There is a certain way of living that you could call “The Jesus Life.” What does that mean? Aren’t you sometimes amazed by what High School students can accomplish in 24 hours. I have seen them go to school, come home, go to work, go to cell, come home and do homework, sleep for 6 hours then go back to school! During their 13 years at school they will (hopefully) learn an amazing amount of skills, reading, writing, and arithmetic. (Does anyone even use that word, “arithmetic” anymore?) Not to mention that during their school career many students will be involved in 6 different sports, driver’s ed., drama, choir, and gymnastics, all while trying to fit in work and Church and in cell. In the midst of all this running around, how do we teach our High School students to be intentional and make Jesus the focus of their lives? How do we help them live the Jesus life?
One way to help them is to teach students how to build times of quiet into their lives. I think teaching our students to wait and listen for Jesus is really important (but that will have to wait for the next post J).
But another way is to show our kids how to intentionally bring Jesus into everything they do. This isn’t easy because teenagers can be so afraid that God will ask them to give up something that they love that they actually refuse to talk to Jesus about the things they fill their time with. Which is actually crazy! Who made them gifted at the thing they love?!
We have this little saying that was coined by one of our youth pastors way, way back that goes like this, “love God, love people!” I think that we often have this idea that we have to pray out loud for the entire duration of an event or preach to everyone around us to make an event spiritual.
Allow me to ask a question: “What if it were simpler than that?”
The Bible says in Galatians 5 that the fruit of the spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. What if bringing Jesus into the stuff of your life actually means choosing to have great character and learning to love people? What if bringing Jesus into something is grabbing a friend and strategizing in prayer about how they can reach their friends in their sport? What if students would learn to meet with Jesus within sports, drama and their work places? Imagine the impact that would be made! I have seen it happen! Students have started cell groups with their sports teams. Students have listened in prayer and reached out to people they didn’t even know!
But how do we teach this kind of lifestyle? Well, I believe it starts first with modeling it. If a High School student is going to grab the vision they need to see it within their homes first, and then within the Church. How can you model intentionally living a Jesus life at home? Take time to share with your kids how you make decisions. Tell them about how you listen in prayer and ask them if they would listen in prayer for you. See if God confirms the direction you are headed through your kids.
And be intentional within your work places. Talk with your kids about how you care for those that you work with. Your kids want to know that you are living the Jesus life. Trust me – they notice – they tell me all the time!
As a High School Ministry, we are also regularly asking ourselves how we can help your kids learn to live an intentional Jesus life in everything they do. Just like it starts with parents at home, it starts with the leaders in High School Ministry. We often tell our leaders “You can’t lead someone to a place you haven’t been.” We also challenge them to be a leader worth following. And the great thing is, our leaders actually are learning to pursue Jesus in every area of life and have even started bringing students with them.
This spring we are planning on investing a whole week into your kids to help them grow in the Jesus life through an event we call it goLOVE. Many churches do missions trips and so does Southland! At Southland we support Tupendane and Four Winds in our pursuit of missions. As a High School Ministry however, we are going on a missions trip to Steinbach! What? Steinbach?! Yes. Steinbach. We are taking Spring Break from March 27-April 3 to love our community the Jesus way. But even more importantly, we want to walk alongside your kids to teach them how to be intentional in every area of life. This “missions trip” will start with a Friday-Saturday retreat here at the church that will include worship, teaching and time to just strategize and pray about how to bring Jesus into our friendship groups. Then throughout the week we will meet at 5:30pm for supper and worship and then go love our community! Everything we do will be cell based with a leader from every cell participating in the week. If you want more info, go to www.mysouthland.com/golove!
I truly believe God has some cool stuff in store for our High School students – and for your family as a result! Let’s support them in the singular goal of living the Jesus life!