formation is in the monotony of our daily routines. I, I think she’s saying that it’s in everything that we do in every situation that we face.
There’s a competition for where we place our devotion and where we place our affection. And also I think this battle for where we place our devotion, doesn’t just apply in these big, big, monumental moments we each have in our lives, but it applies everywhere and every day, and in every moment choosing to follow Christ, isn’t just saved.
For the remarkable moments for our lives. The reality is that we will face many, many decisions to follow him in the ordinary and regular times in the, in our lives than in the extraordinary following. Jesus requires us to weigh the cost of denying ourselves and embracing him. And second, I think the cost of our, and it’s our last point.
I think the cost of following Jesus requires worldly, abandonment and an eternal fixation. It’s 9 51. I was hoping I’d have time to do this, but I’m leaving. Just kidding. Hold on.
We’ll mix it up. It’s you Sunday. I have a prop now I’m gonna warn you. This is not. This is not my illustration. Uh, it is coined by the I’m sorry, camera person. I’m like every it’s like this guy just walked off the stage. This was coined by, uh, pastor author, Francis chance who you might know him. Jared has done this at youth group before, but when I think of worldly, abandonment, wow, this is such a cool picture.
Okay. It’s youth ministry. It’s youth Sunday. I want you to put your imagination helmet on. Just buckle it up. I don’t know if you got a seatbelt, if you got a seatbelt too. That’s great. Um, here’s what I want. I want you to imagine that this rope hope goes on forever. Um, it obviously ends at the end of the stage, but pretend that it goes around the world twice, pretend that it goes around the universe twice.
Uh, pretend that it goes around the church twice, whatever this rope goes on forever and ever, and ever. Second thing. I want you to imagine. I want you to imagine that this rope is a timeline of your entire existence. So if this goes on forever, this will be eternity, eternity, eternity, really. And the last thing I want you to imagine is that this yellow part is your time here on earth.
And we’re human. And I catch myself too, where, okay. Maybe if, maybe if I get this grade here, I can go to this college. And, and then if I go to this college, I could go here. And if I save, I could, I could live really well here. And we forget about the millions and the millions. and the millions and the millions of years of our eternity,
Matthew 16, 25, whoever saves his life here on earth will lose it. And whenever loses my life, whoever loses their life for my sake will find, it
says that the disciples immediately left everything to follow Christ. They abandon the world. Yes. These things still exist. There’s there’s things in our world that exist like money and, and finances and things like that. But they said, I’m not gonna place my identity there. They turned and followed Christ and they found life.
we’ve seen this morning from a bunch of youth who have left behind summer plans, vacations, extra opportunities to make money, college visits, you name it. They left these things behind to follow Christ. Parents love to acknowledge you for just a second. Some of you were in a position like ZDI, you’re in the boat while you’re thinking about their future and their wellbeing and their next steps.
You’ve allowed them to go like ZDI and say, yes, follow him, allowing your children to follow the truth in ways of Jesus church. The reality is that we can’t follow Jesus and ourselves. The throne of our lives can’t hold to. It’s one or the other, my question for us this morning is this, are we following Jesus?
Are we following Jesus every moment in our days in the mundane of a, of a normal Tuesday with soccer practice at night, are we following Jesus there
love for you to stand this morning before we dismiss. I’m just gonna pray for us.
Pray with me
Lord. As we stand together this morning,
as people whom you love.
Maybe not just learn the truths of who you are, but be pushed to follow your ways in the world. In a world. That’s hard in a world that’s loud in a world. That’s fast. Make us the people who long to know you and make you known. May we remember who it is? That’s leading us as we follow you and that name we pray.
Lord. Amen. May you keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus as you walk and follow him this week would love for you to check out the ministry fair before you go and stop at any tables that you need to, you are dismissed.