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If you have a 6 grade through high school child at home, consider showing this to them or sharing it with you church members. This is a powerful testimony.
“My hope and prayer for you is that on the other side when you walk out of this pandemic, quarantine, season of isolation people look at you and say ‘what happened to you, you’re different, you’re stronger, you’re smarter, you’re more spiritual, you’re more confident, you’re more disciplined, you’re more self-controlled, you’re more other centered. What happened to you?’ “
Pastor Phil White of the Simi Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church had a problem. In his own words, he said, “I was fat, exercise challenged, and not very happy with the road my health was taking.” His wife Jan, had similar concerns, especially when she got the results of a blood test. Phil and Jan decided they wanted to improve their chances of watching their grandchildren grow up. What they did had a spill over effect in their church.
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After sitting down and talking for a while about the youth’s problem I will bring our conversation around to overcoming the addiction. Usually if a young person has come to talk to me it is because they truly want to break free from this habit. I will ask them to do 4 things.
1. Recognize what times and situation they are tempted the most and avoid those times and places. Ex. Don’t stay up late on the internet.
2. When they are tempted have a Bible verse to quote and claim in the face of the temptation. A few verses I have suggested are Is.41:10,13, or Phil. 4:13. I teach them how to claim a promise since many are unfamiliar with doing this.
3. Find an accountability partner. Of course this person needs to be a person who has a strong walk with Jesus, is trustworthy, and does not share the same problem.
Only after they have taken these steps will I be willing to anoint them, asking for healing and victory. I find that if I anoint them first they may not follow through with the first four steps.
Finally I will communicate to the parents (with permission from the young person) and ask them to change their internet server to integrity online, which is a pre-filtered server. There should also be multiple planned follow ups.
It was my first church where I was the senior pastor and the 7th and 8th grade teacher was for a reason that I can’t now recall needed to be gone and I was asked to teach Bible and PE for a week or so. I had never had any pedagogical training but went to the elementary school to be a teacher. I quickly learned to appreciate the challenges provided by pubescent boys and girls. They were quick to give all the right answers in Bible class but when then we went to recess the Bible lessons we spoke of in class did not have any effect on behavior when it came to playing baseball. I quickly learned that the theory of Christian living in a Bible Class did not always translate into behavior on the ball field.
Does your church have GLOW tracts and Bible study guides available in the lobby?
Here are two reasons why every church should:
At the first meeting of my youth Bible study last night, I asked about their experience studying the Bible so far. A 10-year-old pulled some GLOW tracts out of his pocket and said, “I’ve been reading all these. There is only one left that I haven’t read yet.”
When I showed the group in the lobby where to get their Amazing Facts Bible lessons for the study, an 8th grader said, “Oh, I’ve already finished reading through lessons 1-8. I don’t have them anymore though because after I read them I share them with my friends at (public) school. Is that okay?”
Needless to say, I am proud of and inspired by our youth… and thankful that we have made Bible resources available in our church lobby.
If you don’t have Bible study guides and GLOW tracts available at your church, ask your church leaders what it would take to get that started and volunteer to help order and stock them.
If you already have them, share them with people in your community and encourage others to do the same. God might just surprise you in awesome ways.
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The North American Division (NAD), North Pacific Union Conference and Washington Conference is sponsoring a Youth and Young Adult Leadership Conference for March 6–8, at Sunset Lake Camp in Wilkeson, Wash. The conference is designed for pastors, church elders, local youth and young adult leaders and anyone passionate about developing next generation leaders for Jesus. Over two and a half days we will bring together some of the leading experts in youth and young adult ministry to give you inspiration and practical tools to transform your ministry to this emerging generation. The conference will center on four foundational practices of ministry: Lead, Learn, Listen and Love. The keynote speaker will be Dan Jackson, NAD president. Read more and register here.
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Guam-Micronesia Mission still urgently needs 43 more people to fill vacancies – down from the original 56. Many of the schools are stretched thin with temporary help to start the school year, and await volunteers to fill these positions. Volunteers should be between ages 18 and 70 with at least one year of college, baptized members of the Adventist church and committed followers of Jesus, and who are able to fund their own airline ticket. The mission school will provide volunteers with accommodations, a modest living allowance, and accident/ illness travel insurance. Positions available include classes in both elementary and high school levels, and volunteers are expected to commit to a full school-year (approximately 10 months).
Why do so many young people leave the church? Young people who grew up in good homes, with loving Christian parents. Young people who learned about the love of Jesus. Young people who went to Christian schools and went on short term mission trips. Young people who had good youth pastors who showed interest in them. Young people who volunteered in different ministries within the church during their teenage years. Why? Here is one perspective by Jon Nielson called 3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church.
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As you can imagine, the Walla Walla University Church is very active in young adult ministry with Pastor Troy Fitzgerald leading the charge. Below are two stories of what is happening in the lives of two students.
Megan is in the middle of a year of teaching service at the Delap Seventh-day Adventist School in Majuro next year. She first sensed a desire to make the choice to become a follower of Christ while in school at Rogers Elementary. Over the years the seeds of calling stirred in her throughout high school. After her first year at Walla Walla University, Megan made the decision to become a student missionary and chose to fully dedicate her life to God in baptism. Megan is a bright compassionate person who truly loves God with her heart and her life. There is no doubt she will shine bright in her service for Christ in the coming year.
Josiah is a young man who thrives on discovery and loves to master whatever he sets his hands to. He loves to play soccer, so he does not get to use his hands as much but he is a passionate believer in Christ He made the decision to follow Jesus in baptism and began the process of learning what it means to be a disciple. As an ardent student of God’s word he has demonstrated the gift of teaching and the boldness of the prophets of old. I fully expect to see Josiah preaching the gospel to thousands of people around the world in the very near future.
Some time ago a family arrived to our church from Mexico. They had many problems and needed help for food and rent. Our office started to move so they could receive food from the Food Bank and also financial help with the rent. Since that day we began to establish a great friendship with him and his beautiful family.
At the Hillsboro Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church, we have initiated an aggressive program that is giving small groups great results.We talked to them about the possibility of joining a small group to study the Bible and they agreed.
After attending for about three months, I met with them asked them if they would make a commitment to Jesus. This family decided to give their lives to Jesus that day! That Saturday was a spiritual feast for all who met in that group. They gave thanks that God used the group leader as an the instrument to help bring the family to Christ.
At the same time, we had 4 youth fighting to know the gospel. We started to visit with the young of the church and invited them to youth events and youth services. We began to study the Bible with the boys and a few weeks after they also decided to give their lives to Christ.
Today, a few months after, they are attending regularly, coming to all the programs and happily participating in church activities. Now the oldest daughter is a leader and coordinator of her own a small groups. Their prayer is to see their grandfather and aunt baptized and accepting of the gospel.
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