Tag Archives: Young Adult

7 Commitments of a Forerunner

Our leadership team is reading a book right now from Mike Bickle that has become our mantra.  It’s a must read and the best thing about it…You can get it for FREE!!! Just check out the link below!

Download 7 Commitments of a Forerunner

“The Sacred Charge is a prophetic call to refuse to settle for anything less than radical pursuit of God and His purposes for this generation. This teaching challenges us to live in wholehearted pursuit of Jesus as forerunners who operate in the power of the Holy Spirit today, as we prepare ourselves to prepare others for the Lord’s return. Mike Bickle identifies seven foundational commitments to walk out this sacred charge in everyday life, with insights and practical steps on how to do this.”

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Cultivating Relationships, Not Structuring Them.

This is a great quick read for anyone involved in Young Adult Ministry:

Excerpt from Chuck Bomar’s book, “College Ministry 101”

Even the most people-oriented ministries can fail if they’re overly structured. If you’ve come out of a youth ministry background, then you probably learned that more structure can equal greater effectiveness. But while young adults need some structure, they really want relationships. And often, structure gets in the way of relationships.

One of the ways we tend to over-structure is by constantly creating events. Effective young adult ministry isn’t event-driven. Instead, it revolves naturally around people and relationships. Our tendency is to put together events in order to help people get to know one another. This approach can work for a while, but I’ve found that young adults prefer to cultivate relationships on a daily basis, rather than monthly or quarterly. Young adult ministry functions best not by holding events for the purpose of building relationships, but by cultivating relationships that create the events.

I’ve learned that the traditional big push for a new ministry element – small groups, for example – will get a fairly decent response upfront. But over time the enthusiasm wears off. The reason is that it was promoted as a relational event – they’d get to know others and grow closer to God. This connection what they, so they give it a try. But then they get involved, don’t connect with the leader or with others in the group, and drop out. The group has become little more than an obligation, and they don’t need any more pressure to be place they don’t want to be. What started off as a desire to be relational and to grow in faith turned into religious routine.

Instead, I’ve found it most effective to offer very informal opportunities for connection – communal meals, informal conversations at a coffee shop, movie nights, study sessions – whatever provides just enough structure to get people together without getting in the way of naturally forming relationships.

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None of your business! Follow Me!



After his resurrection from the dead, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him. He answered yes three times. Then Jesus told Peter how he would die—apparently by crucifixion. Peter wondered about how it would go with John. So he asked Jesus, “What about this man?” Jesus brushed off the question and said, “What is that to you? You follow me!” Here’s the whole interchange.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:18-22)

Jesus’ blunt words—“None of your business, follow me”—are sweet to my ears. They are liberating from the depressing bondage of fatal comparing. Sometimes when I scan the ads in Christianity Today (all ten thousand of them), I get discouraged. Not as much as I used to twenty-five years ago. But still I find this avalanche of ministry suggestions oppressing.

Book after book, conference after conference, DVD after DVD—telling me how to succeed in ministry. And all of them quietly delivering the message that I am not making it. Worship could be better. Preaching could be better. Evangelism could be better. Pastoral care could be better. Youth ministry could be better. Missions could be better. And here is what works. Buy this. Go here. Go there. Do it this way. And adding to the burden—some of these books and conferences are mine!

So I was refreshed by Jesus’ blunt word to me (and you): “What is that to you? You follow me!” Peter had just heard a very hard word. You will die—painfully. His first thought was comparison. What about John? If I have to suffer, will he have to suffer? If my ministry ends like that, will his end like that? If I don’t get to live a long life of fruitful ministry, will he get to?

That’s the way we sinners are wired. Compare. Compare. Compare. We crave to know how we stack up in comparison to others. There is some kind of high if we can just find someone less effective than we are. Ouch. To this day, I recall the little note posted by my Resident Assistant in Elliot Hall my senior year at Wheaton: “To love is to stop comparing.” What is that to you, Piper? Follow me.

  • What is it to you that David Wells has such a comprehensive grasp of the pervasive effects of postmodernism? You follow me.
  • What is it to you that Voddie Baucham speaks the gospel so powerfully without notes? You follow me.
  • What is it to you that Tim Keller sees gospel connections with professional life so clearly? You follow me.
  • What is it to you that Mark Driscoll has the language and the folly of pop culture at his fingertips? You follow me.
  • What is it to you that Don Carson reads five hundred books a year and combines pastoral insight with the scholar’s depth and comprehensiveness? You follow me.

That word landed on me with great joy. Jesus will not judge me according to my superiority or inferiority over anybody. No preacher. No church. No ministry. These are not the standard. Jesus has a work for me to do (and a different one for you). It is not what he has given anyone else to do. There is a grace to do it. Will I trust him for that grace and do what he has given me to do? That is the question. O the liberty that comes when Jesus gets tough!

I hope you find encouragement and freedom today when you hear Jesus say to all your fretting comparisons: “What is that to you? You follow me!”

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

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Make yourself aware…

 

Last year President Obama declared January as “Human Trafficking Prevention Month.”

If you are unfamiliar with the seriousness of human trafficking globally, you should definitely be aware and share that information with the young adults you lead!

• There are more people in slavery today than any other time in history.
• Human trafficking makes more money than Google, Nike, and Starbucks combined, and eight times the amount of the annual UN budget.
• Human trafficking has now surpassed the drug trafficking and the illegal arms trade as the highest grossing criminal industry in the world.
• Today, the average price of an individual slave is $90.

If you are unfamiliar with the seriousness of human trafficking in the U.S., I would encourage any Christian leader to familiarize yourself and your church with the issue.

• Currently, the U.S. is the 2nd highest destination for trafficked women.
• Sex trafficking has been reported in all 50 states
• Between 18,000 and 20,000 victims are trafficked into the U.S. annually
• The average age of entry into pornography and prostitution is 13.
• There are an estimated 300,000 children involved in sex trafficking

The more we learn of the reality of trafficking human beings, the more we realize the Church has the greatest opportunity to be on the forefront of a new abolition movement. God’s people have always been on the forefront of stopping slavery and other human injustices; whether you’re talking about Moses, Jesus, or William Wilberforce and Martin Luther King Jr. The Church is everywhere! We have the greatest measure of influence because we are in every city, every state, every country! Who better to pray and do something about human trafficking?

I would encourage every young adult ministry to capitalize on the fact that young adults are eager to see Jesus lived out in real life. We don’t tend to speak in generalities or catch phrases. Young adults will labor in prayer over issues of injustice, but they are also daring enough to put their actions and their full passion behind a cause that stands for human rights and the realization of Christian virtue in the here and now! Teach your people about this issue. Raise awareness. Plan trips. Watch films. Google it and see what God will do to transform the spiritual DNA of your ministry.

For more information and causes to support visit http://www.free-international.org http://www.notforsalecampaign.org and http://www.projectrescue.com

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God Is LOVE Phone Background…

Check out his groovy Phone background! Download and remind yourself Constantly of the love of God. 😉

To download Click on the image. It will enlarge. Then just right click and scroll down to “save image as”.

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The Profile of a Disciple

So what does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? Well check out this article from Winfield Bevins and you’ll have a better idea of what it looks like.

Churches are growing larger than ever before, but thousands of professing Christians in North America do not fit the New Testament definition of disciple. One survey concludes that only 25% of evangelicals meet the biblical standard for disciples. Researcher George Barna reports:

The church in America is comprised of many converts, but shockingly few disciples.

It is imperative that we seek to discover and define what it means to be a biblical disciple of Jesus Christ in the 21st century.

What is the profile of a disciple? The word ‘disciple’ implies much more than its literal meaning of “a learner or a pupil”; it is someone who has totally committed their life to the training and teaching of a master or a school of thought.

What is a disciple?

Throughout the ages, different Christians have emphasized various marks for being a disciple. However, the most important factors in defining the true marks of a disciple are found in the pages of the New Testament. The New Testament offers several marks that should be common to all disciples of Jesus Christ.

A disciple studies the word

Disciples study the word of God. Studying the Bible is very important for Christians to grow as disciples. Jesus told his disciples, “If you abide in my Word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). Disciples need to immerse themselves daily in God’s Word, like the people who lived in Berea and who searched the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11).

God speaks through his Word as believers read and study the spiritual truths of the Bible. There is nothing more important than a regular systematic study of the Bible. John Calvin tells us, “Scripture is needed as guide and teacher for anyone who would come to God the creator.” A daily reading of the Bible helps disciples to grow and mature spiritually. The Bible will strengthen your faith, speak to your heart, and guide you in all of life’s tough decisions.

A disciple knows Scripture is God-inspired

It is imperative for disciples to have a high view of scripture. The Bible was written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20–21). The Bible says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Inspiration literally means God breathed. In other words, God supernaturally inspired the writers by the power of the Holy Spirit to write the books of the Bible.

Roy B. Zuck describes it in the following way: “Though human writers were used by God to record the Scriptures, using their own styles of diction and expressing their own personalities, their words were the ‘out-breathing’ of God. Inspiration then is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit whereby he guided and superintended the writers of Scripture so that what they wrote is the Word of God.”

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5 Ways To Get The Most Out of a Sermon

A great article from Ps. PJ Smyth The Art of Listening might well be the most the important skill a Christian must develop, because Christianity is at its essence all about the Word of God. In fact, God himself is the Word (John 1:1) and the Word became flesh (John 1:2)—safe to say that if God is the Word then how we use our ears is pretty important. Furthermore, you can only come to faith through hearing (Rom. 10:14) and then you grow mature through hearing (Matt. 13:23).

The Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord (1 Sam 3:21).

Do you get it? Seeing God happens through hearing. Our vision is through our ears. My friend, if you have either not yet come to Christ, or you have but are frustrated, confused, and not really growing, then I would bet big money that your problem revolves around not listening as you should. Here are some tips on listening well to a preacher, or to the Word of God in any context:

1. Get in range regularly

The reason Zacchaeus collided with Jesus was because he climbed the tree. If the soil is not in range of the sower then it isn’t going to receive any seed. This first point isn’t rocket science: you need to be regularly exposed to God’s word. Try to do a few minutes of personal time each day with the Bible, and obviously ensure you are at church each Sunday. Get in range.

2. Be expectant to receive

The good news is that the Word of God is supernatural stuff. It is living and active and burrows right inside us, doing us good (Heb. 4:12) and it will always achieve its purpose (Isa. 55:11). So listen expectantly. If it is a topic or preacher that you are not too excited about, then pull yourself together and get excited—the issue is the pizza, not the delivery boy or the box it comes in.

3. Understand it

The Parable of the Soil (Matt. 13:23) stresses the importance of not just hearing but understanding. Take notes, listen again to the download, discuss it at small group, go over the Scriptures again. One way or another, check you that you ‘get it’.

4. Mix with faith

Hebrews 4:1-3 speaks about two groups of people who heard the same message. One group benefited big time. The others thought the message was useless. What was the difference? Only one group mixed the incoming word with faith. As you listen, be assured that God has your best at heart, and set yourself to receive the word and to obey it with joy and conviction. Not because you ‘have to’ but because you ‘get to.’ God isn’t looking for blind, begrudging obedience. He is looking for faith!

5. Actually do it

The difference between the foolish and wise builders in Matthew 7 was that one put the word into practice and one didn’t. If you don’t actually obey the word then your life and faith will be built on sand. You will continuously be unsure that ‘Christianity really works.’ So, if you hear a message on forgiveness but do not forgive, then your house may fall flat. James says that you will be a like a man who looks at himself in the mirror and then goes away and forgets what he looks like—you will be insecure in who you are and in who God is. Obey. Put it into practice. Then you’ll grow.

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