Packing the Pew, Color Clash & Pursue God and Live
During a time when some teachers are struggling or burned out, Baltimore teacher Jess Pariso is finding ways to connect the students in her classroom to her local church. A first-time visitor to last Wednesday’s youth service at Philadelphia Baptist Church in Deville, La., would have been struck by the crowds, the energy and yes, possibly some colored powder if they got too close to the action. And, A Lifeway Bible study at Baptist Press calls on people to pursue God in their everyday life. It says, “So many times we convince ourselves that if we can just get this bill paid off, get that promotion or find that perfect person, our life will be so much better.”
During a time when some teachers are struggling or burned out, Baltimore teacher Jess Pariso is finding ways to connect the students in her classroom to her local church.
It started out by simply asking one student whom she saw struggling in her class if he wanted to join her at church.
Pariso is a first-grade teacher at William Paca Elementary, and also helps teach English as a second language. The school is right across the street from Redemption City, where she serves as a deaconess.
As she watched the student struggle, Pariso got to know the student’s family and asked if it she could give the student a ride a couple blocks over to the church on Sundays.
Over time, other kids from Pariso’s class who lived on that street wanted to start coming to church also. Eventually, other kids who lived on that street, and even other students from the school that lived on other streets, wanted to join in the fun.
A first-time visitor to last Wednesday’s youth service at Philadelphia Baptist Church in Deville, La., would have been struck by the crowds, the energy and yes, possibly some colored powder if they got too close to the action.
It would also stand out that some 260 teenagers had gathered together to worship and hear a Gospel-centered message. About 125 were first-time guests. At least 23 prayed to receive Christ as Savior.
Adult leaders had been preparing months for Color Clash, an organized-mass-chaos kind of event where participants throw powders of various colors at each other.
But students took the reins to get friends invited…and show up they did.
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A Lifeway Bible study at Baptist Press calls on people to pursue God in their everyday life.
It says, “So many times we convince ourselves that if we can just get this bill paid off, get that promotion or find that perfect person, our life will be so much better. The problem is there seems to always be another bill, a better job than the one we have and flaws in the person we thought to be perfect.”
In his third recorded sermon, Amos called for the people of Israel to seek God instead of the fake gods they were worshiping (5:4-9). He announced a coming judgment on those who distorted justice. Amos identified the Lord as the sovereign Creator who brings judgment to all, even the strong.”
The study says, “Experiencing life means that we pass that life on to others through daily conduct that honors God. The call to seek God is not about finding something lost, but about passionately pursuing Someone.”
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