Yesterday at 5:30 pm MST I couldn't help but ask myself, "Could this be the beginning of the next spiritual awakening?"
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Dear Parents of Teenagers,
Thanks for all you do to invest in the life of your teenager(s). You probably feel like an uber driver (ready to pick them up/drop them off when they call), coach (helping them perfect their sport), tutor (working with them on homework), guidance counsellor (preparing them for the future) and, sometimes, a jockey (pushing them to cross the finish line...without a whip of course!)...all wrapped up in one!
That's why, with all the insane busyness of parenting a teen, it's easy to let youth group attendance slide off the grid. It's tempting to think, "My kid's just too busy for a night of hanging out with other teenagers, playing some goofy games and hearing another Bible lesson."
A debate is raging among a handful of Christian leaders about social justice and the Gospel. Some super conservatives are saying that the entire concept of social justice is unbiblical. A handful of ultra-liberals have asserted for years that social justice is the Gospel. Still others are saying that social justice should be a natural lead in and outflow of the Gospel.
It's that time of year where Alice Cooper weeps (school is no longer out for the summer), parents rejoice and teenagers have to start getting up early again.
Back to school is back with a vengeance and everyone, especially youth leaders, have been scrambling! Programs are being perfected! Curriculum is being purchased! Adults are being recruited!
But, even in the midst of all the Fall kickoff mayhem, back-to-school can be a great time to get back to the basics of youth ministry. These basics are rooted in Scripture and absolutely necessary for true spiritual transformation.
With this as a backdrop, here are 5 surprisingly simple ways to make a gigantic spiritual impact on your teens this school year:
Basic #1: Cover them in prayer.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassadorin chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should." Ephesians 6:18-20
For a decade of my life I was privileged to lead a church that was very effective at reaching the lost. Through prayer, hard work and a relentless Gospel focus we experienced strong growth primarily due to new believers being added to our church roles. During that time God taught me many hard and valuable lessons that have stuck with me to this day.
This post is from my good friend Brent Crowe whose new book, 'Moments 'til Midnight: The Final Thoughts of a Wandering Pilgrim,' comes out in September. I read this book and it's amazing. You should read it too. In the meantime I hope you're encouraged by Brent's thoughts on living out our faith as daring, faithful pilgrims and that you'll check out this powerful new book! —Greg
This is a fun little post about a pretty serious subject. Rule-obsessed churches stifle the joy of Jesus in our souls by promoting legalism disguised as holiness. But instead of getting the full surrender to Christ they want, they get external compliance and inner misery instead.