Reaching and Teaching Youth

I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to have a large number of youth attending our weekly youth meetings. I am an Associate Pastor at a small, rural church (about 120 each Sunday) and our youth group has been averaging over 80 young people at each meeting this year – and the vast majority are from “unchurched” families.

It is important to keep in mind that God does not measure success the way we so often do. Despite what many think, numbers do not equal success. However, if we are blessed to have large numbers, we better make the most of every opportunity to reach them with the truth of God’s Word.

For over a year now we have been going verse-by-verse  through the Gospel of Luke. There are times that I want to pull my hair out (if I had any) because the students can be very difficult. Other times, I am so encouraged because they are paying attention and I know that God’s Word is powerful (Heb. 4:12) and will accomplish His purpose (Is. 55:11). 

Lately, they have begun challenging me about Biblical teachings and I’m excited about it. They are being shaken out of their apathy and starting to ask good questions about the faith. We are going to be talking about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ next week and I’ve encouraged them to raise any objections they have heard or they might have to the historicity of the most important event that has ever occurred. I’m excited to see how God will work in their lives during this time.

Our culture (even our Christian colleges and seminaries) often tell us that we just need to entertain kids. They say there is no way that they’ll sit still and listen to in-depth Biblical instruction. That’s simply not true. When God’s Word is taught accurately and boldly, people will either be attracted or repelled by it. Our job is to proclaim the truth and leave the results up to God. Our youth know that each week, they will be required to sit still and pay attention to someone teaching the Bible and they keep coming back. Not only do they keep coming back, they keep inviting friends.

If God has blessed you with the ability and opportunity to teach young people, please don’t ever shy away from boldly proclaiming the truth. They want answers that only God’s Word can give. Don’t ever apologize or make excuses for believing the truth.

Time Well Spent

Two nights ago, I stayed up late watching the Los Angeles Lakers play the Toronto Raptors. Who cares, right? Well, my seven year old son did. He watched it with me and enjoyed every minute of it. 

Some of my favorite moments from my childhood involved staying up late with my dad watching a game, while eating cheese and crackers and drinking chocolate milk. Some may think watching a sporting event is a waste of time, but it sure was fun spending quality time with my son. For the record, he fell asleep with about five minutes to go and missed a last second game-winning shot by the Lakers. 

It is such a joy being a dad and a blessing to have the opportunity to spend time with them. I feel bad for those dads who don’t spend time with their kids. They don’t know what they’re missing.