a ministry of words...

Yesterday, I wrote about how youth ministry and ministers/volunteers/directors/parents can all be preaching the gospel of morals. Where Jesus wants them to act better and be quiet in church rather than living and yearning for the Word of God. Also, I am the first to admit, I am guilty of this as well.

Recently, maybe in the past few days, I can see that God is wanting to do something big in me (not necessarily through me). For the longest time, I have wanted to have some kind of notoriety. I have wanted youth ministers to look up to me and say, he really has it all together! His ministry is FLOURISHING! He MUST be doing something right. I have found myself day dreaming of what it would be like to be on the national circuit of speaking. To be a presenter at the big conferences. I wanted the fame and glory in the youth ministry world.

Recently, I have seen some of my friends start to garner much success in the youth ministry world. They are starting to get published in their writings, they have many connections in youth ministry world, and I am more excited than jealous. In prior years I would have been jealous.

However, I want to focus on youth ministry as a whole, and in particular what God is doing in my heart and maybe will inspire you to the same joy I seem to be finding through reading scripture and following through with actual study of the scripture.

As youth ministers, we can all tell how bored youth can be. In services on Sunday morning, they may be texting or surfing social media sites, or just writing notes on the tithing envelopes. Now, churches and youth ministries alike, are trying to get more visual with things by showing video, paintings, and making a service more in-tune with the times. I am not against this, I do feel that as society progresses, so should the physical church to meet certain needs of people. However, when it comes time for lecture or lessons, we see that it is more story time with verses sprinkled over the story. We have gone against teaching the Bible and rather relating the Bible around us and not us around the Bible.

For starters, this week I mentally made a challenge to myself, to read several books this week. Maybe just a chapter a day, but just to spend time to read. I have not done this in a LONG time. However, I started having a YEARNING for reading less books and more of THE Word. I have found that I don't know as much as I thought. I have also found that I have interpreted things incorrectly, and that I throw myself more into the scripture rather than asking God for a joy about reading it. I will also be the first to admit that reading the Bible is NOT always the most exciting thing. Yet, I want to give us a few steps to look and see how we can throw our hearts and whole self into The Word and then how we can accurately execute those teachings and understandings of the Gospel to the youth you are entrusted with.

First, ask God to grant you a teachable heart. Let the Word shape and mold your way of thinking so that you renew your mind after the thoughts of God.
Second, read the surrounding text to get a sense of the passage and the context from the scripture you are studying to teach or for personal time with God.
Third, find an exegetical commentary that will help you find the meat of the passage and help you in the best way to interpret the passage.
Through this whole time, be praying that God will reveal his glorious gospel to you through the passage and through the interpretation and application of the text.
Let your lessons and studies drop with gospel love.  

I can find myself not always being excited about reading the Word. I will now be praying for God to grant me joy and to find Him in the passage(s) I am reading. The more you study in the Word, and see how God can reveal Himself not only to you but to those around you, you and will start to see a change in the presepectives we set in our ministries and our own personal lives.

Instead of always depending on the bigger stars of ministry for the newest and greatest lesson plans, focus on more Gospel and less story. See what happens. The Bible and A LOT of its books have been around and relevant for a long time; we have just taken the relevancy out of it and tried to put cool twists that attract buts into the youth areas of your church.

Again, let your lessons and studies drip with gospel love!

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