Last week we wrapped up the Nehemiah Sunday series. I know I learned a lot from it and have things to think about as a result. I will start a new Sunday series next week. For now, I want to share simply what is on my heart today.
Youth ministry, like any other ministry, has its ups and downs. For a while you might find that you are seeing lives changed by Jesus Christ and students excited about growing. Then at another time you will see some of those exact same students in a completely opposite place. It is easy for me to throw up my hands and declare “I give up” but as I have already stated this week, “God does not give up on us.”
The struggles are the reason we have a ministry for teens. It is a joy to be able to step into a situation and help someone find the path God has for them in it. It is humbling to think God would use someone like me to do that.
It seems recently I have been having more conversations with people who have decided to take a detour in their life. You know the one thing that is true about all of them is their willing isolation from other believers. In fact, you can trace the moment their struggle started to the time they stopped coming to church or youth group.
I know that when someone has lost their way, it is easy to think that God is not interested in helping and to then pull back further. But, these times are actually the times to press in close to Him and to listen for His voice. I know that God is definitely not going to be speaking to you if you are not even spending time with Him at all.
I know there is a push out there to just stay home on Sunday mornings or to sleep in because that is the only day you are able to do that, but let me just encourage everyone to go to church. The goal is not to fill churches up. The goal is to see believers come together and declare that God is faithful and alive. The goal is for all people to come together with all their heartache, confusion and struggles and to share with each other how great our God is. We encourage each other to keep going.
Last night I was thinking about this as I sat around the camp fire. I had a lot of issue getting the fire started because of some wet wood. Once I had it going, it was hard to put out as long as the wood was together. However, if a log were to fall over , the flame quickly went out.
This is what happens when we start to isolate ourselves. IT doesn’t take long before the flame goes out and we are left trying to find a way to find some passion in life. The easiest place to turn is not the place God would have you go.
So, make it a priority to be in church on Sunday and watch how God strengthens your faith. Besides, it is all for Him anyway and it is where He does want you to be.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:25