Category: Students

Mission JAX 2016 in Review

God showed up in a real way through Mission Jax. We had about 250 students involved plus an addition 50 adults serving. We were able to impact so many people in our community for the name of Jesus. Thank you for all whose students participated! Below is a brief video about what all we accomplished this week at Mission Jax.

 

School Loans CRIPPLE the Great Commission

student-debt

The debt 18-year-olds get into today to attend their dream school or just “go away to college” – will keep them from living for the glory of God.

Today, the average 18-year-old will go into major debt to attend college away from home just to get “the college experience.” This “experience” could cost them more in the long-run than they ever imagined.

Let me share with you a common story of today’s 18-year-olds.  Today, an 18-year-old will get into a college that takes them away from home.  This young person will take out college loans for living expenses, food, books, and probably classes as well.  This will not include the credit card they carry that buys them Chick-fil-A and new shoes when they don’t have the cash they need to get it.

After year 1, they will be in debt to the tune of about $10,000.  That’s one year in, and one year of college courses under their belt.  Don’t forget that credit card they are carrying.

After year 2, (still no degree) they will be over $20,000 in debt with no job and no degree.  Oh yeah, that credit card they carry is almost maxed out and they are just paying the minimum balance.

After year 3, they have declared a major have an associate’s degree and are excited about the future they are planning towards.  At the end of year 3 they are $30,000 in debt.  They are on track to get a degree in communication (because truthfully they don’t know what they want to do). They also now have 2 credit cards.  The first one is now maxed out.

After year 4 they feel a call to the mission field.  They are excited about this calling, and need only one more semester to get their degree.  So after four-and-a-half years of college they have a degree in communications, over $45,000 in student loans, and 2 credit cards nearly maxed out.  Oh yeah, and they want to be a missionary.

5 years after high school, with a college degree and a calling to the mission field they are now stuck working a 9-to-5 job just pay off that school loan.  Now the plan is in 13 years to head to the mission field- because that is how long it will take to pay off the school loan.  They will then be 35 years old…

The point is, the decisions an 18-year-old makes about college now, is going to impact their future and the future plans the Lord has for them more than they will ever know.

The average school loan debt is $30,000, for an undergraduate degree.

The average school loan debt is $57,000 for a master’s degree.

1-in-4 students with a master’s degree have debt of more than $100,000.

1-in-10 students with a master’s degree have debt of more than $150,000.

Years ago Pastor John Piper claimed that the very thing that keeps young people from going to the mission field is the guilt that comes from sexual sin.   While this may still be true, there is now something else creeping in, preventing missionaries from heading to the mission field, student loan debt.

Parents, you will be held accountable along with your 18-year-old.

Josh Glymph is the Pastor to High School Students at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can reach him at josh@fruitcove.com.

Your Family and Communion

Your child understands technology but not Communion…

This Sunday as a church we worship Christ through the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.  Do your children understand why we do these?

As a child I remember the Sundays that we had the Lord’s Supper. They were exciting to me because I got to eat a cracker and drink juice… in church; and I knew the sermon would be a bit briefer.  As for baptism, that made little sense to me. I was baptized because I was promised Krispy Kreme if I did.  For a 7 year old that was the greatest deal ever offered.   But do our children know what is happening?  Here is what I know without reservation: it is the parent’s role to explain/teach/disciple our children in church.

  • Does your child understand the blood of Jesus?
  • Does your teenager understand what it means to eat the broken body of Jesus?
  • Does your 8 year old understand why people are dunked in a hot tub above the choir or at the beach?
  • Does your 13 year old know why they are drinking grape juice in church?
  • Does your family understand the sacredness, reverence and importance of communion?
  • What about the gospel?  Does your child/teen understand the gospel?

If your child does not understand the gospel and cannot articulate the gospel they are not ready, and should NOT to take communion.  If we allow them to, we make them liars and frauds, before they can do so themselves.

