Discipleship, Engagement, Disorientation and Connection.
“When I was a kid, I used to enjoy art and would spend a great deal of my time drawing….Then I started playing video games and stopped drawing. I have come to learn while at reGENERATION that I can worship through art, and I would like to start drawing again and stop playing so many video games.” — As paraphrased by an EFC-MAYM male student in the worship lab at reGENERATION 2015.
“Bloom where you are planted” — Referenced by Grady Miller in regards to our life of discipleship, something he heard many years back.
I believe all of these terms: discipleship, engagement, disorientation and connection, have a relationship to each other as it relates to our vision and purpose for reGENERATION 2015. A group of 85 persons in EFC-MAYM: 45 students and 36 adults (a ratio of 1.25 students per adult which is our best ever to my knowledge for this particular event), gathered together on December 28 – 31 in the “Tristate area” near Tulsa at Post Oak lodge.
The following portion is taken directly from our website as it relates to our “disciple makers gathering” known as reGENERATION:
DISCIPLESHIP: We are excited about this disciple making gathering as we work together in EFC-MAYM to create an opportunity to equip disciple makers. We will be using EFC-MAYM persons only to lead worship and to facilitate interactive and experiential learning labs. The teenagers and adults who participate in this gathering will feel equipped and commissioned to make disciples who will make disciples.
ENGAGEMENT: During this gathering we are raising the bar as we equip disciple makers. An important piece of raising the bar, is asking everyone to lay down their life and their cell phone in order to fully engage in the experience at reGENERATION. We are asking everyone to be PRESENT and FULLY ENGAGED with God and others in a very practical way – no cell phone communication. As we do this together, we are excited about the ways that God will speak into our lives as we pay COMPLETE attention to Him and others.
DISORIENTATION: In a world where the predominant message is “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME,” Jesus speaks a message to us that says: “IT’S ALL ABOUT GOD.” As we live in a world of DISTRACTION, as disciples we need to FOCUS in order to HEAR God and OBEY. In light of these realities, we invite you to help bridge this GAP and come be a part of this DISCIPLE MAKING gathering as youth and adults experience DISCIPLESHIP together in the context of dying to self – IT’S ALL ABOUT ME – and taking up your cross – IT’S ALL ABOUT GOD – as we alleviate as much DISTRACTION as we can in order to FOCUS, HEAR and OBEY Jesus’ call to follow him – Matthew 4:19.
CONNECTION: Not only do I believe we fulfilled our purpose as we gathered together, eternity will be the true test to the ever slow work and process of discipleship. I am proud to share that I believe we exceeded our mark! Due to the aforementioned realities that were experienced at reGENERATION 2015, I believe our face-to-face relational encounters, conversations and experiences with God and with one another at reGENERATION 2015 will have kingdom impact and lasting fruit. Not only did we create, lead and implement all of our labs and worship experiences with EFC-MAYM persons, we also were able to feed our group three suppers! Thanks to Ramona Friends, Chandler Friends and Bolton Friends along with a connection from Pratt Friends that led us to a Baptist church in Tulsa, who helped feed our group supper each evening.
May God’s kingdom come and may his will be done as we all follow our Master and Lord into places new and old as we continue to “bloom where God has planted us” here on earth as it is in heaven. May we too find times to “lay down our life and take up our cross” on a daily basis as we follow Jesus wherever he may lead us…even when that place may be from our distracted selves, to a place of discipleship, engagement and connection with God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ through the power and reGENERATION of the Holy Spirit. May it be so.
– Jesse Penna, Associate Superintendent of Student Ministries