Here is the YouTube link that we promised you earlier this week.
Please pass the video link on to your students, staff and friends asking them to view this YouTube video today. Let them know they can register to win a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice, or one of many ipod nanos being offered as well. As together we help push the video towards the top of the daily play list today at YouTube, it will set us on a course to expose thousands and potentially millions of students to www.LiveAbove.com where they can get connected to a Christian ministry in their community. Together we can reach throngs of students! Thank you for your participation in our joint outreach to high school and college students.
How God chooses to grow and change an individual is not in our control. All we can do is create an environment for the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts and minds of our youth. We can get caught in what I call marketable ministry madness. I have learned that I cannot do effective ministry from another man's vision.
Missional youth ministries are always looking for ways to equip and empower their teenagers to advance the cause of Christ in every conceivable setting. Tremendous opportunities for cross-cultural mission work in the summer or throughout the school year are often geographically closer to our home church than may have been imagined.
I swore that I would not be the same kind of father when I had children, but I find myself doing the same things. What have I done to get into the same rut? I don't hold a grudge toward my father today; I simply want others in ministry to realize that family has to come first. Allow me to suggest a few changes in lifestyle habits as a minister.
Recently, Jesus taught me a new name of His. Baal Perazim means "The Master of the breakthrough" or "The God who bursts through!" How cool is that! It comes from 2 Samuel 5:17-20. When David is faced with the Philistine army, he seeks God and, in obedience, is led to go down to the stronghold. He was to face His enemy boldly in the name of his victorious God.
National concern has grown regarding the loss of youth from the church during their senior year of high school and accelerating during their first year of college or career. In a short period of time, many of these students had created lifelong scars that will haunt them into their marriages, families, and careers, as well as their walks with God.
All youth workers, whether they are urban, suburban, rural, or somewhere in between, experience a daily battle balancing family, ministry, work, school, personal time - and just life itself. Many years ago, an older preacher helped me prioritize the numerous tasks, responsibilities and areas in my life. He said, "It's very simple: "Bounce, Bruise, and Break."
Kingdom Life together — as a congregation and as the church of the ciity — is like vintage wine and 24 carat gold — very good stuff. New wine is made when grapes are crushed together; gold is purified in the furnace. Both processes are violent means to a wonderful end.
I awoke this morning and checked my email. I was confronted with the MySpace page of a graduated senior, forwarded to me by one of my staff. I was only mildly surprised to find his description of himself, involved in drinking games. I felt betrayed. There it was, posted on the eternally truthful Internet for all to see: my former disciple proclaiming his fond proclivity for alcohol. But what does it mean?
How many times have you made a commitment to God... your spouse... a friend... a student... your ministry... with a statement that starts with "I"? "I will be there for you." "I will change that about myself." "I will... I won't...I will never again..." You" You get the idea.
Student ministries are already being significantly tested by this New Millennium generation, and I am glad we are. Over the next ten years, the church at large should be aware of a similar test. To genuinely reach these students, ministries will be forced to address frank issues through authentic relationship with real Christ-centered answers.