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April 2018

You Belong Here

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Discovery Students are revolutionaries. They are starting an Uprising, stirring Mayhem, and beginning The Rebellion. They are stirring the water in Colorado Springs and far beyond. They are putting their feet to the ground and putting actions to their words. Their mission is simple: hope to the hopeless, freedom to the captives, and rescue to the brokenhearted.

We are continuing the rebellion that Jesus started when he came back. Our student environments at Discovery are an intentional place where your story is safe and welcome. We are here to walk into every messy, difficult part and we want to celebrate with you when life is going really well.

This Website

We’ve created this place for you to encounter who we are: our staff, our volunteers, and our students. Check out our Environments and see where you can come hang out, or look at our Next Steps, where there are some awesome ways for you dive deeper!

We’ll be updating this space to introduce you to some awesome leaders and provide snippets from the series we’re in each month. You’ll also get a chance to read some great blog posts from different people on our team.

There’s a lot to check out on our site, please take a look around!

Join Us

We’d love to have you serve alongside us as well. Our students need vulnerable, authentic adults like you to walk through life with. When teens are pushed, believed in, and loved, they have the ability to change the world. If nothing else, they’ll certainly change yours.

If you’re in 5th-12th grade- we’re so excited that you have considered joining us at one of our weekly services. You belong here, and we already see you as another member of of our wild family. If you want to know what it means to love others with no strings attached, you have come to the right place.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Faith

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I remember having a lot of questions about faith as a kid. I mean a lot. I didn’t always feel comfortable asking my parents or my pastor about them, so I wrote them down in a journal. There were endless questions from the meaning of life and the existence of God to if it was okay to listen to New Kids on the Block.

One of the biggest questions I had was, “What is faith?” The biblical answer I heard from the pulpit – “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1) – felt so ethereal it was of no earthly good to me – until I really needed it.

I remember the day I found out something I had been praying for was not going to happen. My faith was crushed to the core. For the first time in my short life I thought I had really believed and prayed with faith, so when faith failed me, I questioned myself and God. I thought maybe there was something faulty with the way I prayed, or faulty with faith itself. My faith was negatively impacted because I didn’t understand its nature.

As a mom, I want my girls to grow up feeling comfortable asking questions, and sometimes that means facilitating the conversation. Here are a few points I shared with my 6 year old that perhaps you could use to talk to your kids about faith as well.

1. Faith has more than one meaning.

Faith can mean the act of believing or the belief itself. Sometimes when people say “faith” they mean it like “what you believe in” (We are Christians and believe Jesus loves us, died for our sins and wants us to live our lives in ways that help other people see His love through us), and sometimes they mean it like how we believe for something to happen because we pray (The Bible says faith is what helps us believe and pray for something although we’re not sure it will). That’s the kind of faith we’re talking about here.

2. Faith and doubt go hand-in-hand.

Faith and doubt (which means when you don’t believe in or aren’t sure about something) are related. If you had no doubts you’d have no reason to have faith. Faith is what helps you believe in God, and His goodness, even when bad things happen. Some people say you should feed your faith and not your fears. By thinking about things that help our faith grow and get stronger, we think less about things we’re scared or worried about.

3. Questions are okay, even good.

Don’t be afraid of having questions, especially about things that you don’t understand. Asking questions helps you learn and helps you feel more confident about what you believe in. But sometimes questions are hard even for adults to answer, and when you don’t get the answers you need, faith really comes in handy.

4. Faith is always there for you, like a good friend, your mom or dad, or favorite stuffed animal.

Faith is what you can use when you’re not sure things are going to turn out the way you think they should. You can pray and say, Jesus, I don’t know or understand why this is happening, but I’m going to use my faith in You and trust that everything’s going to be all right.

Follow up conversations about faith in little ways that will reinforce the concept. I like to write paraphrased scriptures on craft sticks and include them in my first-grader’s lunch box. You could also write them on napkins or sticky notes and leave them in conspicuous places for them to discover. My daughter suggests hiding them and making it a game to find them throughout the house.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Faith is being sure what we hope for will happen. (Hebrews 11:1)
  • Listening to stories about Jesus can help our faith grow. (Romans 10:17)
  • Jesus says even a little bit of faith is strong enough to make big things happen. (Matthew 17:20)
  • When we have faith and believe in God, it pleases Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
  • God has given everyone a little bit of faith. (Romans 12:3)
  • Every child of God can use faith to overcome bad things. (1 John 5:4)
  • God rewards us when we use faith. (1 Samuel 26:23)
  • When we believe in Jesus, invite Him to erase our sins and live the way He asks us to, we are called children of God. (John 1:12)
  • We use faith to believe for and help good things to happen to others. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Everyone struggles to “keep the faith.” As parents, you shouldn’t shy away from talking about faith with your kids just because you have doubts and questions of your own. Being transparent about how you felt as a child, or even now, reassures them their feelings are normal. Faith is what stabilizes our belief and anchors us to truth. Join your kids in the journey toward nurturing a childlike faith. It’s a powerful thing indeed.

-Cara Davis

Passing Down Patience

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Let’s begin with a confession; patience is a virtue I aspire to, not one I’ve mastered. I hate to wait, I hate to wait in line, I hate to wait for people, and I hate to wait for a surprise. When I was a child I became a master at poking undetectable holes in my Christmas presents so I wouldn’t have to wait to find out what was inside. (Many years later I discovered my mom knew I poked holes in the presents, she just gave up caring.) This reluctance to wait has never worked out well for me; I didn’t want to wait on marriage, so I talked my fiancé into getting hitched when we were 19 and 20; I didn’t want to wait for graduation, so I dropped out of college after my sophomore year; (I eventually earned my undergraduate degree almost 15 after high school.) I didn’t want to wait on technology, so I bought a computer that became obsolete on the drive home from the store. If there was a prize for impatience I would be the first in line because I just don’t have time to wait around.

As a grandfather, however, I am learning the value of waiting. Playing board games, it can take the five-year-old five minutes to count the spaces to move her token. When the seven-year-old “helps” with the dishes it often takes twice as long to get the table cleared and everything in the dishwasher. Small nations can rise and fall in the time it takes to put the baby down for his nap. But it is in these small moments, these moments spent waiting on the big moments, that I truly see God at work. I see the neurons firing as the five-year-old perfects her counting, I hear the beginnings of leadership as the seven-year-old shares her day while almost rinsing the dishes, and I feel my heart being knit together with my grandson as I feed him his bottle before he goes to bed. I am learning patience in the forced pauses of caring for the grandkids. I am learning to look for God in a broken schedule.

How can we help our children to learn this lesson of the beauty of waiting before they are in their fifties like me? I think it might be in pointing out the beauty we find while we wait. I question the value of trying to convince a child the value of delayed gratification, but I wonder what he could learn if we helped him experience the tingle of anticipation. Rather than constantly distracting our children with devices and entertainment I wonder if we can help them find meaning in the mundane, satisfaction in the torture we call waiting.

I suspect the key to helping our children learn the value of patience is we have to first learn the lesson ourselves. What if this week, instead of sighing and tapping and muttering and pacing while we wait, we sit and listen and look for God at work in the cracks that appear in our schedule? What if we recognize that it is almost always in the waiting that we discover the true value of the gift of time? The write Ann Voskamp says it like this:

“What if I laid down efforts and expectations, perfectionism and performance?

What if I breathed deep and simply waited with arms and heart and eyes wide open?”

Think about it for a while, I’ll wait right here.

-Geoff Surratt

What I’ve Learned from Working in Children’s Ministry

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Kids. Wow. Those are some amazing little creatures. One of my greatest joys on Saturday evenings, and Sunday mornings is to watch those little faces light up when the doors to Discovery Kids are pushed open. As I wander the halls during service, I get the privilege of looking into classrooms and observing what is going on. While the Chaos room (2nd-4th grade), may have the reputation of having the most substantial curriculum and hearty teachings, there is not one classroom that comes in second place.

If I have learned anything from working in children’s ministry, it is that every single room, child, and volunteer are extremely special and vital to our program. Just a few weeks ago, I was in the one year old room, when a precious little boy had a cup of Goldfish that he decided to share with every single child. He walked around, with a giant grin on his face, passing out a single Goldfish to each kid. While that may seem minute, it made me take a step back and realize why we do what we do every week. While this little one year old may not be reciting Bible verses yet, he is learning to love and care for others, just as Jesus did, and nothing could be more fulfilling to me.

On another note, there is so much more to learn from working in children’s ministry. For instance, you have to learn to expect the unexpected moments. There will be countless loose cannons throughout your volunteering- and I don’t just mean the children. You will not always be able to control how the class with shape up, who will attend, or how the students will respond.  You can always aim high by preparing well, but the end result is always up to God. As the old saying goes, the farmer sows his seed and waters his plants, and then he leaves the rest to God. That’s pretty much how working with kids goes.

One thing to look forward to, and keep an open mind to, is that YOU can always learn something from THEM. We come into this thinking that we are the teachers- and we are- but there has not been a single week that I have not taken something away from working with these kids. From sharing, or being nice to someone who may not seem like they deserve it- keep your eyes, and heart open- kids have a way of teaching you things that you never knew.

So, I have come to the conclusion that children’s ministry is not second-rate ministry. We are bringing up the next generation, in hopes that they will be strong, caring, compassionate, Jesus-loving people. We get trusted with God’s precious children each weekend, and I think that is pretty special! Whether it is the third grader that we get to walk beside in making a decision to follow Jesus, or the 7-month-old baby that we just get to hold and love on for an hour, it is all valued and wonderful in the eyes of God.