In writing that “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16a), Paul reminds us that God inspired the Bible. He also notes that the Spirit uses Scripture to make us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (3:15b). The focus of the Bible is the gospel—the good news of God’s gift of salvation in Jesus. This salvation is a gift (we can’t earn it), and we receive and continue to experience this gift as we place our trust (faith) in Christ Jesus.
References to: Ted Johnston
One of my favorite Christmas hymns, “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” invites people to “come and behold him,” Jesus—the One who is “born the King of angels.” The hymn then invites our response: “O come, let us adore Him—Christ, the Lord!”
In this series we have been presenting basic principles and strategies concerning the development of youth ministry in our congregations. We’ve noted that this essential ministry involves obedience to the great commandment to love, expressed through obedience to the great commission to make disciples. This ministry flows out of our encounter with Jesus where we embrace his love and share in his ministry patterns to make disciples who make disciples.
Those who minister to youths (parents, pastors, youth ministry workers and youth ministry leaders) have the rewarding challenge of assisting young disciples of Jesus as they grow in their relationship with God. We refer to this essential aspect of youth ministry as nurturing believers.
In this series, we have been exploring the use of CANS—four tools that are essential for nurturing believers. Those tools are community, adoration, nurture and serving. A helpful way to understand CANS is to view each tool from the perspective of the flow of ministry:
In this series of articles, we have been discussing strategies for advancing healthy youth ministry in and through our youth groups and congregations. Ministry is far more than programs—it involves relationships where young people, assisted by caring adults, come to know and embrace God through a life of faith in the presence of a living person—Jesus Christ.
Let me tell you about two people who worked side-by-side in the church. But something happened. They fell into a trap—a disagreement arose between them. Perhaps it began as a small argument, but it mushroomed into a rift that not only affected them but began to hurt the entire congregation.
Critics and inquirers alike often question a core tenet of Christian belief — that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully human. Some claim Jesus was an exceptionally gifted man but not God. Others say he was God, only appearing to be human. Some insist that Jesus was a reincarnated angel. Others claim he did not become God until his resurrection.
These and other denials of Jesus' full divinity or full humanity distort the testimony of Scripture. Moreover, they deny the basis of our salvation—that God took on human flesh to come and rescue us.
By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.
Ecclesiastes 4:12, The Message
By Greg Williams
People today are often lumped into categories based on the year they were born, and assigned labels such as the Greatest Generation, the Silent Generation, the Sandwich Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y and Millennials. Demographers and marketing specialists have created additional sub-categories within these groups, which can make tracking the interests, habits and values of a particular sub-group a science in itself.
Proverbs 22:6 makes this observation: “Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray” (NRSV). In his book Transforming Your Children Into Spiritual Champions, George Barna presents research that confirms this timeless principle. That research indicates that a person’s lifelong behaviors and beliefs are generally developed when they are young—particularly before their teenage years. More specifically, Barna notes the following: