I don't run triathalons or marathons. Nor am I a fitness freak. But, as a 52 year old preacher, I've become increasingly aware of my mortality and the ever sagging effects of gravity.
If I were the devil I'd distract the youth leaders with more and more meetings. I'd get them so involved with well-intentioned youth ministry "stuff" that they didn't have time to actually make and multiply young disciples.
For the last few months the news has been full of horrific stories of sexual harrasment and even sex crimes against women, men and, in some cases, children. Prominent men, from Senators to actors to Hollywood producers, have been exposed as sexual predators.
Sadly, in the church world, it's not that much different. I’ve heard it far too many times over the last 30 years of ministry, "So and so was just accused of a sexual crime" ...or... "a moral failure" or something to that effect.
Mostly it’s been pastors or youth leaders I didn't know well, if at all. But there have been a handful of times it’s been men I did know. The closer the connection, the harder it is to believe and the more difficult it is to process.
Yesterday we wrapped up our 4th annual Certified Trainer Retreat held at The YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado with a full heart. We spent three days with 40+ youth leaders, lead pastors and regional denominational leaders who are passionate about the Gospel Advancing movement.
I believe there is a coming persecution headed straight for us. And there is little we can do to stop it.
I hear a lot of talk among conservative Christians today about "the radical liberal agenda" that is dominating our culture. This agenda is filled with leftist Democrats, unfair and imbalanced MSNBC reporters and pro-gay Starbucks cups controversies.
If you had to bank on one person to share God’s love with the people around them this holiday season would you choose the sweet and soft spoken leader of your church's Sunday school class or the rambunctious teenage boy who consistently attends the youth group?
"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you." John 16:7
Let me make something crystal clear before I begin this post...I love youth leaders! I'm a fan, some would even say a "fanatic", for both youth ministry and youth leaders. I've taken on the haters of youth ministry and taken flak for it.
There is an urgency to evangelism that is as strong as ever. But, sadly, far too many churches (and youth groups) give barely more than lip service to this mission critical mandate.