Contenders for the Faith

He was bristling with excitement, I could tell. Book at the ready, cookies boxed up, dues in hand; my little man was all fired up and set to start. All the details taken care of, my two guys headed out the door to have some manly bonding time with a few other friends. It was time for Contenders to begin!

A long-awaited desire has finally begun to show itself. For the past several years, the girls and I have participated in a Keepers group. (Okay, well, I run it.) We have had so much fun and really learned a lot. The ladies we’ve met, both younger and older, have added so much to our lives. We’ve grown a lot and enjoyed our time immensely.

I cannot, however, run or be a part of a Contenders group; that is specifically for guys only. (At least in my humble opinion.) Just like with Keepers, Contenders should be young men being trained up by the older men in the church; not ladies!

contenders

For years, my son has been asking for “a boys’ Keepers group”. Unfortunately, there were none in our neighborhood, nor county for that matter! That is until this past Saturday. Incredible!

Out of the blue, I get a message from a couple we’ve known for over ten years. The husband wanted to start a Contenders group but didn’t know who else might be interested in participating. I mentioned this to my husband in passing and he asked to hook up with this dad to help get things rolling.

Several lunches later, a group formed and here we are!

Contenders is in the very beginning stages, where I was about four years back. (Wow; that has certainly gone very fast!) I expect they are going to have a few quirks to work out in the first several months. It takes a little while to get things running smoothly and grow accustomed to a routine. Once things get settled though, I think they are going to increase in numbers very quickly.

Whether they multiply or not, I know my boy is going to have a marvelous time. He can’t stop talking about all the fun things they are going to learn and do. Just seeing his excited face makes my heart happy.

I wish these guys the best of luck! I’m sure the Lord is going to do some pretty amazing things through this group.

Do your boys attend a Contenders group? What was their favorite activity?

“Similarly, encourage the young men…” – Titus 2:6a

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Another Exciting Year of Ministry

Most mommies look for creative ways to teach their children life skills, I am no different. Several years ago, having expressed an interest in perhaps trying Girl Scouts, my Bible study leader brought Keepers of the Faith to my attention.

Now, you might ask, what is Keepers of the Faith? Keepers of the Faith consists of two separate programs; Keepers at Home (for girls) and Contenders for the Faith (for boys). Both are Bible based clubs that focus on teaching young people to be Godly men and women. The clubs are run similarly to those of Boy/Girl Scouts; the children attend group a few times a month, they earn badges, and they learn life skills. The difference with Keepers is that we center all we do on the Bible. Our focus is Titus 2; training these young people to be all that God has called them to be.

When Keepers was presented to me, my children were a little young, so I set the idea on the back-burner and set out to pursue other things. However, about two years ago a friend and I began to seriously consider Keepers at Home and actively look for a group. We were made aware of one group, meeting at a local church, but the group seemed a little less active than we would have liked. We were invited to attend a smaller group, consisting of mutual friends; which we tried. As it turned out, that group was mostly preschool girls and their activity level wasn’t quite what our girls were looking for.

On the way home from our second meeting, I asked my daughters what they were looking for. My daughters excitedly replied, “We want to do some sewing. Oh, and some baking! And don’t forget the jewelry making, cooking, and flower arranging!” When I relayed this to my friend, her prompt reply was, “You know the Lord is telling you to do this, right?” I staunchly denied that I needed to have any involvement with running a group. I simply wanted to participate and help out the current leader!

When I got home, my husband asked us how this meeting went. He was treated to the full story and the responses of our girls. He then replied, “You know the Lord is telling you to do this, right?” Oh, man!! It seemed like the Lord really was going to have me step out on a limb.

With much prayer, the Lord showed me what He wanted from the program and how we could make it happen. We started with just some close friends in our home, eight girls in all, and followed what the Lord wanted us to do. We learned a lot in that short five months and my girls were hooked!

Jump to now… We have had so many girls join the group we are now part of church ministry, with about thirty girls in attendance. We meet twice a month, exploring God’s word and learning new skills to help us be better keepers of our homes.

This morning, I had the pleasure of sitting with my pastor’s wife. We went over the upcoming year and all that the Lord has been preparing in our hearts. We shared our vision for the program and where the Lord might be taking it this year. We prayed over the ministry and the girls who will attend; that the Lord would be the center of it all. 

Please join me in praying for this ministry as well! Not just for our group, but for all the groups who will be meeting. That the Lord would be honored and glorified in all we do. Please pray for me, that I will continue to listen to and obey the calling He has given me. Also, if the Lord is willing, that a gentleman from the church would step up and lead Contenders for the Faith. We have not started a boys group yet, but I feel the Lord is leading in that direction.

Do you have a Keepers group? Please let us know, if you do! We would love to hear all the exciting things you have been learning!