We, the church, for far too long have made the assumption that everyone watching understands.  To make this assumption without knowing for sure is sinful and lazy.  Both of which I have been guilty of as a father and a minister.  My plea is this, just as much as communion and baptism should be forms of worship, they should also be used as opportunities to share the gospel.  Here’s how:

COMMUNION/LORD’S SUPPER:

Sit with your child/family/teenager and quietly share with them why your are eating the “body” and drinking the “blood.”  You may have no better opportunity to share the gospel with them.  That Christ’s body was broken for you and them and that his blood was spilled for you and for them, and that Christ died as a free gift for us it is not something we can earn.  Explain we do this to remember what Christ has done for us.  Explain the gospel.  Remind/Share with them that they ARE sinful and need their sin to be pardoned or forgiven, and Jesus offers forgiveness by the blood he shed on the cross.

Refer to these points of scripture: Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 53, 1 Corinthians 11: 17-34

BAPTISM:

As baptism occurs (whether at the beach or at the church) talk to your child/teen before and after this occurs.  Explain before that baptism is simply the way that a Christian makes their faith public.  That is, this is their announcement to both the church and the world that they are Christians; and that Jesus is Lord of their life.   This is also a great time to share with our families what new life in Christ means.  We also must remind our children/teens that baptism is not what saves or changes anyone, it is simply obedience.  Nothing more.

Refer to these points of scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:17, Luke 3:16, Romans 6:3-6, 1 Corinthians 12:13

Church services that include communion and baptism are unique services.  Both communion and baptism are what make a church a church.  These are called church ordinances and without them based on scripture, there is no church.  Baptism and communion are two of the most important things that will ever occur in a church.  They serve to remind the church of the gospel of Christ.  To lead the church to worship Christ as Lord.  Baptism and communion help the church to continue to align its focus on Christ and the cross.  As great as communion and baptism are, when parents do not actively teach what these mean, by default they are sending their kids to Hell.

– Josh

 

Josh Glymph is the Youth Pastor at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can reach him at josh@fruitcove.com

How Netflix Keeps Me from Sharing the Gospel with My Children at Home

Actually, Netflix is not the only thing.  I have created a list, in an attempt to repent of the things that keep me from preaching the gospel at home.  I am sharing this list in the hope that it will encourage you and lead you to repentance in areas that keep you from sharing the gospel at home.

  1. The Big Fat TV. Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, ESPN, HGTV, NFL network, Monday Night Football, College Gameday, Movies, The Office, Breaking Bad until I finished it.  How pathetic is it that I can allow the above devices and programs keep me from sharing the gospel at home. How pathetic is it that the list is so long.  How pathetic is it that in the end none of that will truly matter.  Lord, forgive me for making things that do not matter, matter.
  2. Football. Games, fantasy, college, pro, a different favorite group of teams at each level;  Friday night, Saturday and Sunday after church;  checking scores, checking standings, checking statistics;  watching pre-game, post-game and mid-week reports.  If I am not careful I can allow it to consume me.  Lord, forgive me when I make football and idol and allow it to blur my focus.  Lord, remind me daily that sharing the gospel is greater that any football game could ever be.
  3. Tired. I carry these titles: Husband, Father, Pastor, Employee, Student, Preacher, Guest Preacher, Bill Payer, Yardman, Coach, Teacher, etc.… I am not alone and I know more people who wear more hats.  But the hat I should wear first and foremost is Herald.  A Herald of the gospel.  And I must herald that gospel at home first!  Lord, forgive me when I fall short of this.
  4. Selfishness. I just want to sit there, read the paper, watch CNN, read a book, and go fishing by myself.  There are times I do not want to be “bothered” by others.  There are times I want to be left alone.  Lord, forgive me for the times that my own selfishness takes precedence over your gospel.
  5. Laziness. Sometimes I would rather do nothing, literally nothing.  Just be, just breathe, just exist, and just be quiet.  Lord, help me in times of laziness to know that I do not have time to be lazy.
  6. I get flat out busy. Much of my business is keeping my children busy.  From soccer practice, to basketball practice, to church the constant shuffle of kids along with feeding, cleaning and laundry.  Most of this my wife doing… When I am too busy I begin to believe the lie that I will make time tomorrow to do what is most important.  Share the gospel with my kids.  Lord help me to not get lost in my business.  Lord help me to place priority on sharing your gospel with my children even in the midst of business.
  7. “They do that at church.” It is not the church’s role to share the gospel with my children, it is my role as their father.  Salvation, discipleship and worship should all at the very least begin at home and very often occur at home.  Taking my kids to church should be the reinforcement of what is taking place at home, NOT where the only conversations about the gospel take place.  In my experience most children do not hear the gospel at church enough anyway.  Lord, help me to see that sharing the gospel at home, not expecting the church to do it, is what you have called me to.
  8. It is easier to place emphasis on ministering to others. I have family members that need the gospel.  I have neighbors that need the gospel.   I have friends I have met, and people at church that I serve that need the gospel.  Lord, help me to see that my first ministry is to my family. Lord, help me not be so hypocritical that I only focus outside my home.
  9. Sin. My sin makes me lazy, selfish and complacent.  My sin causes me to value things differently.  My sin causes me to place importance on the wrong things.  My sin tells me lies that I believe.  Lord, help me not to be blinded my own sin.
  10. Some days I don’t believe the gospel. Some days I wake up and don’t believe the gospel and do not take the time to remind myself of the gospel. Lord, on the days I do not believe you are better and do not believe your gospel, remind me of Romans 5:8.  Lord, remind me that you took my place.

