The Crux | January 24, 2016

“He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)
Have you ever played Capture the Flag? It’s one of the most fantastic games I’ve ever played. There’s a multitude of variations, but the concept is the same for all of them: there’s two teams, and the first team to steal the other team’s flag and take it to their home base wins.
It sounds so simple, but that’s why it’s so fun. Because the rules are so simple, there’s endless variations. One of the rules is that if you cross into enemy territory, anyone from the opposing team can tag you and escort you to jail. The only way you can escape from jail is if someone from your team has mercy on you, grabs your hand, and runs with you across the boundary line without the opposing team catching you. Talk about an adrenaline rush!
After playing this for umpteen years, I made an interesting discovery. Some teams got so hopped up on the action that they forgot about their POWs. This really stank if you were a POW. You’d see your teammates rushing past you in the thick of the action and you were stuck there, mired in the POW camp.
Sometimes a team that got wise to this would focus their strategy primarily on making the other team into POWs. If the fastest players on one team were so excited about grabbing the flag and winning victory that they didn’t notice what was happening to their teammates, they might all the sudden look around and notice that their team had thinned to almost nothing.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been giving your heart and soul to a ministry, wondering when the reinforcements would arrive, only to realize that they were the people you took for granted were nowhere to be found?
It’s time to stage a jail break. We have brothers and sisters who are being taken captive by our enemy. We may have been busy with good things, even great things, but it’s time to take a look around and see how we can help others.
Before this becomes a sad treatise on the state of the church, let me remind you of this: there is no greater joy than in finding and freeing a POW. Even in that simple camp game, I remember the time when I was the POW. I’d watched my teammates running past me, intent on the action. I’d tried yelling to get their attention, but no one seemed to hear me. I’d pretty much given up hope. “They can do it without me,” I reasoned. Then, out of nowhere, someone grabbed my hand and hauled me down the field. I was back in my home territory before I could say a word. I went from a listless POW to being right back in the action because someone care enough to haul me out.
That hasn’t just happened in a simple camp game. It’s happened in my spiritual life. Family, friends, and even total strangers are certain key points of my life have cared enough to haul me out of spiritual POW camps.
How about you? Have you ever been a spiritual POW? Have you ever freed one? How can we as a Local Summit Community help one another in this?
I firmly believe that it is no accident that Summit is activating its alumni network “for such a time as this.” God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness, and through His power He’s helping us rescue others!
So let’s get at it! A HUGE thank you to each one who voted on the night that would work best to meet for our online small group! Based on the votes, we’ll be meeting on [drumroll, please!] Tuesdays!
Online Small Group Launch
Our online small group will meet Tuesdays at 6:30PM! To meetup this Tuesday (1/26), at 6:30PM, email info@afikomag.com for more information.
It’ll be a fun time hearing what everyone’s been up to, discussing a topic from a Biblical Christian perspective, praying, and making plans for the future! If you have any problems connecting, send me an email or call/text me!
Speaking of prayer, here’s a few things we can be praying about as a Local Summit Community:
  • How can we encourage one another?
  • What aspects of Summit can and should we bring here to Indiana?
  • How can we best reach our culture?
Other Upcoming Events
We R the CHRCH Night of Worship
Sunday, January 31st • 7:30-9PM
Indianapolis (exact location TBA)
We R the CHRCH is hosting an incredible evening where upwards of 80 people are slated gather to worship God through songs and testimonies. This is not like going to a concert where you watch others worship; this is like a house church where you can just pour your heart out to God through song and share what He’s been doing in your life! The location has not yet been announced; let me know if you’re interested in going and I can keep you posted on details as I hear about them! You can check out the Facebook event!
Rock & Roadshow
Sunday, February 14th • 5:15PM
Bankers Life Fieldhouse • 125 S. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis, IN ($10 at the door; no tickets required)
Compassion International is sponsoring Rock & Roadshow, a night of worship with Newsboys, Jeremy Camp, Mandisa, and others! No tickets are required: admission is just $10 at the door. I’ve signed up to volunteer. If you’re interested in meeting up there, let me know!
Have other events you’d like to share? Email ’em to me! I’ll add them to our website and post ’em on Facebook!
And More!
How’s Your Spiritual Life?
The beginning of a new year is a GREAT time to stop and take a spiritual inventory. This article has several questions to reflect on as we go into 2016!
Are You Second?
I am Second captures stories of how God is transforming real lives TODAY! You can search by topic, or by name. There’s a whole host of names you might recognize, such as Alex Kendrick, Mike Huckabee, or Brian Welch. But poignantly, there are also names we might never have known if those sharing their testimonies had not been willing to share how God reached into their lives and transformed them!
What ministries would you like other Summit alumni to know about? Let us know and we’ll feature them in upcoming newsletters!
The Spreadsheet You Love to Love
I’m sure you already know and love Summit’s Worldview Chart. But did you know it’s digital? It sure is! In this version, when you hover over any term in the chart, it’ll define it for you. You don’t even have to copy and paste it into a dictionary. Nifty, eh?
Write Off!
If you have a friend who differs with you on a topic, challenge them to a write off! You write about it and they’ll write about it. We can post both perspectives at afikomag.com and have others weigh in! You could write about a point of doctrine (e.g. infant baptism), or a key difference between worldviews (e.g. creation versus evolution). Who knows who you might reach!
Get Plugged In!
Whatever creativity looks like in your life, you can totally use it for God through Afikomag! This year, our goal is to syndicate 16 Christian authors. What does that mean? To use Afikomag as a platform for creative folks to reach other Christians. Maybe you write a blog or maybe you make videos for your church. Or maybe you have a friend who does! By syndicating with Afikomag, you can do what syndicated authors have done for years: broaden your impact by sharing your content in multiple arenas. Want more info? Let’s talk!
Here’s three other ways you can get involved:
  • Share articles with others in the Facebook group!
  • Let us know about events coming up!
  • Discuss questions that come up in your church or family. We’d love to weigh in!
Speaking of questions…
Question of the Week
What’s the hardest question you’ve ever been asked?

