Serving in Faith by experience

Hello everyone! 

There are many of our coptic brothers and sisters who are straying from our God, especially youth. I understand that some are on tasbeha and have followed atheism and other attempts to try to show that God does not exist. There have been countless arguments trying to prove each perspective. Due to the nature of the age of this occurrence, I believe that it is most effective for Coptic youths to share their faith from experience in their lives because we do not only know God but we experience Him in every step of our lives. Would we be able to form something to serve our brothers and sisters in our Lord to return to Him, and share with them not only the faith but our proof for our faith which exceeds all logic and our limited minds? 

God bless.

Comments

  • I am confused on what exactly are you trying to do?
  • Sorry I was not very clear. I was thinking we could formulate a group where we could organize a method to communicate with these youth. Among many communication opportunities, there is a reddit thread for former Copts and last time I checked they were okay with copts commenting too but it would have to be respectful. If we could all have a shared strategy to help them we could succeed with the power of God. My point is that many of us have studied philosophy and psychology in which we could answer for our faith with logic that could convince them. Time has changed and we must use modern ways to preach our faith and answer for our faith and help restore those whom the devil has challenged. I am not sure what kind of group it would be yet because I would like to know who is interested - the point of posting on here. 
    God bless. 
  • What you're saying is a great idea. But here some things to consider:
    - This is the conclusion that every church come to and they always begin working on getting youth in "a group setting" but it always ends up being just another way to bring them back to church rather than bring them back to the faith, to salvation (those are totally 2 separate things)
    - Creating such a group must be done on the church level since, and by the title of the discussion, you cannot really show experience without "experiencing" in the sense that you must be speaking to the other person face-to-face.
    - Doing anything online, in my opinion, doesn't fulfill the goal. Yes, i totally agree it's a great start. But if that start doesn't, sooner or later, reach the point meeting someone in person (either going to church, meeting a clergy member, a servant or a spiritual adviser), then i believe that all is lost. You cannot save a person by texts or messages or reddit posts.


    So, with me personally, it comes down to actually having a face to face meeting with the person to accomplish anything.  
  • You bring up a really good point but as you said it is really the start. From reading the reddit threads many were from youth who are currently attending church so starting online and getting that initial experience will allow us to consider and find those people in our churches and even in a while we could reach out to others who do not attend church. If one person does this in every church and looks for this "lost sheep" then this would not be a problem. But this was established as a unifying thing and an idea for others to consider that we may all have one foundation or one goal. As you mentioned, it is not bringing them to church but bringing them to God or as the fathers say, bringing God to them. 
  • we could post things about evidence for God's existence, this may help (apologetics) but also making friends with ppl who are not close to God is important
  • Yes apologetics is really helpful but is useful in some situations, there are many priests who explain concisely, like in Southern California there is Abouna Gregory - the Servant Certification program. But it is overused that they started just rejecting the idea altogether and create endless hypothetical questions. I was thinking to use something that is more personal like a personal encounter with God to prove the presence of God. Science is important but we should personalize it a little bit more. What do you think? 
    I really like that you brought up becoming friends with them, it is an excellent idea! God protect us though and keep us in His faith so that they do not dissuade us from Him, but we persuade them back to God. 
    God bless. 
  • edited November 27
    I came to our church from seeing and experiencing things in person during the Liturgy and at the physical church building.

    There are two aspects of your suggestions that are not going to work:

    1.) Focusing on those who left directly --

    In my experience, it is very likely a family issue which creates children to leave the church. It is largly based on a lack of theological and dogmatic understanding from parents. My wife's cousin married a wonderful man, and they got married in a secular ceremony, and they live with kind of an Eastern/Hindu Spiritual view of God. The reason she (my wife's cousin) left was because it was forced on her to attend church. Her parents used fear to make her come to church.

    This example shows that such an all encompassing program is difficult because it is based on individual situations.

    I suggest we improve adults understanding of the church. I've noticed an ethnic right of passage to learn about the church and God, rather than a comprehensive understanding of the Coptic church and Oriental Orthodoxy with many families.

    By starting with new parents, and even older parents, we can improve things at the source, rather than running after people and telling them they're wrong. This strategy could help to significantly change how families interacts with those who left the faith, and would be a far more prudent step towards creating an improved personal relationship.

    2.) Modern doesn't always mean better --

    These forums are wonderful. But, they don't teach the primal and deep aspects of our church. Seeing things helps. Seeing how others treat one another, and being accepting and patient with others is the only way to get Cradle Copts back to the church, and to grow converts through missionary work.

    Perhaps creating groups of Sunday school teachers and Deacons would be a good step to coordinate and communicate with each other about experiences, suggestions and input?
  • Thank you for the feedback! Focusing on parents is a good idea but I was trying to invest in the youths because parents do not want youth to come up to them and teach them how to raise their kids. Perhaps both could go together in the sense that older adults could inform parents and younger youths could work closely with struggling youth.
    I agree that modern isn’t necessarily better it’s just a method to reach them at first because they do not want to conform to the “old school method.” However, the Coptic Church is rich with the ancient traditions and that should not be lost in any of the steps on the path. Patients is definitely needed for this process.
    God bless.
  • @Marenhoos_erof
    “Patience” will be needed for this process.
    I’m sure that “Patients” will also be needed for this process though. ;) ;)
  • edited November 29
    @Jojo_Hanna
    Haha ya I meant patience, thanks for catching that! I guess patients would be needed too. May God give us patience for this service. 
  • Lol, no problem!
    May God Bless your kind heart that cares about His lost children
  • there are old ppl around who can teach the parents and we can all do our part
  • Wisely said! Can we have a shared foundation though, where we could share strategies to reach these youth, etc.?
  • We could set it up like an, "Adult Sunday School" class, and have a curriculum for certain issues, with teaching strategies and tips.
  • That is a really good idea! Can we start working on that?
  • You’d need a bishop to help start this process...
  • That is true, I will try to get in touch with one
  • I can also try if you’d like...
  • edited December 1
    Sure! even more blessings!
  • Great, let me know how I can be of use exactly... :)
  • Would you like to share with your bishop this idea and ask if a program or a certain “curriculum” could be initiated?
  • We’d probably need some sort of Base to show and start off with..
  • I think we should start making an outline or a list of included topics in the program and to find communication methods with those teens. We can start out with online communication until we could reach them personally.
    What do you think?
  • Sounds awesome!
  • Great! 

    This is a link to a google doc for anyone that is interested! On it, there are sections for the outline, general ideas for the program, and methods of communication. 

    Feel free to edit or add anything! 

  • edited December 8
    I added a few things.
  • Great! God bless your service!
    The bishop is coming to my church next week so I will share with his grace what we have so far.
    If anyone would like to share with their bishops this work, it would be a blessing so that more areas are aware and not just a diocese. God bless this work!
    Pray for the service.
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