January 27, 2015 is a red letter day in the life of our church. A day when the Launch team met together for the first time begin the process of a NEW CAMPUS. This is where it starts. PRAY and GET EXCITED!
In connection with the message this week, we are encouraging every member of Gateway to participate in a challenge called Pray 28. During February (all 28 days), you are encouraged to pray for one thing, once per day, at 1:00pm. Pray for the same thing each day. You can sign up for a text reminder by sending ‘@Pray28′ to 81010 or set your phone or watch to remind you to do this twenty-eight days in a row, and let’s see what God will do. Let’s turn our prayer lives upside down!
So, what is the one thing you will be praying for throughout the month of February? Maybe it’s a broken relationship, a career decision, an ongoing addiction, or a deeper desire for God. Whatever it is, we pray that you will one day look back at this Pray 28 challenge as a significant marker on your journey with Christ.
As Christians, we say that we believe in prayer, but are we really praying? Listen on-line or check out the Gateway Atoka podcast on iTunes.
Sometimes we believe things that are simply not true. Our society bombards us with deceptive messages. If we hear them often enough, we may actually start to believe the lies. Often these messages make their way into our Spiritual lives and into the church. One of the most destructive lies that we are tempted to believe is that we don’t need others or that we have no responsibility toward others. In other words, “It’s all about me.” This is not at all what Jesus taught. In fact, Jesus taught that the most obvious mark of one of his disciples is that they are committed to loving each other. We were made to be together and to love each other. Are you buying the lie of isolation? Maybe it’s time to turn that thinking upside down!
Adults, think back with us to the time when you were in junior high and high school. Do you remember some of your struggles? Can you picture someone that was praying you through those exciting but difficult years? We each have an opportunity to do the same for one of our youth.
Through the Timothy Project, we will be connecting adults to students through prayer and encouragement. The project is based on Paul’s relationship with Timothy. Paul was a mentor for Timothy. He taught him how to grow in his faith, and how to be a leader; he prayed for and encouraged him consistently.
Here’s the idea: You will be partnered with one student from Gateway’s youth (7-12 grades). You will make a commitment to pray for that student daily, and send them encouraging cards, emails, or texts several times a year – something that communicates to them that they are prayed over and loved. This is a big commitment, because you will be asked to pray for your student until he or she graduates from college or gets married. (Yes, if they choose to imitate Paul, and never marry, this could be quite a long-term commitment.) It certainly should not be taken lightly, but we are confident that it will be a huge blessing for both you and your student. Think about this: Even the parents and grandparents of our youth will be encouraged, knowing that someone has come alongside them, partnering WITH them to pray over their child or grandchild and encourage him or her in the faith. It will be a blessing to more than just your student.
Adults, please be generous when listing your hobbies and interests – this will help to partner you with someone that may share a common interest! We currently have 73 youth participating, and more will be added as we gather information from those that have been missed. If you have a child in 7-12 grades that has not signed up yet, you may have them complete this form.
For the safety of our students, adult mentors are required to be members of Gateway, and also must have a Background Consent Form on file with the church office. (Just take a few moments to complete the form and turn it in to the office. A background check is also a requirement for Kids’ Club workers, so you’ll be one step ahead when it comes to volunteering this summer.) Once your Timothy Project Questionnaire is complete, you will be partnered with your student. Men will be partnered with our guys, and women with our girls. You will receive a frame that includes your student’s photo and also personal information, including some of their hobbies and interests.
If you are a military family, you may be wondering how this will work, since you move on a regular basis. If you are a mentor, and you move, we will assign your student a new (local) mentor. (Exceptions can be made, especially if your student has already moved on to college!) If you have children that are participating in the Timothy Project, they can keep their mentors when they move if they would like. Otherwise, we will assign their mentor a new student. Please don’t let the fact that you move frequently keep you from participating. Even a small amount of time as a prayer mentor will make a big difference in a student’s life.
We hope that you will take advantage of this great opportunity to connect with one of our youth, and to encourage them in their walk with Christ. As Paul charged Timothy in I Timothy 6:11-12, let’s pray over our youth, that they will “flee from (sin), and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness… (and) Fight the good fight of the faith!”
If you have any questions about the project, please complete the contact form below, or give Nick a call. We are excited to see how God works through this project – may He receive all the glory and praise for what He has planned!
Background Consent Form (click to print)
Questions about the Timothy project? Complete this contact form:
Last night we had the honor of ordaining four men to the noble task of serving as deacons.
Thank you to the men and their wives.
Have you made New Year’s Resolutions? How’s that working out for you? Why not decide to go WILD in 2015! Listen for more: