John Piper: Youth Ministry

I recently listened to John Piper talk on the topic of Youth Ministry.
His sermon was very good and really challenged me.
It is a free listen at desiring God.com, where you can stream it or download it.
I highly recommend listening to it.

Here are some things that are stirring me still as I reflect on his sermon:

Let the Word of God burn in our hearts!
If we youth ministers really let the Word of God resonate in our hearts and minds, if we truly reflected on and memorized the Word before we began teaching our students…can you imagine what our sermons would sound like? Imagine the impact of the Word in our students’ hearts and minds?
If the Word of God was burning in our hearts, then it would begin to burn in our students’ hearts as well.
We would start a revolution, a fire for God!
Sometimes we just work week-in, week-out. We do enough to get by, maybe read over our message twice and the Word of God is not quite resonating in our own hearts, let alone our students’!

Let us pray over the Word before we begin studying for our sermon/talk. Let us slow down! Let us settle on the Word. Let us delight in the Word. Let the Word BURN in our hearts! Open our eyes Lord to the WORD of God! Let the Word shock our students’ lives. Let us have ONENESS with God and His Word! That is radical but it is real.
This is how to start a revolution! Take delight in God’s Word in your own life. Take care of your walk. Let the passion of God’s Word pour out and infect our students!

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Core Training 3 – Passions, Holy Discontent

At the Core Training (by Youth Specialties), we learned about Bite Back, which is an operation put together by Compassion International. I posted about this recently.

Today’s post, I wanted to share a few other topics that we learned about at Core. The reason I bring up BITE BACK Campaign again, is because it is built on some great truths.

Today’s youth, Gen Y, are very passionate. They are not too concerned with what older generations have said about “the way it is supposed to be” or “how it always has been, always will be.” It is a generation ready for change. And they want to bring this change.

In the past (for about 100 years or so), Christian camps have divided on theology. Conservative theology v. liberal theology. Conservative theology was founded around saving lost souls. While liberal theology was based on “helping people, showing God’s love.”

The beauty of Gen Y, is that they are not concerned with in-church fighting/debating. they see that both “saving souls” and “showing God’s love to everyone worldwide” as both being equally important. For the most part, Gen Y, does not take a side or fight about it. These young, Christians want it all. They want both. They are passionate enough to take it on and do the work too! There are countless stories across the country of young Christians taking on large -scale projects in to fight for their “holy discontents.”

They stand up for the things that really get them frustrated, fired up, and ready to take action for CHANGE. They feel discontentment about certain issues. And this discontentment is a holy one, because it is frustration and love for teenagers who are worlds away, in unfortunate situations. Bite Back is just one campaign where we are looking not only to save souls, but help defeat Malaria.

We met a young girl who puts on “fashion shows” to fight cancer. All of the models were cancer patients. 🙂 Her passion was administrating this event. Her heart was for the cancer patients. her love was Jesus Christ.

My youth group is working a few strategies to fight Malaria.
First we are going to put on a worship event. At this event, there will be a cover donation. We will explain the Bite Back campaign. We will rock out for God in worship, it’s our passion. The attendees will donate for the Bite Back campaign.

Second we are going to run a fund raiser in the school system. Yes, even people in the secular school will be on board to give money to fight these social issues. And by offering the community an opportunity to fight for this we will have a chance to seek local relationships and see people come to Christ!

Anyways the idea is that our generation is ready for CHANGE. We have Passions and talents. We want to use them not only to save souls (which is of the utmost importance) but also to help the change the world, fighting our holy discontents, and social issues that are not fair.

The Christian Bubble Cycle

Unusual Rant from Alex Dolin: Illustration and concepts from Dan Kimball

Christian One: “So what did you do Tuesday night?”
Christian Two: “Went out with Brother Tom, Pastor Bill, and my wife to Applebee’s.”
Christian One: “Interesting Wednesday night, did you do anything special?”
Christian Two: “Brother Tom, Pastor Bill, my wife, and I went to go see that new movie.”
Christian One: “How about Thursday night?”
Christian Two: “My wife and I played cards with Brother Tom, and Pastor Bill.”
Christian One: “And Friday night?”
Christian Two: “Brother Tom and Pastor Bill, and I had guy’s night at his house.”

…….You get the idea! A problem I am discovering, of Christianity, as a whole, (as well as in my life) is that we are in constant fellowship with ourselves – Christians! If we do not INTENTIONALLY sharing our faith, we have a problem!

Fellowship is good, yes? But you can do too much of it…remember that there are many aspects to our faith while Fellowship is a part of it. But so is evangelism. Think about what too much (or a life completely filled with fellowship) does to our attitudes of sharing the gospel. Especially if we not only live around Christians, but are trained well in theology and discipleship…our heads get bigger but our heart for the lost gets hard and smaller. We say to ourselves…”God is Sovereign, I mentioned my faith…” and that is it…. that is sad.

A heart of evangelism, a heart of worship. A heart for the lost….that is what we need! Never give up on sharing your faith!

There are a lot of people in this (ever-turning towards a post-Christian) American society that get this bitter edge when they hear that I am a Christian. Or they get uncomfortably awkward. They say that most Christians they have meet are hypocrites or too extreme. They have a false-dichotomy of the Christian faith. And Unfotunately both sides of the dichotomy are negative. Have you ever considered/wondered why people think they way they do about Christians? They think such negative things because they do not understand us. They don’t know what the Gospel is, they are not hearing it enough from humble hearts. From Christians who care and are intentional about their faith.

What we should do? Well that is why I started this blog. I am all about learning more about theology and finding other really great Christian fellowship, discipleship, training, and ministry tools online….but I will never stop sharing my faith. The Lord gives us each opportunities in our lives, to go into the World and make disciples. I want to help others do this! As I am journeying to do the same.

The Christian Bubble Drama

Illustrates my point even furthere….