Q: What is Re(new)?
A: We are a group of young people in high school and middle school who seek to glorify and worship Jesus Christ with our whole lives. As Romans 14:7-8 says, “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” We are a part of Valley Bible Church.
Q: What do we do?
A: Our purpose statement is: “We exist to make young disciples of Jesus Christ through the Gospel of God in the communities of Vista and San Marcos, as well as all of California, to the ends of the earth.”
Q: What do we mean by “disciples of Jesus Christ” and “Gospel of God”?
A: These are deep terms that hold many implications within them. Put most simply, we would define a disciple of Jesus as Christ himself does in Matthew 28:19-20, as one who is baptized and obeys all the things the Lord has taught. Another way to say this is that a disciple of Jesus loves God with all his heart, mind, body, and strength, and loves all people more than he loves himself (Deut. 6:6; Matt. 22:37; Rom. 13:8-14). All of this, however, is impossible without the Gospel.
The gospel begins with the lost nature of man. From our very birth (Psalm 51:5) we are sinners, and so separated from God. As Romans 3:10-11 says, “None is righteous, no not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God” and later says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (3:23). Because of our sin, humanity has fallen from perfection to a world full of evil, sorrow, and death.
Yet, in our lost state, God did not abandon us, but in His love and mercy, humbled himself and came as a man, Jesus Christ (John 1:1-5 and 14; Phil. 2:5-11). Jesus lived a perfect life, perfectly obeying all things God commands, but still was despised by man and was killed by being nailed to a cross, being buried in a tomb after He had breathed his last (Luke 23:26-56; John 1:9-11). But that is not the end of the story. Three days later, Christ rose again, showing his victory over sin, sorrow, evil, and death (Luke 24:1-12; 1 Cor. 15)!
Now, by faith in Jesus Christ, we gain benefits from both his life and death. In his death on the cross, Jesus took upon himself all of our sins; past, present, and future (Isa. 53: 2-11; Romans 3:21-26; 2 Cor. 5:21), and so we are now blameless before God. Even more, again through faith, we are credited with all the obedience of Christ during his life (Rom. 5:12-21; Phil. 3.9). And so, through this union with Jesus Christ in both his life and death, we are now called sons of God (1 John 3:1), and will reign forever with Jesus in a new heaven and new earth, where there will be no more sin, sorrow, or death (Rev. 21:1-22).
In short, as one pastor said, the gospel declares that "Jesus lived the life we should have lived, and died the death we should have died!" so that we might be reunited with him.
Q: How do we achieve our purpose?
A: This is perhaps the hardest question to answer, as we are ever changing as we discover better ways and have new ideas on how to reach those who haven’t heard the Gospel. However, we will try to answer by categorizing our ministry through the three areas described in our purpose statement:
San Marcos and Vista Communities: We are first and foremost members of Valley Bible Church and so attend our Church’s sunday morning meetings, 10am at San Marcos Middle School, to hear the Word of God preached and share our lives with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and so worship our Lord. Beside this, we meet every Wednesday night, from 7-8:45pm at Valley Christian School, to again be taught from God’s Word and learn to apply more specifically the Word to the life of those our age. We also connect our members to older members of the Church in a one-on-one discipleship relationship, so that we as young people might grow in our personal relationship with Christ through the wisdom of those who have walked this path before us.
All of California: To support our mission to make young disciples of Christ throughout all of California, we are constantly looking to take trips outside of our communities to serve others and hopefully share the Gospel. This might be to Los Angeles or San Diego or even down to Mexico. We also look to partner with other like-minded youth groups in reaching others, as well as building each other up.
To the Ends of the Earth: Although it is of a more rare instance that we should have an opportunity to make disciples of nations far off, we do not ignore this commandment of our Lord (Matt. 28.19-20). We are always looking to take mission trips abroad to share the gospel with those who have not heard it. We also pray every week in our Wednesday night meetings for a specific country elsewhere in the world: for both our brothers and sisters already there, and the spread of the Gospel generally.
Q: What do we emphasize in our teaching?
A: Although we seek to teach “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), there are four things we feel are biblically emphasized, and so shall we.
- The Centrality of Jesus Christ. In all that we do, say, and teach, we seek to make much of Jesus Christ. It is through him that we know God (John 1:14, 14:9-11) and that we achieve salvation, not by anything we do. He is the root of all our blessings (Eph. 1:1-11) and we hope that those who participate in our youth group come out the other side with an understanding that Jesus Christ is the most important thing in both life and death.
- The Inspiration of the Bible. We hold the 66 books of the Bible to be the very words of God (2 Tim. 3:16), as the Holy Spirit inspired men to write them (2 Peter 1:21). Thus, they are completely sufficient and true. It is through them we know the will of God, and so we hope that those who participate in our youth group would seek to read, memorize, and know this book the rest of their lives.
- The Importance of the Church. Our youth group is not a church, and cannot replace a Church. All those who participate are expected to be a part of Valley Bible Church, through service, fellowship, and attendance to church functions. We hope to teach that being involved in the Church is an essential part of the life of a Christian.
- The Power of Prayer. The Bible urges us to be “constant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12), and we seek to model that. As a youth group, we believe in the power of prayer, that God actually hears our prayers, and these prayers change things in the real world. With this belief, we pray constantly and for all things, knowing that not all our prayers are answered, for above all we pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven; not our own.
Q: What does the name Re(new) mean?
A: We chose the group name "Re(new)" because it has a double meaning. We find the word in the Bible in Romans 12:1-2: "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." This is what we strive to do as Christians. However, we bracket the "new" part of our name because we understand that this is not possible outside of the work of Jesus Christ to make us new creations, as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "...if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." Therefore, we are Re(new).