3 Tips For Leading A Youth Discussion About Religious Tolerance

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Uncategorized Comments Off on 3 Tips For Leading A Youth Discussion About Religious Tolerance

With the ability for the modern Christian teenager to access information and ideas from all over the globe, it is likely that they will run into several ideas and people that challenge their beliefs. As a youth leader, it is important to help teach young Christians how to stay strong in their faith while practicing a certain level of tolerance for other people and religions. Leading a discussion about tolerance and religion during your youth ministry allows you to address concerns and questions that young believers may have about Christianity and other religions.  Be Prepared With Several Bible Verses About Tolerance  You may want to open your discussion with a prayer followed by a Bible study based around tolerance. If you have a large group of youth, you can break them into groups and give each group a Bible verse to discuss. One group should have a verse about tolerance, another about religious unity, another about intolerance and finally a group should have a verse showcasing how Jesus showed tolerance.  Once the small groups have read and discussed their verses, bring your groups back together. Have each group present their verse and what they think it means. Then, ask if any of the verses seem to conflict with each other and why. Your youth should state that the Bible teaches them to be tolerant of people, but to not believe things that go against the Bible and to protect themselves against those who would challenge their faith.  Be Prepared to Talk About Current Events  Teenagers are eager to apply their knowledge to the world around them. By discussing current events, you can give your youth members concrete examples of how they can practice their faith. For example, you may want to discuss the current refugee situation in the United States and the various positions held regarding religious tolerance for Muslims by American Christians. Any time that the debate gets heated or uncomfortable, you should gently lead your discussion back to finding Bible verses that apply to the situation you are discussing.  Give Plenty of Time for Youth-led Discussion  As with any youth discussion, your youth members will learn more if they are able to reach conclusions on their own. While you should guide the discussion, you should leave plenty of time for youth members to contribute their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. You should keep in mind that tolerance and drawing boundaries can be sensitive topics that are best covered after you have already developed a strong relationship with your youth group.  If you are looking for a place to engage with other youths who share your faith, look into churches, like Crossroads Baptist Church, that offer specific programs for...

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How To Plan Your Own Funeral

Posted by on Dec 19, 2015 in Uncategorized Comments Off on How To Plan Your Own Funeral

If you’ve ever been involved in planning somebody’s funeral, you already know that it can be a very difficult and emotional time. The deceased person’s loved ones are already grieving; planning a funeral just makes matters harder. Sometimes there are even disagreements over the way the service should be conducted, whether or not there should be an open casket, or even deciding if the loved one should be cremated. Fortunately, you can avoid much of this hassle by planning your own funeral ahead of time. Another great benefit of planning your own funeral is that you can pay for it now, relieving your loved ones of that burden. If you’ve decided to plan your own funeral, here are some ideas that might help you. Meet With A Funeral Director – A good place to start is by speaking face-to-face with the director of the funeral home you select. At this time, you will tell the funeral director whether you want to be cremated or whether you want to have a traditional burial service. If you have decided on cremation, you’ll have to find a funeral home that has a crematorium, of course. If you have selected a traditional funeral, you will select your coffin. Give the funeral director names and contact information to those who will be planning your funeral services.  The Funeral Service – Remember that among the reasons to have a funeral service is to comfort those who have been left behind and to begin closure. Think of ways that you can accomplish those things as part of your funeral service. Ask individuals that are close to you to give the eulogy and to tell a history of your life. It will be very helpful if you write your personal history, including your birthdate, your place of birth, and places you’ve lived.  Don’t forget to include personal anecdotes, information on your hobbies and interests, awards you have received, places you have traveled and interesting points regarding your education and your career. Consider asking somebody to read a letter where you express gratitude for things like your family, your friends and your life’s experiences. This is an appropriate time to share with others what your beliefs are and to bear testimony of those things that are most important to you.  Select music for the service. Some good choices for hymns are How Great Thou Art, Amazing Grace and Holy, Holy, Holy. Patriotic songs or music that represents your culture are also good choices. Be sure to let your loved ones know that you have arranged your own funeral. Give them copies of all the paperwork you got from the funeral home, including proof that you have already paid for all services. For more information about funeral planning, contact a business such as Louis Suburban Chapel Inc....

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3 Tips For Attending A Bible Study As A Non-Believer

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Uncategorized Comments Off on 3 Tips For Attending A Bible Study As A Non-Believer

There are many reasons that a non-believe may want to attend a bible study. Perhaps a friend or significant other invited you to go. Maybe you are studying religion in school and want to get a real-world taste of modern belief systems. Maybe you are simply curious about what a certain religion has to offer. Whatever your reason, you should know that most bible studies are welcoming to newcomers, whether they are Christians or not. However, there are some things you may want to keep in mind while attending a bible study as a non-believer.  Be Open About Who You Are  If you are attending a small bible study, you will likely be given the opportunity to introduce yourself and share why you are interested in the bible study. You should be open about who you are and what you do or do not believe. Lying about what you believe can cause animosity or distrust when others discover your deception. Also, if you are attending with a friend, it may put them in an awkward position if they know you are a non-believer but you profess to be a Christian.  If you do not feel comfortable stating that you are a non-believer, you may want to look for a different bible study group that you feel more comfortable with.  Respect The Space Created By Others  Just as others at the bible study will accept you as a non-believer, it is important that you accept others for who they are and what they believe.  This includes not trying to get others to change their beliefs or aggressively attacking people’s contributions to the bible study. It is important to attend with an open mind as opposed to attending with the purpose of finding fault in the lecture or conversation.  Ask Questions Without Derailing The Conversation  Just because you should respect the beliefs of those around you does not mean that you should not ask questions or participate in the conversation. Bible study is a time for people to explore and solidify their beliefs. Participants should be happy to explain what they believe and why. However, you should refrain from engaging in a circular debate with someone or purposefully derailing the conversation with controversial questions. If a moderator asks you to stay on topic, or encourages the group to move on, you can write down further questions and approach someone from the group with them at a later time.  Attending a bible study as a non-believer may feel intimidating at first. However, it can be a good way to challenge your own beliefs and helpful to you and other participants. Contact local churches, like New Gethsemane Baptist Church, for more...

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