Saturday, December 31, 2011

Starting a Creation Club in Your School

So, you are a student with a heart to change your world and are wondering, “What can I do to help push back the tsunami of atheism, and its flagship belief system of evolution?”

Whether you are in high school or college, how about starting a Creation Club in your school?  Sound like a daunting task?  At first thought, it may be, however, just as likely, with a little guidance, and a few friends, it might just be the exciting challenge you have been looking for.  This article will give you several guideline steps to get you started, and who knows, you just might be better at it than you thought.

1)  Pray.
The first thing we should do when considering any course of action is pray.  Ask our heavenly Father to guide you by His Holy Spirit, to show you what you should do and to give you the patience and courage to do what needs to be done.  Part of the way our Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray is, “Your (God, our Father’s) kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  If your heart is moved to start a Creation Club, then this may be the part our Father has assigned to you to bring His kingdom and the knowledge of His kingdom here to earth.  Continue in prayer every step of the way.  Pray for people to come along side you and work as a team in unity and grace.  Pray for mentors to help guide you.  Pray for those making decisions, that they will honor God (remember, it is God’s will we pray to be done here on earth, not our own) in their decisions.  Pray for the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Holy Spirit whenever you make any decisions.  Pray for the protection of those who would help you and for the love of God to fill those who would oppose a Creation Club.  Pray for the fruit of Holy Spirit to be manifest in your life, and in the life of those who would help you, and gather together with you.  If you have a thought about it, pray.  Even if you are absolutely positive about something, pray; a little more peace and wisdom never hurts.

2)  Weigh the benefits and costs.
Weigh the benefits and the costs.  What are the benefits of starting a Creation Club?  For starters, you will have the adventure of something new and interesting to do.  You will likely meet new people and make new friends.  You will probably find out that you are NOT the only one who has honest, genuine questions about evolution; and that you are also NOT the only one who actually believes God is quite capable of having created our universe the way He said He did, when He said He did, how He said He did, and in the time span He said He did – and some of them go to your school; some of them may even be teachers waiting for someone like you to speak up.  You will force yourself to grow by taking on a new challenge, having to deal with a number of people who not only agree with you, but also disagree with you.  You will learn more about God, the universe we live in, science, and about yourself and what you really are capable of.

The costs?  You may have a few friends who disagree with you, and you will likely have a number of your peers ridicule you for your views.  You may find some teachers and professors getting a little bit disagreeable and testy with you, and push you harder in class.  These things can be good, if we turn them over to our Father in heaven, and regularly ask Holy Spirit to guide us and help us in these situations.  They will cause us to rely upon Holy Spirit to help us mature in Christ Jesus, and build in us the character of an honorable son or daughter of the Living God.

What about the costs if you are moved in your heart to do something and you choose not to?  Many adults go through life wondering, “What if...?”  Don’t be one of us who had a passion to do something, but did not, for whatever reason (fear, anxiety, fear of failure, fear of success, the unknown path we are about to head down), and then regretted not knowing what good we could have done, if only...  There are also the costs of continuing to have evolution go unchallenged, and being force fed the atheistic system of evolution; requiring you to exclude God from the universe He created.

Oh yah, and pray.

3)  Recruit.
It can often be fun to take on new challenges; however, with a few like-minded friends new challenges can be even more fun and rewarding.  Talk with your friends, certainly, if you have the desire to do something positive like starting a Creation Club, some of your friends will likely be interested too.  Having those we know we can trust and rely upon during new experiences and challenges can help strengthen us in spirit, and encourage us when we need a little help.

Seek the support and guidance of parents, youth leaders, and at least one member of the faculty.  You may need a faculty member to sponsor or help guide your group through any problem you may have, and help you set up your new Creation Club.  A good relationship with one or more faculty members when developing a Creation Club may help you stay informed about situations before they arise, and help you deal with a number of problems or situations you may face; from simple things you may not have thought of, or for other more pressing and serious challenges.  Also, a faculty member can help you with your school’s guidelines and policies concerning school organizations.  Follow these guidelines and policies (you may need a mission statement and a Constitution) when setting up your new Creation Club.

Remember, parents, other leaders, and faculty were once your age, they have experienced things you have not yet seen, and their wisdom can be invaluable; honor and respect them.  You may find that if you develop a culture of honor and a reputation of respectfulness, even those who disagree with you will often be more peaceable, and might even find some ways to help you.

Because you are likely to be using school grounds, a student will have to lead your group, and the faculty members, parents and other non-students might be only permitted to participate, or give presentations.  Check with your school’s guidelines and policies.

Also, do not forget to pray.

4)  Plan.

Do not rush.  Gather with your like-minded friends, and define your new Creation Club.  What is the purpose of the club?  Why do you want to do this?  What are your goals?  What will you do at your meetings?  Where will you meet?  How long will your meetings last? How often?  Who will you invite?  How will you spread the word?

Seek the input of a youth leader, or other wise and trusted adult.  If you can recruit a faculty member interested in helping you with your club, run your ideas by him/her and listen to his/her advice.  Seeing a young adult grow in responsibility and take on a leadership role like this is quite rewarding in the hearts and minds of faculty members, and other adults.

Are you going to invite guest speakers to your meetings?  This might be a good way to help promote your new Creation Club, and to help get you grounded and started.  Contacting Creation Ministries International to request a speaker may help you on your way.

Do not forget, pray.

5)  Observe.
If at all possible, find out if other schools in your area have similar clubs.  If they do not have a Creation Club, find out if they have some type of “Christian” Club, Group or Association.  If possible, visit a couple meetings, and ask questions of the group’s leaders to find out what they went through, and what steps they took in setting up and successfully running such a group.  Honor and respect whatever group allows you to sit in on their meetings, even if you disagree with some of what they say or believe.  Honor and respect go a long way to forging new friendships, and valuable allies when troubling challenges arise.

