Enjoying the Journey

Last night I finished preaching in another youth conference. These are special meetings and more needed than ever. It was a privilege to have our daughter Morgan with me on this trip. Having teenagers of your own changes your whole perspective! As I looked at a sea of faces last night, hundreds of young men and young women, I was reminded of something very important – This is our generation to reach and teach for Christ. Fifteen years ago I had a sermon that I preached to young people entitled “This Is My Generation.” At the time, I was part of the same generation as those I was preaching to. I am a little older now and the young generation is now…

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You can learn a lot from a child.  Sometimes those we are teaching become our teachers.  This happened to me again recently.  As I walked through a certain place I heard the voice of a young man singing a great hymn.  Not just singing it…singing every word…with abandon! Suddenly so many things were clear.  This young boy has parents who love the Lord.  He is being raised in a church where the great hymns of the faith are being sung.  Now he loves them too. Young people love old hymns.  Many churches today have followed the assumption that kids only want “new music.”  In fact, they want something that is real.  They want truth.  It doesn’t have to be new…

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Questions are opportunities to teach.  God gave explicit instructions to Israel about what to say when your children ask (Deuteronomy 6:20-25).  And ask they will!  All of us who have young people in our homes are well acquainted with the question, “Why?”  It is the way we answer that determines the outcome. Recently I allowed the young people in our Academy to submit anonymously questions that have troubled them.  I was overwhelmed by the response.  Sincere questions and concerns.  Some doctrinal, some personal – family, eternity, morality, God, the Bible, and relationships.  We have since tried to schedule chapel speakers who could address specific topics that are on their minds. Questions cannot be ignored.  In fact, they should be encouraged.…

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It is my privilege to speak to young people on a regular basis.  I have to admit that they are my favorite group to preach to!  You always know where you stand with teenagers.  My heart is always stirred as I look into their faces and consider the potential in every one of their young lives. More and more as I look into the eyes of Christian young people I see a sense of apathy.  Resignation.  Defeat. Could it be that the enemy has successfully convinced an entire generation that their world is too far gone?  Their lives too insignificant to impact 7 billion people?  The condition too bad for them to make a difference? The devil is a liar.…

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For the last twenty years I have had the joy to be involved in youth ministry in some way.  It is the passion of my life to point another generation to the Lord Jesus and His truth.  I am more convinced than I have ever been that this is a critical ministry of the local church.  It is not just the work of youth pastors and “professionals.”  It is the mission of every older man and older woman who desires to impart God’s truth to the next generation (Titus 2). Youth ministry is not “ministry light.”  There is nothing light about it.  This is serious business.  It is work and warfare. Youth ministry is at the front lines of Satanic…

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Like most children, when I was very young, I memorized the Ten Commandments.  The fifth commandment says, “Honour thy father and thy mother.”  It is repeated eight times in the Bible.  As a boy, if my mother said something once I was supposed to listen.  If she said it twice, I was definitely supposed to listen.  If she had to say it three times, it was too late to listen!  When God repeats something it is always for emphasis. This is God’s word to every young person: “Honour thy father and thy mother.” For many years I quoted it without even knowing what it meant.  The word honor means to assign value to something, to treat it as a prize. …

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I was asked recently to speak to a group of parents on the subject of pitfalls in the home.  I read.  I thought.  I asked questions.  I made a list.  Hypocrisy, unrealistic expectations, division between those in authority, inconsistency, rules without relationship, religion without joy, passiveness, overuse of media, and on and on the list goes.  After much reflection I have come to the conviction that in most of our homes the greatest danger is that we are “just too busy!” Isn’t it amazing that with all of our time saving devices, time management books, fast food, and “on demand” technology that it seems we have less time than ever?  Barna reports that more than 50% of people surveyed say…

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