Enjoying the Journey

If you are a teenager I am quite sure that your social life has been disrupted and your school year has been less than you imagined. (Or perhaps, better than you imagined – depending on your perspective!) After a few days at home most young people begin to get bored. Maybe you are way past that. First let me say, join the club. We are all a little stir crazy. The truth is that throughout life there will be things that disappoint and interrupt. The sooner you can learn to accept and adapt to these changes the better your whole life will be. Please do not think that I am minimizing the impact that COVID-19 has had on your life.…

Read More

Thank God for faithful youth workers. As a parent of two teenagers I realize more than ever that no one raises their children alone. My wife and I praise God for every youth pastor, youth pastor’s wife, teacher, coach, administrator, and choir leader who influence our children…and we pray for them. We need them. Our kids need them. The role of youth leaders is more indispensable than ever. They cannot take the place of parents or the pastor, but they can extend the influence of both. Youth workers are key in strengthening two God ordained institutions – the home and the local church. Much of our ministry has been with young people and helping to train those who work with…

Read More

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…

Read More

The youth rally is not the entire youth ministry, but it is a component part. Like summer camp or Vacation Bible School it serves as an emphasis on the things you are trying to teach young people every week. Most people believe that if you have pizza, interesting props, and prizes to give away you have all this is needed for a good youth rally. There should be much more! I am in youth rallies frequently and have seen many rallies done well and a few that were not as effective as they could have been. Here are a few suggestions… Determine the purpose of the youth rally. What are you rallying them to? Determine the destination early. Is it…

Read More

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.…

Read More

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…

Read More

When I was thirteen years old an elderly preacher in the mountains of West Virginia gave me a book.  It was old and dusty.  There were no pictures and at the time it seemed like a good book just to put on the shelf.  Several years passed before I actually read its yellowed pages, but after reading them I would never forget them. Russell Conwell was a preacher and educator.  He started what is now known as Temple University in Philadelphia.  Conwell traveled the world giving a very famous lecture over 5,000 times.  Any honorarium that was given to him was in turn given to some young person to help them through college.  But the value of his lecture was…

Read More

Today we had the privilege to host a number of youth directors on our campus at Crown College.  In the luncheon we discussed plans to begin a new youth fellowship for East Tennessee, the Smoky Mountain Youth Fellowship.  I am excited about the possibilities and encouraged to know so many youth workers with a heart to reach and teach Teens for Christ. We shared with these fine people a number of resources that have been designed to help youth workers in local churches.  I wanted to share them with you.  Take advantage of all that you can and feel free to share them with others.  We don’t have all of the answers.  (The longer I work with teens the more…

Read More

One of the great joys of my life is the privilege to speak to young people.  Recently I was listening to one of our youth workers at the Temple Baptist Church as he taught the Word of God to teenagers.  He was doing a great job and the Lord used him.  He is not a preacher, but he is a fine Christian and a faithful teacher. As he spoke, I jotted down several things that the Lord has taught me through the years about  teaching young people.  The most important thing is: teach the Bible!  Not stories.  Not your ideas.  Not hot topics.  The Bible. Do not try to be a youth teacher.  Be a Bible teacher, and God will…

Read More

One of the greatest privileges of my life has been the opportunity to work with young people. Youth ministry is not a stepping stone to another ministry. It is the work of a lifetime! D.L. Moody said if he had his whole life to live other he would give it all to working with children. I truly believe that the greatest work on earth is influencing the next generation with the truth of God’s Word and pointing them to Jesus Christ. When I was 12 years old God changed my life at a summer youth camp. I have never been the same. There are more young people alive at this moment than there have ever been. The majority have never…

Read More