 

Lord, forgive me for any instance in which I place any activity, any sin, any device before sharing the gospel with anyone.  Lord, help me to embrace my first ministry: to share the gospel often in my home.

– Josh

Josh Glymph is the Youth Pastor at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can reach him at josh@fruitcove.com

Your Child and Baptism

This past Sunday our family arrived late the 9:30am worship service. We caught the last baptism but missed all that transpired before this. I have 3 kids, one who loves Jesus and has been baptized and 2 younger ones that are just coming of age to understand these things. We share the gospel at home but I know for my child to know and understand the gospel I must get them around the gospel. One visible place we can see the gospel is baptism.

As a youngish father who grew up in a very old and traditional church, seeing Sunday night services as a part of life then disappear, music change from organ and piano to the addition of drums and guitar, from Sunday school to small groups (which in my opinion is the same thing with a different name), through of all the changes made, baptism was sort of pushed back. I grew up in a church where baptism happened once per year. It was an odd, yet sort of cool tradition. In serving in a few different churches I saw baptism on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, after service, before service, at camp, and everywhere in between. With all the cultural changes in the church, this has left baptism sometimes in “inconvenient” time slots.

If we are going to see baptism for what it is, the celebration of new life in Christ, we MUST participate. Baptism is not just for the believer being baptized, rather for the whole church. It is the outward expression of looking at what Jesus did and can do. Baptism is just as much for me to celebrate with the new believers as it is for my own children to witness. It is imperative that my children see, participate, and later ask questions about baptism. My responsibility as a father is to get them around baptism, and it is also yours. A couple of questions we should ask:

  • Do our children see others being baptized?
  • Do our children frequently see others being baptized?
  • Have my children ever seen anyone baptized?
  • Do my children need to see me being baptized?
  • Do I have open dialogue with my children about baptism?
  • Is baptism important to our family?

One of the greatest things we can do as parents for young believing and un-believing children is to bring them around the gospel and those who have responded to the gospel. At some point, your child will be held accountable for their life and faith, and no longer you as a parent. My role as a parent is to present the gospel so often that my children can see and hear that Jesus is better. One way I can do that is getting my children in front of baptisms. If I can make a point to teach them about football and get them in front of that, I have no excuse.

– Josh

Josh Glymph is the Youth Pastor at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can reach him at josh@fruitcove.com

Observations From A NON-Christian Wedding…

 

Recently, I was given the opportunity to perform the wedding ceremony of my neighbors (who are not Christians).  It was one of the coolest things I have done in a while.  The best part was being able to share the gospel with them.  I had some observations from the wedding:

1- Everyone understands love it is not solely a Christian thing.  The Bible tells us that God is love, this I do know.  I also know that love is shared among those who are not Christians.  I do not totally understand the theology behind it all, but to belittle their love is to belittle their entire being as a person.

2- NON-Christians don’t want to only hear the gospel, they want to see it.  We share the gospel with words, we show the gospel with grace.  A Southern Baptist preacher sharing the gospel and performing a ceremony in front a crowd of drunk people may not be ideal, but it makes a point. The point: you matter, I care about you.

