We are beginning the year 2014 with two weeks of fasting and prayer. God has instructed us to re-launch our Childrens Ministry and our Youth Ministries saying that these are central to the revival He is bringing. He is pointing us towards certain portions of our community where people are becoming aware of their need for Him. There are certain groups of people who are looking for more, who are beginning to soften to the thought that God might be the answer theyve been searching for. Its called an awakening, and it often comes as a result of desperation. The false gods people turn to for help in time fail them, and they begin to open to the real One, the One they subconsciously knew was there all along.
The Lord is showing us that its as though there were a cry rising up to heaven from parents and teachers from children and youth, longing for God to rescue them from the destructive forces that rage around them. And Hes heard their cry, which is why Hes calling on us to become more aware of their needs, to let compassion arise in our hearts, to become aggressive in our faith, to believe for His will to be done in our community as it is in heaven (Mt 6:10).
In obedience to this call, many have been praying and laboring for months to prepare for this new season. Starting last weekend, and now today, we are sharing this vision for parents, children, youth and young adults with the entire congregation so that as a spiritual family we can join with these in:
Common vision: We agree, God has said to us these things
Common faith: Together, we are believing God to do a great work
Common ministry: These men and women who God has specifically called to minister to parents, children, youth and young adults serve as our hands and feet, they are the members of our Body through whom we are ministering to these.
Common fruit: And by faith we declare together that we will surely receive a harvest of souls and the pleasure of God because we are following after Him together.
Middle School: The Age of Evangelism
A few statistics about middle schoolers
85% of people first accept Christ within the ages of 4 and 14 years old. Middle School students are amongst this critical age of coming to know Christ.
*At the age of 12, young people celebrate entering adulthood.
*At the age of 13, young people will have decided their religious views for life.
Vision for NWJHiGH
Prophetic verse: At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until ONLY JESUS WAS LEFT, with the woman still standing there. (Jn 8:9)
How to get invovled
1) Pray, 2) Send your kids to youth group, 3) Serve
High School: The Age of Discipleship
After hearing from our childrens department last week, one thing continues to stand out in my mind: the parents are the primary spiritual leaders for children. The question that Im wrestling with is: what does that mean for high schoolers?
The 80% drop off: Whats going on and why?
Faith is not their own.
Information is passed without understanding.
Roots havent gone deep
No passing of personal responsibility
The 4-14 window
NWJHiGH (middle school) is the right place for heavy evangelism.
High school is the right place for heavy discipleship. Roots need to go deep while our students are in this crucial time in their lives.
- Train up a child in the way he should go & when he is old he will not depart from it (Pr 22:6).
- In American culture we have created the teenage years/adolescence
- Truths about how teenagers see things
At 12 years old they are adults in their own minds
They want to make adult contributions
They long to be challenged
- Parents are STILL the primary spiritual leader
- Setting the bar high, great expectations will bring great results
What our high school ministry is doing
The Conversation - real Jesus in the real world
We are encouraging students to read and study the Word of God for their own lives
- Psalm 1:1-3 - Studying the Word, meditating on the Word, making that a lifestyle, that will lead to being a fruitful tree DEEPLY planted by the river of life.
How can I get involved?
- God would continue to work in the community
- Workers for the harvest fields of Federal Way
- Holy Spirit would continue to work powerfully to create soft hearts in our young people
Be a parent
- It takes time!
- There are so many gaps to be filled
Be a driver
- We are bussing kids here on Wednesday for youth group & Awana and we need drivers!
Join us in our future, big visions and dreams
- Tutoring/after school program
- Spring break basketball camp
YOUNG ADULTS: The Age of Equipping
Challenges facing young people outside the church
Erosion of personal identity & the family structure
Poverty: crumbling economy & large educational debt
Job uncertainty, no good jobs available
Pressure for social conformity; materialism, sex, drugs, alcohol
No sound moral structure; changing morality
Challenges facing young people inside the church
The church is isolated, it ignores the worlds poverty and pain
The Bible seems irrelevant and archaic because it has not been taught in a way they can understand it
The church and young adult life does not mix (many activities)
The church has an anti-scientific mind-set
They feel guilty & condemned over lifestyle choices (partying; sex)
They believe the church is exclusive it rejects people who are different than them
They have doubts, but cant express them or question their faith
What are we doing to counter the challenges the young adults face
Engaging in Holy Spirit empowered worship; worshipping into the presence
Releasing prophetic words & personal ministry
Young adults teaching the Word in an interactive way allowing questions & giving answers
Participating in outreaches in the community and mission trips
Drawing young people to have a personal faith in Jesus
Enabling young men and women to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit
Young ministers are being trained & released into ministry
Vision for ministry Scripture-based
Daniel 1:17 As for these 4 youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams
Acts 2:17 And it shall be in the last days; God says, that I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
How to pray
For a move of God among the young adults (revival)
For a love for and an ability to support & pass on ministry to our young adults
For fruitful ministry
1) How old were you when you first began to ask questions about God? Did you have some one to talk to about these matters? Who was it, and what did they say?
2) Do you agree that there is a growing concern in this community for the future of our children and youth? Do you know parents who are deeply worried?
3) Have you ever seen God dramatically change the heart of a child or a youth or a parent? What part of that person changed the most?