Defy Geography! Join an Online Small Group

We’ll be kicking off the new year with ReFrame, a short series Summit Ministries recommends for drilling down into what it means to be a Biblical Christian: “We’re trying to inculcate God’s story in you so deeply that when something happens, you just instinctively react with the character of God… You don’t have to think about it because it’s who you are!”

Since we come from quite a few different cities, we’ll be doing ReFrame as an online small group. Please answer the following information so we can pick a night that works best for you!

Why Are Teens Leaving the Church?

100715-why-teens-are-leaving-the-churchThe following article was written by Miss Azari Trevillion, a 14-year-old student from Indianapolis. She was inspired to write on this topic after reading the latest issue of CG Productions magazine, which encourages Christians to use their talents and abilities to build up the church.

It’s been estimated that up to 70% of young adults stop attending church as they grow up. What is causing this change? The foundation for their faith is crumbling. Parents are not forcing their teens to attend church as much as they once did. Going to church has become more of a social issue than an act of obedience to God. Teens are seeing church as a waste of time and not as a place of prayer and forgiveness.

One of the main reasons teens today are not attending church is because of the age difference between them and the rest of the church. The highest population in the church is made up people 30 to 64 years old. Most churches don’t have a teen program or plan events that directly involve teens, so teens are being pulled away from the church and into the streets. The age difference is so high that teens are seeing the church as a place for older people and not for them. Because the church sermon usually doesn’t seem to have anything to do with teens and what they are experiencing in life, they just don’t go. It doesn’t seem to matter.

The second main reason teens are leaving the church is technology. Nowadays, social media overpowers teen lives and going to church is just something you do when you get older. Getting involved with the church can be seen as embarrassing for kids 14-18. Even for the teens that go to church, all they do is sleep and get on their phones. Parents are not reprimanding their teens; instead, they just let them do whatever they want. Most teens say it’s too hard to get up at 7AM on a Sunday since they have had to get up earlier than that throughout the week. Teens just don’t care about church and think it’s just wasting their time to sit and listen to someone speak about the Word of God for two hours.

A few ways for teens could get more involved with the church would be for more parents to be stricter with their kids about getting up and listening during church. Another way is to do more teen-friendly things at the church, like having cookouts for teens only or making one day out of the week for teens to come in to talk about the Bible from their prospective instead of having to just sit and listen. Teens need to be more involved with the church and not so worried about their “social statuses” when going. One teen in the church is one more teen off of the street.