Posted by: Ed | June 29, 2010

OGN – Tomorrow it begins

Tomorrow we begin something called OGN. I thought I would re-post my last year’s OGN post to give you an idea of what it’s all about. See below:

I’m fresh off one of the most intense weeks of my year (not so fresh actually, I’m still dragging). I’m talking about OGN (originally Operation Good News). It’s kind of a equipping / missions / evangelism / worship / prayer & fasting kind of week. The core idea we had when myself & some other Youth Pastors started doing OGN was to help students become impact players in the Kingdom of God. Here it is 17 years later (that’s just the San Diego years – it actually started when I was in Omaha & we took kids to Minneapolis), I’m no longer a youth pastor but I’m still doing OGN.

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Here’s what it looks like:
AM – Training kids to share their faith (evangelism) and answer tough questions (apologetics). These really go hand in hand. One of the main reasons people don’t do the former, is they are intimidated by questions that my come up. I teach the 1st & 2nd level apologetics classes.
AFTERNOON – Hit the beaches & other places of SD where people are hanging out not doing too much and try and get in spiritual conversations and share the good news. We do it over the July 4th holiday so there are lots of people. This year the police estimated that 1.2 million people visited the beaches of SD. O.K. Thanks for coming, now please return to Arizona – JK.
AFTERNOON – One of the 5 full days the students stay back fasting & praying for the entire time.
EVENING – Meet for some worship that only happens when you have taken some faith steps with some other people & seen God sustain you, come through for you & give you boldness. Then a message.

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I see God move in unique ways during OGN. It’s a long, exhausting week, but it’s an incredible one.

One of the best things about the week this year was seeing David & Bethany (my kids) who have participated in OGN multiple times, take it to a new level.

Let me give you a couple of highlights:
• Helping kids think through why they believe what they believe is always wonderful. This is so critical & I believe is becoming more so than ever. I don’t think people believe or don’t believe for strictly intellectual reasons, but it is important that we have & can share a rational basis for believing in God, the scriptures & the gospel.
• People seeing God use them is like finding another gear in your life. It’s cool seeing kids, or anyone for that matter, take a risk & watch God show up.

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• Divine appointments are fun! Every year I see undeniable divine appointments. One group had a guy say that he had recently been thinking that he needed something like God & had prayed the night before that God would send someone to tell him how to connect with God. Cool.
• Powerful prayer is something that we regularly need! Many of these kids have never prayed for an extended time or never fasted. They pray for the entire afternoon led by my friend Paul Haroutunian. The day David stayed back to pray, he got a text from a kid at the beach saying something like, “we can’t seem to get in a conversation”. They started praying & David had the name “Chris” come into his mind. He ignored it, but it kept coming back. Sure enough the next person they approached was named Chris. They talked to him for over an hour & Chris joyfully gave his life to Christ. No one involved in that will ever be the same.

David leading photo
• Anointing on teaching is irreplaceable. I’ve often said, “A trained monkey could speak in the evenings at OGN.” Its electric. But the truth is God wants to move in lives & will do so as we allow the Spirit to fill. One of the nights I was speaking, I had a message I was lukewarm about. It seemed as I walked to the middle of the room, it was like the Holy Spirit was waiting. I choked up & had to get a grip before I even opened my mouth. It was a cool night.

IMG_0477It was awesome to work with Brandon Blumburg, youth pastor at the Bridge. I remember when he came to Christ at that church in High School!

• “No one wants to hear this!” That is a lie from the Evil One! I was amazed again at how many people are up for a humble polite conversation open conversation about God with a stranger on the beach. I would say that well over half of the people that I personally approached were at least open to giving their views on few questions we asked people.

This was one of those weeks that I remembered why I stayed in student ministries for 2 decades

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Responses

  1. I remeber going to OGN when I was in highschool attending Brookside church. OGN was the place that pushed me into sharing my faith more openly than I already was. I also remeber how open you (Ed) where in having conversations about the sins I was struggling w/ and to counter them. OGN also helped me figure out my passion for serving students in my own church, and I’ve been helping in the junior high group since I graduated highschool 5 years ago. I hope to make it back to OGN as a leader some day w/ the highschoolers. Thanks for OGN Ed and all the other leaders who help. You all are making a difference! My prayers are w/ you and the students this week.

  2. Whats the schedule and when do you feel I should be there?

  3. I wanted to leave a response re: the Ortberg sermon which was terrific. His comment about a female heroine saving her people despite the contemporary church often espousing that women be rescued by men inadvertantly revealed a shadow mission of the church at large. Thus, I very much appreciated his feminist perspective, in addition to his other points. Ironically though, there are only two women (out of thirteen people) featured on the Leadership Summit brochure which makes me a little sad.

    Ortberg’s sermon was so beautifully crafted I found myself following along with the text. As I did, I became curious why Ortberg left out the detail of Haman being accused of assaulting Esther. While not central to the story or his message, it is significant. So I wondered about this and all its myriad implications. The bible seems this never ending onion revealing layer after layer.

  4. Ed Dan and I wanted to leave a comment for Pastor Mike,but we are not able to get thru on the address you gave us during church today(Sept.5,2010) could you please e-mail us and let us know what we’re doing wrong? THANKS AND GOD BLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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