Did I mention, pray...some more?

6)  Choose resources.
What resources are you going to use for study materials, and for spreading the message of your new Creation Club?  How much will they cost?  Do you want to use books?  Pamphlets?  DVD’s?  Do you have the resources to hook up a laptop to a larger screen or monitor with speakers to watch an online video?
Creation Ministries International is a good place to start looking for your materials.  There is the webpage 15 Questions for Evolutionists - Evolution: the naturalistic origin of life and its diversity, and the “pdf” pamphlet 15 Questions for Evolutionists, with supporting references, that can get you started.

A good book to start with would be The Creation Answers Book, which is available for bulk discounts. 
A few good DVD’s to help get things rolling would be The Alternative: Creation’s Competitive Edge, and Arguments Creationists Should NOT Use.  An inexpensive 3-DVD pack that is worth consideration for getting started is The Case for Creation.  There is also a Core Issues 8-DVD Pack that would be a good start.  You may also want to consider watching online videos and video series such as Genesis Unleashed, or Creation Magazine Live.

Also, do not forget to pray.

7)  Know your rights.
Make sure you learn your local ordinances, and your school policies.  Some areas are very accepting of new clubs, other areas can be more challenging.  Knowing the challenges you may face, and the rights you have going in will help you be prepared for most challenges that may arise.

Praying for wisdom here, would be a very good idea.

8)  Consult school officials.
Since you have already planned your new Creation Club according to your school’s guidelines and policies, obtained from the faculty member(s) you have recruited, it is now time to discuss your plans with your school’s principal, or dean.  Present what you have so far, and be very receptive to any guidance provided.  Be respectful, honorable, and confident, but do NOT be combative.  Your tone should be “when and where can we do this?” not “we ARE going to do this or else!”  Remember, you are not really asking, “may we do this?” because laws clearly say that you can; you are simply, politely, and respectfully asking, “Where and when can we meet?”  If you run into resistance, speak with the faculty member(s) you recruited, parents and youth leaders.  They will have the wisdom to help you deal with any undue resistance.

By the way, praying about this exciting new endeavor should be a daily and heartfelt habit by now.

9)  Finances.
You may have to ask some of the adults you have recruited if they can contribute financially.  Are dues a part of your membership? Or do you have peers with jobs that can just pitch in?  Can your church, or the churches your friends go to help out?

Advertising pamphlets, fliers, etc., cost money; as well as the resource materials you are planning on using at your meetings.  Various fund raisers (e.g., car washes, candy sales, etc.) can be good sources of funding and fun.


10)  Advertise and promote.
Advertising is something that our younger generations are likely to be considerably more adept at than our older ones (though not always, maybe).  Facebook, Twitter, Skype, text messaging, all the nice and easy ways to do what once was called “word of mouth” advertising.  Pamphlets and fliers can also be good ideas.

Check with your school’s guidelines and policies to find out what clubs and organizations are allowed to use and what they are not.  Expect to use the same resources and avenues as every other club on your campus.  Be respectful and seek the counsel of your faculty recruits if you run into problems.

Having some simple refreshments (juice, donuts, pop, cookies, pizza, etc.) can go a long way to encouraging people (particularly those not quite sure about committing) to return, or at least tell their friends what a good time they had.

Need I say it again?  Pray...more.

11)  Meet.
It is time to have your first meeting.  Do not worry, just relax, trust your planning and have fun.  It may be wise to plan your first meeting as more of a social event.  Having everyone willing to speak introduce themselves, tell why they came, and why they are interested; this can build camaraderie and put the anxious at ease, at least a little bit.  Do not force or even pressure people to speak, but do encourage those who do not speak up to do so (without pressure, away from the main crowd) so that they will feel included.

Conduct your meetings with a culture of honor and respect.  This will go farther than you may realize.

If someone comes who has decided to be disagreeable, be honorable, polite and respectful.  Make sure they understand the reasons for your Creation Club (e.g., to learn to question evolution, and study the science of our origins and creation, including how it tends to agree quite well with God’s account in the Bible).  If necessary, politely ask them to leave; or get help from your faculty sponsor (follow your school’s guidelines and policies).

Then, thank God for helping you get started, and pray for continued success and help being a light for others.  Do not pray for anyone to be forced to agree, but pray that our Father will lovingly open the eyes and ears of their understanding to His Truth.  After all, their eternal future is what is at stake, not their immediate agreement.

12)  Be patient and faithful.
It may take a while for you to grow a good sized club membership.  Take your time, learn, and enjoy each meeting, and the preparations for each meeting.  When we are faithful, we are planting seeds which will bear fruit in their own time.  Patience is not the ability to wait; patience is the good attitude and loving heart with which we wait while we are being faithful in what God has laid upon our heart to do.  Our responsibility is patient, faithful obedience; God’s responsibility is to see to the rest of it.

...and pray

13)  Continue in prayer
I know I mentioned praying quite a bit.  We have a choice, we can either wing it and end up with whatever happens, do it on our own strength and wisdom, or we can use prayer to set not only the thermostat, but to program the entire climate control system.  Meetings bathed in prayer, people who have been prayed for, continually inviting God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – make huge differences.  Sometimes it may not be evident until certain challenging situations are finished being worked out.  Our main purpose here is influencing the eternal future of those in our schools.  Creation Evangelism, through the use of a prayed for and well planned Creation Club is only a tool towards influencing the eternal future of our friends and peers.

Have fun, be blessed, and know that there are people, including myself, praying for you.

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