GREETINGS :: FRIENDS, FAMILY, SUPPORTERS
It’s been three years since you’ve heard from us in an official
fundraising capacity, as God has been leading us through an intense
journey of learning to trust HIM as our Provider. It’s been challenging
and rewarding in so many ways, and we now feel released to make
you aware of and invite you into the journey like never before.
Giving is an act of worship. He doesn’t need our money, but
surrendering it is a chance for us to practice radical generosity and to
show God with our actions how much He means to us. It’s not lip service.
It’s a practice of putting our trust in Him over everything else – even money. We have an incredible opportunity right now to walk this out together. Would you take a step with us?
We’re headed to Guayaquil, Ecuador on July 6 for outreach concerts, chapel services, and the opportunity to help raise scholarships for impoverished children to attend Christian school through Latin America ChildCare. An estimated 20 million children under the age of 15 don’t go to school there because they have to work to help keep their families alive. God’s used this ministry to transform thousands of futures – to rewrite a child’s life story and turn hopelessness into dreams. We are praying to raise $3,000 to cover the expense of this trip and the ministry events. Would you help send us?
52 weeks a year (for 16 years now!) you can find me ministering somewhere, sharing the amazing truth of God’s love in a creative, compelling way. Recently, I’ve experienced extreme favor and
connection again with teenagers, leading students in a “God Party” of sorts – an interactive worship experience within the context of celebration that is resonating deeply and touching hearts. There’s an article about it on my website. It’s a fresh move of the Spirit, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part! Would you consider partnering with us in this endeavor on a consistent basis, maybe adding us to your monthly missionary support – or per event? If we could raise $2,000 a month, it would literally propel me around the world, sustaining multiple events and the accompanying expenses. These concerts end with several students on the stage, in the band – their faces beaming with joy and pride while they play along as part of the team (often for the first time ever), leading their peers in worship and celebration. It changes them. It changes me. Supporting this ministry makes an eternal difference in the world.
What part will you play?
PLEASE CONSIDER HITTING US UP AT THE PAYPAL BUTTON ON THIS SITE, PURCHASING A FEW CDs, OR WRITING ME AN EMAIL TO RECEIVE INFO ABOUT USING YOUR CREDIT CARD OR SENDING A CHECK. THANKS AGAIN!
Have You Thrown a Party Lately?
By Justin Fox
The truth is; Christians don’t really know how to party. Our culture, our generation, and generations to come need to relearn the fine art of celebration – and nothing is worth celebrating more than God’s goodness, faithfulness, and love for us. Sure, we sing about celebration, we talk about it in sermons, but rarely do any of us actually experience it in our church gatherings. For example, many of the songs we sing reference “dancing”, but how many of us really dance. Be honest.
So, I propose instead of thinking of your next special gathering as “putting on an event”, or “planning out a service”, why don’t you instead THROW A PARTY? Set it up just like a party. Hang streamers, and balloons. Pass out party-poppers and candy. Pour the punch, dim the lights, rent a popcorn machine, hang a disco-ball. You get the picture. Personally, I have felt God calling and nudging me in this direction, and I’m excited to see where it leads.
When I look at the Old Testament and read God’s first instructions to His people about festivals and feast days, it seems as if we’ve missed something. God loves a celebration and I think many of us could benefit from a fresh approach like this.
What would a Christ-centered party look like? What would you actually do? Well, as I have experimented with this lately I’ve discovered a few things that work really well. We like to keep the idea of celebration connected to the Biblical context of worship, but still maintain room for individual creativity. So, take these as suggestions, but be sure to put your creative fingerprints on this and help shape it and mold it for your community.
Ideas For Your Next Celebration:
The plan is to have a band or an individual on stage to play and provide the music during the party. Everything you do needs to be thought out in advance and designed to make sure everyone participates and has a great time.
WORSHIP THROUGH COMMUNITY – 10 min.
Starts with an extended time of unstructured “hanging out”. Music playing, punch flowing, treats out, and no chairs. Let students talk with one other. I recommend serving food first. (Have you ever gone to a party where they save the food for last?)
WORSHIP THROUGH THANKSGIVING – 15 min.
Gather students together and officially welcome them to the party. Get things jumping with 2 or 3 fun, upbeat songs of thanksgiving (original if possible). Then have them seated (on the floor, or have them grab a chair and race back). Encourage them to share with each other in small groups of three or four about the things that they are thankful for. Transition out of that with a few more fun songs. Keep audience participation high and your sense of humor sharp.
WORSHIP THROUGH PETITION – 10 min.
You can’t authentically celebrate without addressing and dealing with the struggles, hardships, and challenges of life. When things are tough and we don’t know where to turn, we turn to God. This is an act of worship.
Have students pray for one another. Maybe in silence, maybe all together out loud, maybe one-on-one, but give them an opportunity to minister to one another.
WORSHIP THROUGH GIVING – 5 min.
A great place for an offering, but make it meaningful and maintain a worshipful atmosphere. We don’t give because God needs it – we give to sacrifice something precious to us as an act of worship.
WORSHIP THROUGH OBEDIENCE – 10 min.
Transition from this prayer time with a call and a challenge to follow God and His ways, even when times are hard. If another song is sung here, it might be fitting to have students stand when they feel led as an act of saying they want to follow God with their whole life.
WORSHIP THROUGH CELEBRATION – 10 min.
With the kids still standing, lead them in thanking God for His grace and strength to obey Him – that it’s not about us, but all about Him, and transition into an up-beat congregational song. In between this and your last song, consider challenging your students to really dance as an act of worship and celebration. One idea that I’ve tried is playing a “dance party medley” from my iPod with songs like the Macarena, the Chicken Dance, and YMCA. It’s a sure-fire way to make sure everyone is dancing and having fun.
WORSHIP THROUGH PARTICIPATION – 10 min.
At the very end, invite several students to join the band up front (or be the “band”), playing random, funny instruments like a small accordion, shaker, cowbell!, ukulele, etc. Get the rest of the crowd involved in some way, cheering for the kids on stage or trying to out-shout one another if possible – anything other than just singing along. Pass out confetti and Party-Poppers and when you give them the signal have them shoot them off to end the song.
PARTY CHECK LIST:
– Streamers, balloons, candy, punch, lights, hot dog machine, popcorn, disco-ball…etc, etc!
– Party-Poppers (1 for each person in your group)
– Any small, rare, silly instruments you have lying around?
– “Party Mix” of songs for before and after the live music and planned activities
– Set seating for audience in a casual, random way in sort of a semi-circle if possible (not too “churchy”)
To close things off create a playlist on your iPod or burn a CD with a selection of party songs like “Celebration” from Kool and the Gang or something to keep the party atmosphere going as closing words or announcements are made.
I’ve already lead 3 or 4 of these events and the response has been overwhelming! I’d be honored to party with you – find out about booking by clicking HERE
Last year’s ASCENT was awesome. 12 of us camped in the Yosemite valley and climbed Half Dome! Here’s a re-cap:
“Just a quick word to say thanks again for setting up the trip! I know you and Heidi did a lot of work setting it up and making it run smooth! It turned out fantastic!” – Ken
“Wow, is all I can say. God’s handiwork, his power, and his blessing us with the reminders in creation is humbling to say the least.” – Gregg
See the full story HERE
My wife and I decided to host these retreats, targeted for everyone and anyone that would be interested; singles, couples, pastors, musicians, artists, families…just a fun way to get away and experience something new, together.
:: THE TRAVERSE 2009 ::
THIS YEAR WE’RE TAKING IT TO THE GROUND for a 2-day hiking retreat in the picturesque Marin Headlands above San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. We’ve made it a little more accessible this time with easy to moderate hiking trails along coastal wilderness and actual beds and amenities at the Marin Headlands Hostel
THE DATES ARE SEPTEMBER 24-26, 2009
THERE ONLY 14 SPOTS AVAILABLE, and they are first come/first served starting now! The cost includes accommodates for 2 nights (plus meals for Friday and Saturday) and is only $150. To reserve your spot simply hit our Pay Pal button on the site, send in a check to our address below, or call me with your credit card number at 949-294-7039.
Justin Fox Ministries / 3007 Donnybrook Ln. Costa Mesa, CA 92626
:: SCHEDULE ::
Thursday the 24th – 7pm check-in / 8pm Beginning Gathering :: Worship, Experience, Community
Friday the 25th – 8am Breakfast and pack lunch / 9am leave for day hike / 6pm Dinner / 7pm Middle Gathering
Saturday the 26th – 9am Breakfast / Communion / Community …10:30am everyone heads home…