We have been bringing you regular ‘tasters’ from TOGETHER – Life Changing Perspectives To Inspire Youth Ministry, and in this blog we conclude the ‘Landmarks’ section of the book. Looking at the subject of ACTION – we will as in the previous blogs give you a ‘taste’ of what’s in the chapter. Under the sub-heading ‘God moves when ministry rests in the hands of the young’ the author of this chapter – Neil Young from Causeway Coast Vineyard in Coleraine – goes on to explain, using various Bible passages, how Jesus used young people to help Him in His ministry.
Neil sets the scene for this section on ACTION by looking at Jesus example –
From The Gospels, I fully believe that as Jesus chose His initial disciples He selected a variety of people from a variety of backgrounds and age ranges, because He knew his mission would encounter a wide range of people in all sorts of settings. One of the groups that seemed to be important to Him were the young. * In fact Neil goes on to say it’s quite possible that some of Jesus’ first disciples were teenagers – Jesus trusted the disciples, including the teenagers, with a sizable job; their mission was to tell people that….”the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons.” …….. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it was going to be dangerous as well; they would have their motives questioned, be pulled up in front of the authorities, and have their reputations smeared with no exceptions based on age or experience.
He then moves forward to the present day, giving a few practical examples of how he has seen young people live out their Christian faith and being bold for God – being God’s disciples today, and from a leaders point of view, allowing the young people to get involved in ministries even though they sometimes mess up. Neil says “My passion, desire and mission are to see every teenager in our community changed and awakened to the purpose and person of Jesus in their lives,” The chapter then goes on to ask ‘What next?’ and asks some fairly searching questions for youth leaders about the young people they work with, eg. When was the last time the teenagers in your ministry were telling more stories of what happened outside your group than within it? This Landmark section on ACTION ends on a very positive note, encouraging youth leaders to get their young people involved in mission so they can be part of something dynamic, daring & downright risky!
In our next and final blog we will look at the remainder of the book entitled ‘Signposts – along the way’
This fantastic book, TOGETHER Life Changing Perspectives To Inspire Youth Ministry, is packed full of Biblical based advice and practical ways to inspire and encourage you as you work with the young people in your group and church. If you would like your own copy it’s available to download for Kindle via the Amazon site, you can order the paper copy online here from TOGETHER’s own website and it’s also available in most Christian bookshops.
* All extracts printed with permission.