How a Youth guy became a Kids Guy

Dear Parents of TheDeep & Kids Min Fam,

I wanted to share with you all something very neat with you. As many of you know, I’ve been blessed to operate as the Kids’ Pastor here at The Healing Place since February 2009! It has been a fantastic time for me and our kids. Granted it was a bit strange for everyone at first.

I first felt a call to youth ministry back when I was still in high school. I had been very active in our youth ministry, FewZion Youth Ministries, pretty much the entire time I was in high school & even on my breaks during college. By God’s grace I was able to attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University to receive further training in the scriptures & in youth ministry.

When I graduated in May of 2008 I came home to serve as the Media Director while I searched for my place as a youth pastor. I applied to many different places, several of which looked very promising. Yet God kept closing door after door. Not going to lie it was kind of discouraging.

Around the December 2008 a young lady came into our youth group. I had been close to her family in the past and was excited to see her again. I told her that before she left to let me know because I wanted to be able to come down and say hi to her family. When I came down stairs I was shocked to see her mom and younger siblings all sitting in the lobby while our interim pastor was preaching.

When I asked what was going on they said “well you guys don’t have anything for the kids on Wednesday nights.” I was in shock! I had no idea that we didn’t have a program for them. Over the next few weeks I started to take a little extra look at what exactly we had going on for our kids. During this time God started to deal with me; speaking very clearly, “if you don’t like it, what are you going to do about it.”

I struggled with this because I know in my heart of hearts that I’m called to work with youth! I’d trained to work with youth. I knew nothing about kids. In fact I was scared to work with kids because I was afraid I was going to break them! But still this desire to work with them started to grow. Couple of weeks later the deacons came to me, asking if I’d pick up our Kids’ Ministry and build it up. I could not say no. Thus began this great adventure that I’ve been on for the last several years.

About 6 months ago God started dealing with me about my first passion, the youth. I started to feel a pull back to youth ministry, specifically the youth ministry here at THP. After much time and prayer I sat down and spoke with my pastor about this tugging in my spirit. Pastor and I talked about it for a bit and then he revealed to me that the Lord had been speaking the same thing to him & Pastor Matt (present youth pastor).

With all that said, dear friends, I’m here to inform you that this is my last post on this blog. Starting last night I am now the Youth Pastor at The Healing Place in Shreveport, LA. I’m proud to say my dear friends Dana & Corey Van Noppen have stepped into the TheDeep and will be running it from here on out.

Go Deep,

Dallas Mora

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Deadline for Mixtape coming up!

Attention Christian Rock bands, Techno Artist, Hip Hop Artist, Folk bands, Jazz Bands, Reggae Bands, and whatever other styles that is out there! How would you like to have free exposer, win $100, and help raise money for a kids’ camp called Hero Academy!?

Hero Academy is a kids’ camp in Shreveport, LA aimed to reach local kids with the love and power of Jesus Christ! What’s one thing every kids’ camp needs? Music! We are looking for original up beat fun, exciting, and biblically sound music to play during Hero Academy. We will be selling a CD of all the tracks submitted to us. The CD will have information all the bands who submit music with links to websites, twitters, and facebooks!

The band that submits the song that’s voted number 1 on our Hero Academy Website will get $100! As an added bonus if the band is located in the Shreveport/Bossier City area we will make a free music video for you!

If you are interested contact me at dallas@thpshreveport.com and I will email you back ASAP! Deadline for all songs is June 14th 2012!

Note to Parents & Reactions to Christ

Dear Parents,
As you may know, we are in the process of making our own THP Wednesday Night Curriculum. While we work on it we will be doing a study on the book of John. The information I will be sending home with the children comes from a blog called Eternal Disciples.

Eternal Disciples is a blog started by Brandon McAnelly and I, some time ago. It started off as a way to help him to gather his thoughts and communicate what he has learned from the scriptures. You can view this blog by going to http://www.eternaldisciples.wordpress.com. You are also invited to make comments on it.

Each week I will select one of the commentaries off the site and reformat it for a take home study guide. This will be a great tool and resource for you and your child’s personal study time. I would like to encourage you to take time out of each week to sit down with your child to read through the chapter and then go over the home study guide.

Be Blessed during this great journey through the book of John!

~~~~~~~~~~~

This weeks’ Reading Challenge

(5/9/12 – 5/16/12)
John 1

Lesson

Everyone has a reaction to Christ. Some positive, some negative. John chapter 1 shows a variety of responses to the new that Jesus is the Christ. The first two men immediately followed after hearing that Jesus was the promised messiah. In Andrew, the news of the Messiah instantly birthed a spirit of evangelism in him. Some like, like Nathan, are skeptical at first and must have a firsthand experience with the Lord to believe.

Notice it was nothing that John or Phillip did that made their friends/disciples saved. It was simply testifying and pointing people towards the Christ. Too often we as Christians carry such a heavy burden about the salvation of those around us. Yes we should be mission oriented and share our faith every chance we get. Yes we should be concerned about our friends and family. But remember this; it’s NOT your job to get people saved. It’s the work of the Holy Ghost that saves men. Your only job is to share the truth.

Discussion Questions

What was your first reaction to the gospel?
Why do you think some people have a hard time believing in Jesus?
How would you tell people about Jesus?

Baptism: what is it and why do we do it?

Dear Parents,

I’ve recently had the kids ask a lot of questions about what baptism is and why we do it. Due to this massive amount of questioning I decided to do a teaching on baptism.  Due to this teaching your kids may began asking to be baptized! Baptism is a wonderful part of our faith and step in our walk with God.

My general rule of thumb, however, is that I do not baptize kids unless the parents and I are both sure that the child knows what baptism is and that they are doing it for all the right reasons.  Kids being kids they will often want to do things simply because their friends or siblings are doing it. It is for this reason that I hold off on baptizing them, so to make sure they are doing it for their personal walk with God.

I’d like to encourage you to discuss with your children about the topic of baptism.  I’d like to encourage you to sit down and see where they are in their walk with the Lord and teach them about what baptism really means. Some of you may not be completely aware of what baptism is actually about and need help understanding it yourself.  This brings us to the second reason for writing this letter, as I’ve stated several times, it is my job as your Children’s Pastor to come along side you the parent and help with the spiritual upbringing of the kids. Below I have given you a little write up on what baptism is and what it means.

Take your time discussing this with your children over the next week or so. If you feel that your child wants to be baptized or you feel they are ready to be baptized then feel free to contact me.

First you should understand is that baptizing people is actually a commandment given to us by Christ himself.

 

Matt 28:19-20

19 ” Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

NASU

 

In the book of mark we find that Baptism appears to be part of our salvation process.

 

Mark 16:16
He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved;
NASU

So the question now is why? Why is this part of our walk with God. Part of this dates back to the Jewish tradition of Mikveh, which is a ritual cleansing process. In Jewish ceremonies the people of God would immerse themselves underwater (be baptized) as a way of becoming ceremonially pure or clean. It was also required for a gentile (non-jewish person) to go through the Mikveh to become Jewish. The idea was that they would go into the water as an idolater and when they came out of the water it was as if they were reborn as a Jew.

As Christians our baptism fulfills a very similar role. The concept of being pure before the Lord and being reborn is very much part of our baptism. In the book of Romans Paul writes,

Rom 6:4
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
NASU

When we go down into the water we are declaring that us as a sinner no longer exists [dead to sin/dead in Christ], much like the as the gentile went down he declared that his days as an Idolater who followed false gods was over. When we come back up it is a declaration that we are reborn with Christ as children of the Kingdom of God, just as the former gentile is now Jewish.

Now generally this is a one-time thing. You do at times see people get re-baptized after a long season of their life, when they have walked away from the Lord and they are now making a statement that they shall not fall back again. Some even do it later in life because they feel that when they did it the first time they did not truly mean it, whether it is because they were just faking their faith or because they honestly did not know what was happening.

The last part is why I am writing this letter. Parents, I encourage you to take some time and sit down walk your kids through the concepts of baptism, to do as our Lord commands in Matthew 28:19-20

19 ” Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
NASU

Go Deep,

Dallas

Ready to go DEEP

Ladies and Gents! I am excited to announce the launch

of ….

The days of Firm Foundation have passed and God is now moving our kids into a new realm. He is taking them into the Deep things of him.

With this new chapter we are now starting a new curriculum. The curriculum is from Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK. With much prayer i believe God has given me some direction for the start of the year. As i look around i see today’s generation’s lack of respect and honor for God.  As a result this disrespect seeps into ever aspect of their lives. No respect for parents, teachers, or themselves. With this in mind the set of curriculum from Church on the Move that i’ve chosen is called Submission and Authority.

Through this curriculum my staff and I aim to teach our children who God is, why He is the ultimate authority in our lives, and how that effects the world around them. Please join us in prayer as we take this journey into the Deep.

Go Deep,

Pastor Dallas