Because we are currently without a youth pastor, I've been doing a series by BlueFish called "Courage," with Francis Chan. My students seem to really be engaging in it, which is a relief. I wasn't sure how the whole video series thing would go over with them. I'm absolutely loving the discussion time we're having at the end of the videos, and am praying that the overarching messages are really beginning to sink in.
Last week, Francis Chan used part of Revelation 3 in his lesson... where the church at Sardis is told that they have the reputation of being alive, but they're really dead. One thing you may not know about my students is that a lot of them have grown up in our church. They've always gone here, they've always come on Wednesdays and Sundays. It's not really up for discussion whether or not they attend our weekly events. I think that's created a certain amount of apathy in their walk with Christ. Some of them take their church, and opportunities to grow in their faith for granted. Of course I'm not saying that coming to youth group is the only means of spiritual growth, but for my students, a lot of them aren't taking advantage of the things right in front of them, let alone seeking it out on their own. They're great students, they really are... but with this series, I'm really trying to challenge them to move outside of the mindset that their faith is cultural or tradition, and instead something that is personal to them as individuals, and something that calls us to action.
Revelation 3: "I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God."
SO CONVICTING, yet hopeful!
I wonder how many of us have been through times in our lives, a lot like the church at Sardis. We go through the motions, we talk the talk, but God knows our hearts, He knows whether or not we're truly alive, or on the verge of death. I love how this church is challenged to "WAKE UP!" There's still hope! God has a plan for each one of us, and whether we intentionally give up and walk away, or we, as creatures of habit are simply going through the motions, the Lord has called us to so much more.
I may not be dead, but there are definitely areas that I'm falling asleep. It's time to WAKE UP.