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« The end of cocaine ? | Main | YLI TEAM 05 »

July 09, 2005



'It's not about candles, sermons, music or attendance trends.' wow!

'We are about reproducing followers and disciples who experience life change through Christ'...Wow again!

So true! Kudos to you! I recognize the effort you and your staff have put forth. I respect your hard work, your dedication and your willingness to keep on keeping on.

I am so joyful to here you say it is not about the ritual. I think a lot of times, young people tend to get caught up in the ritual of the Christianity they are practicing. These kids are faced with soooo much. Some of them have already experienced more heartache by their 15th birthday than we have ever experienced. Some of them have experienced life in a way that is only a story to us.

I know sometimes it seems like mainline Christianity, evangelical Christianity, etc. doesn't seem to be working as well as we want it to. I know it seems like there has to be a better way...a different way...a more attractive way...a more tantalizing way...more exciting way. The truth of the matter is that God is one wheel that cannot be reinvented. Not to say that generations do not change, not to say that we should not be contemporary in our approach, but the minute we begin working to get people in the door, the minute we set our sites on something other than Jesus, the minute we begin to rely on ourselves to make it happen...well, it just can't be a Jesus thing.

There is this awesome joy through all circumstance that comes with walking with Jesus. There is peace (and Jesus is the Prince of Peace, Jesus offered His peace to all and greeted with peace) that truly does surpass all understanding because it is a peace that flows through you even in your darkest moments.

That is what we need to teach our youth. Jesus is alive and well, He is not like a childhood icon that we through in the box with the rest of our childhood thoughts. We need to teach them that He is a God who loves us, longs to have a relationship with us, and He is a God who is bigger than all of our circumstances. I know, I know doesn't seem like it will keep them interested too long, right? Well, it does because the Holy Spirit keeps them interested. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we see many, many teens whose lives are transformed through Jesus. We see many, many teens who only need their Bible and their God to get through each moment with joy and peace and contentment in all circumstances.

We see teens who, through discipleship, learn the word of God, learn how to apply it to every aspect of their lives and cannot wait to share what they have in Jesus with others.

They need to know that they are valuable because God loves them or else they will go try to be valuable most often times making very poor decisions that feel good for awhile that often come with brutal consequences.

That is where it's at. No hype, no sugar coating, no ritual...Win them to Christ...Equip them with the word of God...Send them out to disciple others. Make sure that they nderstand that the word of God has the answer to anything and everything in this life. They need only search.

They need to know they have a purpose!!! There is a God with a plan!

We need to love our youth enough to hold them accountable even when they don't like it...that means holding them accountable for the sin that may be in their lives (that there won't be anything hindering their relationship with god...and incidentally, most teens don't even realize that they are in sin sometimes because they just don't know until somebody tells them!) to holding them accountable to how often they spend time with their Lord and time in the word. Oh, how they need that! Oh, how they need to know that we love them! We need to be consistent, we need to be as much of the example of Jesus that they need us to be. We need to be empty of ourselves and allow Jesus to love them through us because that is genuine love, that is the real thing and that is what will keep them coming back. That is what will keep them running into the arms of Jesus...and that is where they need to be...that is what will reproduce followers and disciples who experience life change through Christ.

That said, we love you, we are praying for you and your ministry, we are here for you if you need us.

By the way, I think candles are pretty cool!

Much love!

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