During these trying times our Youth need to hear a different message from us as Christians than they hear from the news and social media. The 3 main things that I believe our students need to hear is: They are loved, There is hope, and God wants more.
- They are Loved
It doesn’t matter what our students have done, where the country is headed or who they support. Our God loves them fiercely; and because God loves them fiercely, so do we. Some of the things they might be reposting or sharing on their social media accounts may not be biblically sound and we may need to address that soon, but they need to first know that they are loved. If we can show our students God’s love for them, they can accept our caring relationship as well as our gentle redirections to the Gospel, because ‘perfect love casts out fear’ (1st John 4:8).
2. There is Hope
Our hope is in Christ alone. Our hope is not in political leaders, social movements, or the Supreme Court. Jesus lived in a fractured society much like our own. Yet he didn’t get caught up in the division between the Roman and Jewish leaders.
Jesus lived above the divisiveness of his culture.
He is our example, and through the Holy Spirit, His resurrection can be our resurrection too. And if we are raised with Christ we must set our hearts and minds on the things that are above because we will appear with Him in glory(Col. 3:1-3). How amazing is that! This life is not final for us, there is an unimaginable glory for those of us who trust in the Lord Jesus in life and death.
3. God Wants Unity
The scriptures talk about unity in the Church over and over again. Unfortunately, Christians have very visibly been in dis-unity on almost every issue. Each side of an issue has good and bad intentions within it. Therefore, as Christians we need to be ‘quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry’ (James 1:19). For being quick to speak and quick to anger drives a wedge between ourselves and others, but if we can find the good intentions in each side we can have unity in the Spirit while still disagreeing on some issues. So it doesn’t matter if people are on the left or right, our job is to focus on the Lord and serve Him faithfully (1st Sam 12:24). And, if people are uncomfortable to be around other people during this pandemic, or if others would prefer to not wear a mask, we should desire and strive to come to a compromise while also respecting and loving those we don’t agree with.
The main desire for ministry is to bring unity, because the Bible says that unity is actually the harbinger of God’s powerful grace (Acts 4:32-26).
Sometimes unity requires repentance for careless words, other times unity requires bearing each others burdens.
How will we encourage our Youth toward Christ today?