3- Other people have convictions.  They have a system of rights and wrongs that matter to them.  Having life experiences and being raised a certain way helped create these convictions.  To frown upon their personal convictions does not make you more Godly or them more open to hear the gospel.

4- EVERYONE has a story.  The bride and groom cared very little for the fact that I went to church; they cared greatly about the fact that I had a story.  They cared about my story because they have story to tell as well.  Their story, at least to this point, just hasn’t been changed by the gospel… yet.

5- The Bible has value in the lives of Non-Christians.  Reading 1 Corinthians 13, Genesis 2 and Romans 5 at a wedding in front a group of people without visible faith was incredible.  Having the bride and groom like, and then get excited about hearing the Bible read was even better.

6- You don’t have to drink champagne to fit in, sweet tea works fine (and tastes better).  Non-Christians with their “devil’s juice” do not expect you to be someone you are not, nor change your convictions for them (see #3.)  Not once was I viewed through some sort of narrow lenses as to why I wasn’t drinking alcohol.

7- Christians are awkward.  When the Bible says Jesus hung out with and ate with sinners, it doesn’t say he stood in the back while everyone drank wine awkwardly.  It alludes to him being there in the middle of it.  We will never be taken seriously if we stand against the back wall with judgmental eyes.  Rather, we must step out, sit at the table with “sinners,” and join them in conversation.  Maybe even get on the dance floor with them.

8- No one cares that you are a Christian, or for me a Pastor, until you care that they are a person.  Christians must remember we aren’t selling something.  Jesus isn’t Arbonne.

9- Hearing Tom Petty & the Heart Breakers at the ceremony was surprising and fun.  Hearing Journey made me laugh.  Hearing Savage Garden made me cover my ears.  Hearing Switchfoot reminded me why I was there.

10- Non-Christians do not understand our Christian vernacular and way of speaking.  It is almost a different language to someone who doesn’t go to church.  Christians sound goofiest when they speak in Christian jargon.  Please stop.

11- My faith mattered to them, and I was respected for it.

12- When others know you care about them, and you choose to serve them first, they might be more willing to hear you out.  And potentially more acceptable to the gospel.

13- Non-Christians have friends who are also non-Christians.  Non-Christians have family who are also non-Christians.  Non-Christians have co-workers who are also non-Christians.

– Josh

 

This blog post was written by Joshua Glymph, High School Pastor at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can contact him at josh@fruitcove.com.

Students, Families and Porn – A Message from JoshG

At least once a week (usually more) I hear from parents or students that sexual sin has made its way into their lives, homes or relationships. Whether its pornography, sexual impurity in a relationship or something else, a parent or a student will come broken-hearted over this issue. For a man who struggled greatly with pornography in high school and college, this always leaves me hurt and disturbed. Statistics show that 85% of young males frequently observe pornography and over 50% of young women do. This is crazy. Think about it; on a typical Wednesday night we have 100 high school students join us for worship. If these statistics are correct then only 5 or 6 men and 20 or so women DO NOT REGULARLY view pornography. As parents and leaders, we should be shocked by this and see this for what it is, an epidemic! This sort of lifestyle; one filled with sexual impurity will destroy a relationship with God, end Godly marriages before they begin, give a false sense of sexual identity, and ruin worship. The shame of all this sexual sin will keep this generation of teens from hearing and heeding the call of ministry and missions. Make no mistake: SATAN is using sexual immorality, sexual curiosity, lust and sensual desire (that teenagers are not ready to act upon) to prevent having a healthy relationship with God. We MUST discuss it… and it starts at home. It WILL be disused in our church. So what can we do??

1- REMEMBER teens are sinful (As are you and me. We all are. Don’t forget that as you read the following.) They need grace, mercy, forgiveness, tenderness and a place to “work out their salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) As a parent or leader in a teen’s life we need to provide that atmosphere. You can freak out on your own, alone, in your closet… but remind them that they are just sinful and that is why Jesus died on the cross – for sin is a big deal. Also, you as parents didn’t fail them, nor the church, their youth minister, friends, etc… they are just sinful. Just as God forgave us, we must also do the same (Romans 5:8 & 2 Corinthians 5:21) This does not mean we use “they are sinful” as an excuse, it is just a truth.

2- KNOW we live in a culture where pornography is more accessible than a cup of coffee. Coffee is easy to get and popular. Pornography is more popular and accessible. In less than 30 seconds with a few swipes of certain apps, you can find porn. That is quicker than it takes for Keurig coffee makers to make a cup of java. That’s how accessible porn is. The simple truth is any teenager with a smartphone is bound to stumble across pornography. I am not sure why but for some reason this does not shake us as parents as it did a generation ago. Know too we live in a culture where sex outside of marriage is celebrated and lust is seen as a normal, almost as if it were a human emotion.

3- EMBRACE difficult and awkward conversations. One of the most difficult things is to have a conversation with a teenager who has engaged in sexual immorality. It is awkward, unexpected, and as a parent we just can’t imagine our “baby” doing that. It’s heartbreaking. But we must embrace the awkward and difficult to help our teen. Don’t expect the conversation to EVER BE PLEASANT. Instead dive in and start talking. If you embrace the awkward and difficult they likely will as well. From my experience a good healthy Christ-centered relationship will always involve conversation of personal sin and struggle.

4- REFRAIN from being a hypocrite. If you are a parent or leader who struggles with sexual immorality or impurity – GET HELP! The only thing worse than finding out your teen is struggling, is being caught by your teen (and don’t think you won’t get caught.) The teen will feel mislead and lied to. If a teenage girl catches her parents, her idea of sexuality, her self-identity, and her view of her authority will be tainted forever. For a teen male, discovering a parents’ struggle is equivalent as granting permission to that teen.

5- ADDRESS it. This subject must be talked about at home. We need to pray for purity in our children, talk about purity, discuss the evil of impurity and how to protect yourself/your home. This subject cannot be TOO taboo to discuss. This sin will lead teens on a road of destruction. A home where sexual immorality is not addressed is a home where it may run rampant. Listen, your teens have hormones and they need help in dealing with those. And they will get their answers from someone. Who do you want them turning to?

6- CREATE an atmosphere that encourages PURITY in your home. What are you doing to foster a home that keeps everyone under your roof pointed towards godly purity? Are there safeguards on the TV? DVD’s? Computer? Is there scripture available that speaks to what is good, healthy and important in the home? Do Dad and Mom watch things that might lead their teen to struggle if they are around? Or worse do Mom and Dad watch things that if the teen knew would cause them to question their parents? How does your home create an atmosphere of purity?

7- SMARTPHONE. Knowledge is key. Smartphones are nothing more than sex & porn devices for so so so many. They get a smartphone solely to have access to that which they want to hide. If your teen has a smartphone, how are they protected on it? Do you check it? Do you understand and know where to look? For the record, it’s not an invasion of privacy if they are paying for it, just saying… A teenager given a smartphone with NO accountability is the same as handing them a stick of dynamite. They are not equipped, educated or mature enough to handle it yet. Smartphones can be awesome and helpful or destructive. For most teenagers that decision MUST be made by parents.

Want more information? Give me a call and plan to attend the next r12 Parent Worship on February 8. You can also keep in touch on our r12 Student Ministry page

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” – Ephesians 5:3

Christmas Eve Devotional

Hey Parents, Merry Christmas!! As we prepare to open gifts, enjoy meals, put up with in laws and watch Elf, we want to add one thing to your agenda this Christmas, specifically Christmas Eve. This year we have put together a devotion for families to do together. Technically we have written two; one for parents of teens and one for parents of children. These devotions are an opportunity for you as parents to be the spiritual leaders in your homes as God intended. See, ultimately the church should be secondary in our child’s spiritual development and home should be primary. So this Christmas we have made it easy for you, we have even included directions on how to lead theses devotions. Christmas is the perfect time for families to talk about Jesus at home. One note, don’t expect revival. A lot of parents get discouraged when leading family devotions or trying to lead at home spiritually. We often over- think leading spiritually, looking for life change immediately, not realizing that the Holy Spirit is the changing agent in all people, not man. Even in the ministry of Jesus, after He performed a miracle or preached a sermon, we have no reference point to say that revival broke out. Leading spiritually is more about obedience than about results.  Click here to download the devotion

So as you prepare to lead your family to Jesus this Christmas, allow me to say a few things…

  1.  They will get more out of how you live, than anything you will ever say
  2.  Emotions fade, but the truth remains.
  3.  Kids will be kids, let them talk, let them have fun, let them be loud, let them be silly… God made them this way. BUT, don’t think for a second they are NOT listening. They are!
  4. Have fun.

 

The greatest investment you can ever make in the lives of your children is the gospel. Share the gospel with your kids, and do it often. We can’t repeat the gospel to our children enough.

2 Corinthians 5:21 & Romans 5:8

Josh

Christmas Eve, devotion, devotional

2014 Fall Middle School Retreat

Once again, Valdosta, GA and points in between will never be the same. Check out this video from the Fall Middle School Retreat!

P.S. No animals, Middle Schoolers or Tore were harmed in the making of this video.

Tedashii @ Fruit Cove

If you missed it, we ran a video in worship this morning flashing back to Friday, September 12 when we hosted Tedashii in concert. 600 students in our community heard the gospel and this clip gives you an idea of the energy and passion in the presentation.

It may not be your idea of worship music, but it’s a genre embraced by our teens and offers a message of Real Hope in a Real World. That’s the hope found in Jesus.

Here’s a sample of the message Tedashii delivers with the lyrics from “Need it Daily.”

“Need It Daily”
(feat. PRo)

Don’t get confused baby
Don’t get confused [x4]

[Verse 1: Tedashii]
The gospel got me so good, I call it super straight
Was lame till He came, I know that you relate
Was dead to Him but lead to Him, He rejuvenates
Still can’t believe He caught me up, yea elevated
That’s how I know He got me, His love is never endin’
And that’s just like the Gospel
It’s for sure is never pending
Not just from my beginning,
Keeps me until I’m finished
Takes me way beyond the grave. I’m saved, eternal livin’

This goes beyond conversion, this gift just keeps on giving
Iad it makes no sense to start and stop. Now pop that clutch and shift it’
I’m hoping you don’t miss it, this here is target practice.
I’m asking, “What good are Beats By Dre if you can’t grasp this? ”
(Hah, uh-uh) That ain’t even right man
Play it to the left of lust, mental pics, tight frame
You crop it like a close-up, then chop it like the chorus
I’m tryna take you deep, call it Blacklight, mayne

[Chorus:]
Aye this that good news music,
We call it Gospel [x3]
Don’t get confused baby
It’s what He used to save me
It’s what He used to keep me
(I, I, I) I need it daily
(You, You, You) You need it daily
(We, we, we) We need it daily
(They, they, they) They need it daily
(I) Yeah I need it daily
(They, they they) Yeah I need it daily
(You, you, you) You need it daily
(We, we, we) We need it daily
They need it daily

[Verse 2: PRo]
Boy let’s get it clear, from the Lord’s wrath I’m saved
Yeah I’m gucci mayne, no Waka Flocka Flame
So secure in the Lord, no frontin’ for people
Cause you can die stuntin’ (Die stuntin’)
Evil Kenevil
In this New Jack City hold the world loosely
His Word keep callin’ me, I’m itchin for it, call me Pookie
Satan try to trap us like “Go pursue sin”
I’m like “Silly rabbit, Trixs are for kids.”
I know only in Christ we gon’ be free
Through His blood we’ve been redeemed
Them chains no longer holdin’ me (Soooo)
Clique for the squad, for the love of God, boy we rollin’ 40 Deep (and)
When I want to run the love of the son through the Helper, get a hold of me (see)
Christ died for us, we’ll say He’s a church fan
I’m talkin’ Gospel, minus the church fan
I’d be a fool minus the Lord’s hand
So I’m wrapped around His finger like a wedding band

[Chorus]

Gospel,
Grace through faith
Yo pro
They need it daily
It’s the gospel
This why we good (Oh)

[Bridge:]
I’m good, I’m good
Let’s get that understood
The Gospel got me right for life, that’s right that’s what it do
I’m good, I’m good
Let’s get that understood
The Gospel got me right for life, that’s right that’s what it do

I’m good, I’m gucci. Aye, yeah that’s what it do [x4]

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