Buffalo Covenant New Format

According to recent statistics, nearly four out of every five young people who have grown up within the local church, walk away from the faith once they have graduated from high school. There are many reasons for this abandonment of faith, but one strong reason is the lack of a strong foundation based upon the Scriptures. They have not been grounded in the truths of Scripture, nor have they seen a relationship between life and the Word. They become prey to either a counterfeit faith or to no faith at all.

At Buffalo Covenant we have made a pledge that we desire those young people leaving this church to enter into either the work-world or the college-world, to not become another statistic. I have shared with our staff: “I want them to be not just survivors, but thrivers of faith.” In order for this to become a reality, Pastor Val and our youth staff have worked to create a five-year program of study that will, with lots of parental encouragement and with lots of student support, equip our young people to have a successful walk with the Lord.

This process begins with year one: Old Testament Survey – 101. This class enables students to begin to develop a strong foundation for their faith and their lives by studying the Old Testament stories and characters and the example they give us in knowing our Lord. Each of the 39 books of the Old Testament will be highlighted for truths that give meaning and purpose to life today.

Year two continues with: New Testament Survey and Bible Doctrines – 201. The first half of this class will see the students studying the 27 books of the New Testament, again, with the intent of discovering foundational truths upon which to build their lives. During the second half of this class the students will begin to integrate those Old Testament and New Testament truths into their own statements of faith. How do we know the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, authoritative Word of God? Who is God? Who is Jesus Christ? Who is the Holy Spirit? Who is man and why did he fall into sin? How can a person be saved? What is the Church? What is God’s plan for the future? These are some of the important questions asked and answers sought through the Word of God.

Year three features the class titled, “What Is a Christian Worldview? – 301.” Building upon the student’s own statement of faith, this class sees the student beginning to test those foundational truths in a context of our culture today. During the course of the year we seek to address such questions as: Why is a belief in God relevant to my life today? Why is our culture seeking to destroy the family structure and the influence of the Church? Where did I come from and why do I have meaning? Is man the center of his world, or is it Someone else? The students are given assignments that have them discussing spiritual topics with peers and with family members with the purpose of having the students discover that their faith does have an importance in their own world today.

Year four finds the students studying the Scriptures through a new vantage point: Bible Customs and Geography – 401. During this year the students will fully enter the world of the Hebrews and familiarize themselves with the culture of Bible days so that they may deepen their understanding of God’s Word and applying it to their own lives. Once again the students will enter into the worlds of the Old and New Testaments seeking to better understand the people, their culture, and the geography that was central to God’s Story revealed first through the people of Israel and then through the Person of His Son.

Apologetics – 501 will be the final study during year five. During this year the students will aggressively discover how to articulate and defend what they believe. It is taking all that they have learned during the previous four years and solidifying that spiritual foundation of biblical truth upon which they can base their lives. Thus, they will not just “survive” spiritually in our world, but “thrive.”
In order to enhance what our students have learned in the classroom, Buffalo Covenant Church would like to offer those students who have successfully completed all the requirements for the first four years, a trip to Israel. There they will have the opportunity of experiencing the hillsides where David shepherded his father’s flocks; of crossing the brook where David picked up five stones on his way to confront Goliath; of sailing on the Sea of Galilee and remembering how Jesus walked on those waves one stormy night; of climbing the very steps up to the temple that Jesus and His disciples climbed; and of walking the narrow streets of the Old City Jerusalem sensing what life might have been like during the reign of King Herod and of Jesus. Places that had been just names on a page become a reality in life.

In order for this commitment for “purposeful discipleship” of our young people to be successful, it will take a team of dedicated teachers. Right now we are in need of ten instructors who have a vision of helping the next generation of believers become grounded in the Word and equipped to defend their faith. It will also take parents who see the value of such a course of study and who encourage their own students with homework assignments and class attendance. And it will take a strong commitment on the part of the church family here at BCC to provide the resources these students will need so that they can be successful in their walk with Jesus Christ in today’s dark world.

If you would like to help our young people make a faith-journey to Israel, we have established an “Israel Scholarship Fund.” You can either mark on your giving-envelop the amount you would wish to contribute to that fund, or you can just clip a note on your check stating that you would like those funds to go into this account. Your gift will help a student experience the Bible up close and personal.

Jesus said, “The truth will set you free” (John 8:32). And Jesus also said in His prayer to His Father, “Your Word is truth” (John 17:17). May God firmly ground our students in His Word and in His Truth.