"Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.' Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus." - Acts 13:1-4
What is the work to which the Spirit has called us? Are we carrying out that work? Are we understanding the Holy Spirit's leading correctly? What is God's mission for us? Have we lost sight of our mission?
Our youth group has grown, but that is presenting some challenges. I'm afraid it is losing some of its distinctiveness. There is a bit of conflict of visions among our leaders that we need to address. If the purpose and vision of the group does change, we need to make sure that is what the Holy Spirit wants. It has been a good run over the past three years. We've grown from 6 to about 35. But I am concerned about group dynamics, the invasion of smart phones, and the attitude and motivation of some of our youth. The group may be getting too big.
I believe youth have free will. I don't want to babysit. If youth want to be there and grow in the Lord, I will dedicate myself to them. But if they are there for any other reason, I frankly don't want to waste my time.
Again it goes back to what the Spirit has called each of us for. What does he want from this group? I pray we can reach consensus on that. The other leaders need to fulfil their own calling, too. So the answer may be that we divide up according to our various goals and visions.
I think it would be a real shame to forfeit the original vision of training youth in inductive Bible study skills and knowledge so that they develop the habit of daily Bible study the rest of their lives. I believe if they aren't devoted each day to the Bible now, they won't be in the future. A successful life is built on habits over many years. That's what I'm about.
Father, help our youth leaders to have a frank discussion this week about our vision and values. Help us to find a way to minister to unbelievers, seekers, believers, disciples, and disciple makers among our youth. Help us to talk with parents, too, about what they see as the needs of their children. Direct our steps, especially through the wisdom of your word. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman