Due to inclement weather, the 9 a.m. service for Sunday, Jan. 20 has been cancelled. We will have one morning service at 10:45 a.m. as road conditions improve.

Renewing the Mind

by Matt McClay

On President’s Day weekend (February 17-19), Refuel, the student ministry of Lewis Memorial, will host our 10th annual D-Now weekend for middle and high school students. Over the years, D-Now Weekend has served to create many fun memories and heart-changing moments in the lives of our teenagers. The purpose of this article is twofold. First, you will be given a glance inside D-Now Weekend, learning what makes it such a special, transformative event in the lives of those in our student ministry. Second, you will be given an opportunity to commit to praying for our students, leaders, and support team as they come together for a weekend of spiritual growth and renewal.

What is a D-Now Weekend?
An “At Home” Youth Retreat

A D-Now Weekend (short for “Disciple Now”) is a youth retreat designed to be “at home.” Many youth trips involve traveling and doing mission work at another location. What makes D-Now Weekend different is that we will stay in our own hometown and focus on our own church family and local community!

This year’s D-Now Weekend theme is “Renewing the Mind.” We’ll spend time at the church on Friday evening and Saturday morning studying Romans chapter 12 together. We will be blessed to have the Jason Lovins Band leading worship through music with our students during the teaching portions of our weekend! Then, on Saturday afternoon, we’ll serve Jesus together. Our students will take part in several projects around the community and within our local church family, including outreach at our Ebenezer center, and visiting senior adult members of the congregation who are homebound and assisting them with cleaning and small repairs around the house. For the “fun” element of the weekend, we have all-access passes to the attractions at Malibu Jack’s, a local entertainment venue! We will enjoy time at Malibu Jack’s on Friday night and participate in “The Amazing Race” - a high-stakes scavenger hunt - on Saturday night!

Time in God’s Word

Our time in God’s Word this year will center on the consequential Scriptural passage of Romans 12. This chapter marks a significant shift in the book of Romans as the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, moves from describing the doctrinal undergirding of our salvation in Jesus (chapters 1-11) to the practical outworking of our new life with Him. Central to our new journey with Jesus is the imperative found in Romans 12:1-2.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed. By the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect
(Romans 12:1-2 ESV).

Throughout our D-Now Weekend, students will be challenged to, in view of their salvation in Christ, renew their minds in four specific areas.

#1 – We must renew our minds about goals (Romans 12:1-2). We could never repay the debt of love we owe to Jesus. So, what should we, as believers, do in response to our salvation in Christ? God tells us through His Word that we are to present our bodies “As a living sacrifice.” Our new lives in Jesus are no longer oriented around our wants and desires but instead around Jesus’ teachings and His mission for us. This is the grid by which we evaluate life decisions: How will this decision glorify Jesus and advance His gospel?

#2 – We must renew our minds about serving (Romans 12:3-8). When the church gathers, everyone brings with them their God-given talents and abilities, and teenagers are no exception. Ask any of our adult leaders in Refuel about our students, and you’ll quickly come to understand that teenagers excel in areas such as athletics, the arts, technology, and academics. Our students are talented. During D-Now Weekend, students will be challenged to utilize their talents for God by getting involved in the work of the church, serving alongside other generations to build one another up as we advance the gospel together.

#3 – We must renew our minds about loving God’s people (Romans 12:9-13). The people of God are called to love each other with “brotherly affection” (Rom. 12:10). Of course, differences of opinion, personality, and upbringing can threaten the expression of such deep love, leading to indifference and division. Our students will be encouraged to cultivate a longsuffering, patient love toward their brothers and sisters in Christ that works itself out in practical, considerate acts of kindness and hospitality within the family of God.

#4 – We must renew our minds about loving those far from God (Romans 12:14-21). In a post-Christian culture, how should we as Christians act and react when facing persecution? How should we respond when others wish evil against us? Against a cultural backdrop of polarization and outrage, God’s Word calls us to, as much as possible, “Live peaceably with all” (Rom. 12:18). We remember the example of Jesus, who loved us when we were His enemies (Rom. 5:8). Students are, in many ways, growing up in a very different world than their parents and grandparents experienced as teens. Still, we believe God has them at this place and at this time for a reason. Our students will be urged to “Not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).

How can I help?

Would you consider praying for our students, leaders, and support staff as we approach this special weekend? Here are eight specific aspects of our D-Now Weekend in which we’re asking for prayer:
  • That our students would grow in unity with one another.
  • That cross-generational relationships would be formed between our students and senior adults.
  • That our students would connect with God in worship.
  • That students and leaders will commit to partnering together for long-term discipleship.
  • That students will clearly understand God’s call to holy living in certain areas of their lives.
  • That students respond in faith to a clear presentation of the gospel.
  • That students surrender to the command to be baptized.
  • That God gets the glory – no matter what!
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