Thursday, August 9, 2007

Year of Your Life

In the past month we’ve been talking about spiritual fathering. Possibly you are one who is a young person who desires intensely to be fathered and mothered in the faith. Or possibly you know someone in your sphere that fits the description and is looking for an opportunity to receive such from a wise and seasoned veteran in the faith. Such an opportunity exists at Grace Church of Fredericksburg through the avenue of the Year of Your Life (YOYL), which is a one-year, full-time course that focuses on preparing you for life. This discipleship school was started by a lovely couple who are committed to reaching and preparing the emerging generation for their calling—George and Lynn Ainsworth. George and Lynn have extensive ministry experience that enables them to effectively minister to young adults.
My wife and I have a young lady in our community group who completed the program this past year and she loved it! The course combines solid biblical teaching, a life-challenging curriculum, personal accountability and practical experience to facilitate a year of intense discipleship. The year long program centers on a intimate relationship with God, personal restoration, character development, relating to others, finding your purpose, outreach, and career guidance. The leaders of YOYL try to create a context where each person is personally transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Overall I've been impressed with the students as I've watched them within the context of our church. Please prayerfully consider this school if you are a young adult or if you know somebody who needs to invest a year of their life to allow the Lord to do a deep work!

The leaders of YOYL identifies the following as key objectives they aim to pursue: (1) Disciple people to make an impact in this world (2) Bring people to wholeness by fostering a vibrant relationship with God and laying solid foundations in God’s Word. (3) Send people from us who are equipped to make a difference in the world around them.

Philosophy of Training

The leadership of YOYL strive to develop godly character in the lives of their students through times of worship, ministry and teaching. The focus is on discipleship, training each young adult to think and act in accordance with Biblical principles.

Core Values (taken from their website)
Intimacy with God (Matthew 22:37)—Above all else we are to know God and love Him with our whole being. Students are encouraged to allow God to show them the extent of His love and Father’s heart by yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Character Development (2 Corinthians 3:18)—The students will be given the opportunity to grow in character, through a curriculum designed to challenge their “Christ - likeness”, and to learn relational skills. The interaction of students in small groups and personal mentoring by their Small Group Leader provides a vital foundation for personal discovery and change.

Servanthood (Philippians 2:3-7)—“…in humility, consider others better than yourselves…” Daily chores in the student homes allow students to start by serving each other. Practical outreach in assisting the ministry staff of Grace Church of Fredericksburg, serving other local churches across the mid-Atlantic region, and aiding various community projects establishes this attitude in students’ lives.

Studying and applying the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15 & Romans 15:4)—Students embark on a ‘Bible journey’ where they are given a good overview of the Bible and taught to work with the various literary types in the Bible. In learning to handle the Bible correctly, students will be taught basic principles of biblical study and interpretation skills.

Worship and Intercession (Ephesians 6:18 & Ephesians 5:18-20)—Students will participate in a daily routine of practicing both devotional and corporate worship and intercessory prayer. Students will learn how to press in to God's Holy Presence, both individually and corporately, and discover the transforming power that comes when time is spent face to face with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Outreach and Evangelism (Matthew 28:18-20)—In heeding Jesus’ call to “Go and make disciples…” students are given the opportunity to impact their community through weekly service to the homeless, those in prison, nursing homes, community projects, and schools. Through short-term outreaches, students also assit various ministries across the Mid-Atlantic region, and also experience cross-cultural ministry through international short-term mission trips to Europe or Latin America.

Culture—Our students are mostly young people, just out of high school or college. This leads to a vibrant atmosphere at all times. Lifelong friendships are established. We endeavor to create a culture of solid biblical teaching, personal accountability and practical experience to facilitate a year of intense discipleship. The year centers on relationship with God, personal restoration, character development, relating to others, finding your purpose, and career guidance. You are guaranteed to change and will be trained to make a difference in the world around you. Training takes place in a multi-cultural environment. This diversity is key to helping us understand God, His people and His world better by learning from those with different perspectives from our own .

Involvement in the Local Church—While in Year of Your Life, students will be an integral part of Grace Church of Fredericksburg. so as to give them a hands-on experience of the impact that a local church can have within its community. Students are required to actively participate in the various ministries of Grace Church of Fredericksburg. There are also opportunities to become part of various ministries. such as children’s and youth ministry, assisting with altar calls and baptisms, ushering, praise and worship, prophetic ministry, a variety of community-based ministries and more.

Contact George and Lynn Ainsworth as soon as possible because the next program starts in September:
Phone: (540) 785-2273
Fax: (540) 785-6068
Click here to view application and other information on the discipleship program.

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