This episode opens with some football banter and we review the score predictions we made last week. If football isn’t your thing, we start chatting about our annual church men’s retreat about six minutes in.

Last weekend, about 50 of our men spent 3 days together at our annual men’s retreat. Each year, we rent 3 beach houses to spend time playing, fellowshipping, worshipping, and studying God’s Word together. We include our young men, ages 12 and up in this event. It’s an exciting rite of passage for the new 12-year-olds to join us. The younger boys count down the years until they are old enough to be counted among the men.

Mark briefly shares our schedule of events for the retreat. The first night usually includes a pizza dinner and testimony time, before a short teaching time. The second morning is more teaching time, followed by an afternoon of sports, swimming, and talking with friends. Some of the men stay up late talking, playing games, and crab hunting. The third morning is a time of worship and teaching. We eat lunch together at a local seafood restaurant and head home. The idea is to create a good balance between Bible study and relationship building.

In contrast to many American teens that are walking away from the faith of their parents, we are seeing most of our young adults following the Lord and taking leadership around the church and community. We talk about how including the young men and women in our church retreats (and other “adult” events) seems to have a strong positive influence on our teens.

Mark addresses pastors and church leaders that might like to begin an annual men’s retreat. Pastors shouldn’t feel the burden to do all of the teaching and planning on their own.

Next week we’ll be talking about Resolving Everday Conflict, the topic of our men’s retreat teaching this year.

 

Go on a Men's Retreat | Episode 58 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

Resolving Everyday Conflict – Ken Sande & Kevin Johnson

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This morning we talk about the death of Hugh Hefner and the sexual confusion in our culture. Hugh Hefner’s life has been both celebrated and condemned. Much of our country views him as a pioneering artist, while Christians and conservatives see the destruction that has precipitated from his “art”.

Mark talks about the confusion of sexual culture on his college campus. Students feel entitled to sexual relationships and there is an assumption that all of the unmarried students are sexually active.

We also talk about the theological implications of the sexual confusion in our culture and how we can address this with our teenage children. What is the Biblical worldview on the sexual revolution in our culture? We need to be talking to our teenagers about Biblical sexuality regularly, so they are prepared to face the opposing view of secular culture. They are being constantly confronted by with the world’s tainted view of sexuality and we need to be diligent to confront the lies with God’s truth.

Dads with teenage sons, we encourage you to talk to your sons about sex. We need to be talking to them regularly about their struggles in this area. Don’t be discouraged by your own sexual sin. Let’s admit our mistakes and deal with our sin so that we can walk with our children through their struggles.

 

The Death of Hugh Hefner & Sexual Confusion in our Culture | Episode 57 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

Speaking Ill of Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner and the Sexual Revolution – John Stonestreet

Passport2Purity – FamilyLife

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Maybe you’re tired of reading articles about racial protests in the NFL and around the country like we are. We thought it might be helpful to provide a Christian response to protest culture in this country.

We discuss the issue of general free speech vs. employment policies governing speech and behavior. Do employers have the right to terminate employees that violate the company’s convictions? Do football team owners have the right to fire players that stand (or kneel, in this case) against the owner’s convictions?

We also talk about the current value of the protests. Are they actually making a difference? If the protests aren’t bringing people together, what should we be doing to help with racial reconciliation? As Christians, we need to encourage conversation, both in our homes and in our communities, pointing people back to the power of the Gospel for change and unity.

 

A Christian Response to Protest Culture in the NFL | Episode 56 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

None this week

 

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Today we continue talking with our friend, Thomas Messick, who works with Crescent Project ministry to Muslims. Crescent Project equips Christians with knowledge and understanding so that they can effectively share the Gospel with their Muslim neighbors.

First, we discuss how we can reach Muslims in our communities. Many Christians have become fearful of Muslims because of the extreme stories we hear about terrorists in the news. Thomas shares a story about a Muslim neighbor he invited to dinner at the pastor’s house, and how God used that event to teach some people not to fear our Muslim neighbors. They need Jesus and we need to be willing to love them and share the Gospel with them, even if that means stepping out of our comfort zone.

Thomas says that most Muslims are very open to religious discussion right away. He shares a couple of stories about how he has approached Muslims in public situations.

Finally, Thomas tells us some of the common objections Muslims have to Christianity and gives us a few basic theological and logical responses we can use to refute them. He recommends Crescent Project’s Bridges class for more in-depth training on how to build relationships with Muslims in your community.

 

Reaching Our Muslim Neighbors with the Gospel | Episode 55 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

Crescent Project – more info about the conference and other training

Contact Thomas Messick

Nabeel Qureshi & More with Thomas Messick

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Today we are remembering Nabeel Qureshi, a Muslim convert to Christianity, who passed away this week from stomach cancer at the age of 34. In his years as a Christ follower, Nabeel went on to study apologetics and theology, became a speaker with Ravi Zacharias Ministries, and wrote 3 books about his life, faith, and ministry to Muslims.

We’ve also invited our friend, Thomas Messick, from Crescent Project to talk with us about his ministry to Muslims and share his thoughts about Nabeel Qureshi. Thomas tells us about how he came to work with Muslims in ministry overseas and later came to work with Muslims in our community here. He shares some encouraging stories about Muslims turning to Christ.

We talk about the cost of faith for Muslims. To embrace Christ means to leave their entire way of life and to leave their family. Thomas encourages the church to step up and become the family and community that Muslim converts have lost.

Thomas talks about how Crescent Project equips Christians to reach Muslims and invites you to their upcoming national conference.

 

Nabeel Qureshi & Crescent Project Muslim Ministry | Episode 54 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

Why this Muslim-turned-Christian speaker resonated with so many before his death at 34 -Ravi Zacharias for the Washington Post

Nabeel Qureshi – Gospel Coalition

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity – by Nabeel Qureshi

No One But God: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity – by Nabeel Qureshi

Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward – by Nabeel Qureshi

Crescent Project

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