Our tale begins with a single picnic table and several open minds.
In the upper Shenandoah Valley of Northern Virginia, a small group of friends share a meal together in the sweltering, late summer heat seated around a weathered picnic table. It’s labor day weekend, 2015. The annual preaching event, Winning at Winchester, is in full swing and the scene is buzzing with conversation and laughter. Our party, though separated by five different states, have randomly found their way to this singular place.
"We accidentally taught Noah’s ark to the same class three times this year…”
The dialogue turns from greetings, to small talk, before becoming more.
A general concern for the welfare of the local Church, especially concerning the younger generation, comes to center stage. No one is satisfied with the current state of the student curriculum available to the local Body. Some use material that they do not care for, but express an inability to locate better alternatives. So, they attempt to take lemons and make lemonade.
Others, write their own coursework but struggle to stay ahead of the demand. It also limits their laborers. Many that are willing to teach are not capable of producing their own content.
Then, there are transitional issues as a teacher moves from one classroom to another. The latter, often unknowingly, offers the same lessons as the former.
One by one, each individual sitting around that picnic table expresses their frustration. The problem is identified yet the solution is lacking.
That’s like trying to see how close you can stand to the fire without being burned?!
The discussion moves to opportunities for the youth outside of the local Church building. Gone are the days of youth rallies, camps, and concerts providing sound doctrine as they pull at the heartstrings of malleable minds. A cutting to the quick of an individual, made in the image of God, yet outside of Christ. A tug at the soul of each believer to fulfill their individual ministry. Discipleship is dead. Replaced by a crusade to normalize alcohol use in Christian circles, to redefine morality away from a Biblical position, and a push to compromise the one Church in favor of denominational fellowship. Horror stories were exchanged around the table of tales brought home, by teenagers, of messages completely divorced of Christian values coming from the stages of our brotherhood youth meetings. Each Church leader present that day makes the same remark, “We will not send our kids.”
There are exceptions… precious few, but this describes the rule.
Once again, the problem is identified yet the solution is lacking.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
From this ground the seed of ThreeStrand Ministries is planted and begins to germinate. Enough of speaking to the problem. We will get out in front of it; fix it. Yes, it is impossible to stop what is already happening on many university campuses, arenas, church buildings, classrooms, and campgrounds. What ThreeStrand can offer is an alternative. We will provide doctrinally sound Christian curriculum to the local Churches; challenging, practical, and aesthetic.
ThreeStrand will also provide a meeting geared toward teenagers, college age, and the young at heart. This will be a rallying point for Christ’s disciples and a cry in the wilderness for those who are searching for God. A call to repentance for those who have lost their way. Praise like none other; lifted to God and heard miles in the distance. Discipleship will be the word of the day.