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A few weeks ago we took our youth to the “awakening conference” in RI. It was fantastic. Great preaching, great worship and great fellowship. We had a good amount of kids with us and we were very excited about what was to come of this trip.
I have been to many conferences and most are like energy drinks. A quick high. However this one last year was different so we went in with high expectations.
There was some themes that stuck out to me:
- You need to have the presence of God in your ministry
- You need to be dedicated to prayer
- Don’t get discouraged
- Let God do His thing
Every bit of that is dead on. I have heard many times in ministry that if the presence of the Lord is there then people will respond. The problem is that we always have this assumption that this means a good response. However there are a few huge things that we have to realize.
- Where the presence of the Lord is there will also be conviction of the Holy spirit
- The deeper you get into the word and the more challenging the more people have to make choices as to what to do with that info
We stepped up our Youth ministry as of late to challenge the kids beyond just reading the bible. Beyond going through the motions.
If you bite an apple you can choose to spit it out before it nourishes you.
In the same sense if you read the word or hear it you can spit it out before it nourishes your spirit.
I know our kids have been convicted. We have lost many kids since trying to be more real and this has been discouraging. Thing is having 60 kids who come to meetings just to check out the opposite sex and never ever attempt to apply the word is worthless. Having 2 kids who are really trying to see what God can do in their life and affecting others is priceless. This is currently what we are dealing with. We literally went from 60 kids to 5 in 6 months.
Now numbers can be discouraging, but that honestly is not my concern. I don’t care about even having 0 kids coming. What I care about is these kids are hurting. I know they have felt love in the church, but it is so hard to let go of hate, bitterness, sex, drama, baggage, etc and just give it to God. I pray for them daily.
What I have noticed though is this:
We as leaders can go through the motions, but at a certain point we are just casting pearls before swine. That’s when programs and events and misc stuff need to end and prayer needs to be taken to a new level. Because it is only through prayer that God can heal our land.
I have noticed something interesting about free will…
When God convicts we have two choices:
Repent or Run
Right now my youth are turning to run so we are turning to more prayer. This may mean we are putting a halt to our youth meetings to regroup and let God move because the time we put into preparing the word for people who don’t want to hear it can be better served in coming before the throne on behalf of the least, the lost and the lonely in my church.