Youth ministry: Are you making them think…One of my goals in minisrty and life.

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Have you ever thought about why you believe and trust in Jesus?  This weekend I asked my high school students this important question.  They struggled to put into words the reasons why they trust in Jesus.  I enjoyed that. I think of all the things I want my students to do with their faith is think.  I think being a disciple of Jesus means we think.  I want them to struggle with this Jesus of Nazareth, and what he said and did.  I think all too often we send students out of our ministry without having them really grapple with this question of who is Jesus, and why we believe and trust in him. I wouldn’t say the students struggled with believing and trusting in Jesus.  We all have doubts and struggles with Jesus, but that isn’t why they struggled to answer the question.  They struggled because they never thought about it.  They never had to put into words the reason for the hope they have in Him.

I think one of the most important things I do as a church worker is challenge my students to think.  Too often in Christian churches and youth ministries we forget to make our students think.  I think we think it is enough to just tell them the answers and then they can say them back to others, but being a follower of Jesus is questioning our leaders and other who claim to know this Jesus.  Being a disciple of Jesus is that struggle with the scripture and struggle with faith in this God who cares for us. To struggle with why I believe in this Jesus.  Why I trust those that saw him and heard what he said.  It is part of growing up and growing in Jesus.  We never fully understand. It is a lifetime of struggle and thinking but it is so important for all of us to think to wrestle with Jesus.

I didn’t want to answer yet why I trust and believe in this Jesus. They asked me but we aren’t at that point yet.  This journey may take a little while because they need to struggle with it.  We all need to struggle with this faith and trust in Jesus thing. So my question for you is are you struggling with your faith, and trust in Jesus? If you aren’t I would challenge you to struggle with it.  I would challenge you to dive into your scripture to struggle with what Jesus said.  In the struggle and thinking we grow.  I want to grow and struggle and think so I may know Jesus more.  I also pray the Holy Spirit guides this process as we struggle.  The Holy Spirit guided those early disciples who struggled and thought and believed in Jesus and know he will be with those of us who are Jesus’ disciples today.

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