What to expect

A traditional church that is passionate about loving our community to the gospel.

Youth Philosophy #3

Transcript

Speaker 2: Good evening and welcome to the Baptist Tabernacle or so glad that you could be here with us tonight. I hope you had a chance to to see our new purchase, the 15 passenger van, and get to go in it and look at it. There's a little stepladder if you need to get in, is it going to be open after the service and so on. Right now, let's take a field trip right now. Now get a chance to look at it. Very cool. Very exciting. I was telling pastors like we desperately need a van to go to camp. I believe with the adults going, all the kids going. There's going to be forty seven campers going to camp this year. So excited for that. Looking forward to that and excited that we're going to have plenty of help there at the camp with us. So if you would, please, let's get let's get the service started here tonight. Let's all stand here. Number two hundred and thirty four. I know whom I have believed to faith lies or Jesus Christ.

Speaker 3: I know.

Unidentified: God, why God's wondrous grace to me and me. I applaud the Christ, the three for his. By nightfall, by heavily. And first lady. To keep aQuantive committed to him against that.

Speaker 3: I know not how they say

Unidentified: big thing to me did. I'll be leaving in this place with. But I know I have. And at first way. To keep that which I've given him on to him, I guess that. I know not how the spirit. All right, let's go back

Speaker 3: to verse three. That's where I was in my mind.

Speaker 2: Let's go back to verse number three. Let's go ahead. There we go.

Speaker 3: I know not. Nancy manosphere, rehabilitation through

Unidentified: his word training papen. And I. I have. And I'm persuaded that he is a. I wish I could be there

Speaker 3: to help my kids that day. Amy.

Speaker 4: And it is good to be back with you here tonight. I hope that you had a good afternoon and a great meeting with our deacons just a little bit ago. And I sure do appreciate each one of them and their wisdom and counsel with different things relating to the church ministry. Do pray for our officers that God would give them wisdom as they help us make decisions about the church. But we're so blessed to have, uh, such godly men in positions throughout the ministry and we're very grateful for them. But let's pray and ask God's blessing on the service tonight, and then I'll let you be seated for a few announcements. Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day. Thank you. For all of the folks that are here again tonight. I pray that you would bless them for making the effort to be here again. Lord, we want to thank you so much for your blessing, our church and allowing us to have the ability to purchase the new van without having to take out a loan or anything like that, to just be able to purchase that which we needed now to be able to put it into use for your ministry. Lord, I pray that you would bless the ministry that that van will enable us to do as we go to pick up folks for services, bring children and families here to the church, take kids to Camp Lord seniors out on different activities a lot. I pray that you would just protect it, that you would bless it, and that you would give us many years of use out of this investment. Lord, thank you for each one of the faithful members that have given in support of this ministry. And I pray that you would continue to add fruit to their account for their involvement in the ministry here at this church. Lord, we love you so much and we thank you for all you do for us. It's in Jesus name, I pray a man. Thank you. You may be seated. We do want to give a special shout out to Mrs. Shawna Schwartz and Michiana works at the dealership that we purchased the van from. And as I've mentioned before, it was hidden. It wasn't supposed to be available. And she found it in their inventory and then helped us work with the salesman to get a good, good price on a brand new van price that we couldn't get a used van for now because of the low inventory. And then this past week, she flew out to Virginia and then spent the last several days driving it back here to Oklahoma. And so we really appreciate that and we're very grateful for her willingness to. Yes. To do that, and so thank you, Sean. Thank you, Jerry, for being willing to make it on your own there for a few days. Yeah, you'll have to ask him what his opinion of treadmills are after this this trip. So he's got a great story that you'd like to hear. All right.

Speaker 2: Tomorrow morning, bright and early vacation, Bible school. I hope you're geared up for it. I hope you kids can't even sleep tonight.

Speaker 4: You're so excited for VBS in the morning. Really appreciate Miss Leah and her team and volunteers that have worked very hard to prepare the church, prepare the the store,

Speaker 2: the crafts, the games,

Speaker 4: the lessons, all of it for vacation, Bible school tomorrow morning starting at nine o'clock. And those kids will get here as soon as we open the doors.

Speaker 2: So workers please be here early and ready to go.

Speaker 4: We are just absolutely thrilled about what's going to be going on all this week. And if I could, I would like to encourage you to pray for one thing in particular. If you don't pray for anything else, I mean, pray for safety, pray for kids to be there, pray for the sanity of our workers, but above all else, pray that if there are unsafe children. This week, they will accept Jesus Christ as their savior. That is something that has been a burden on our hearts over the last several years. We have kids come consistently. We have have great attendance, but we don't always see the decisions that we would like to see. And we know that it is God's work in drawing people to himself. And so we want to be faithful to deliver the message. But we're trusting the Holy Spirit to be at work and the hearts and lives of the young people that will be here over this these next few days and that there is an unsaved child. This week would be the week that they either get saved here during vacation Bible school, or they would go home and talk to their parents and get saved at home. But we want to see heaven. Citizens added, uh, this week. And so please be in prayer for that every day. We'll be here from 9:00 to noon working. And if you can't be here at church, you can be at home praying for us that are here. Uh, Miss Bessie Bacon, one time. Everything I've told the story before told me that she was a little bit envious of Miss Imogene and Miss Imogene ability to still work and VBS and she said Miss Imogene runs around there like she's still in her 60s or something. But we talked and Miss Bessie said, you know what, though I can pray, I can be at home praying while you're here. And so we would ask that if you can't be here with us, you've got to work whatever the case may be, that you would be praying for vacation, Bible school every day this week. And we got a lot of workers that are coming and we're expecting a lot of kids. And so we want to be ready for that. June 13th, that's next Sunday. We are going to be celebrating our sixty sixth church anniversary and we're going to have a normal morning service schedule followed by a lunch and then a Thanksgiving service that we'll have out in the gym. We won't come back in here to the auditorium. We'll just stay out there and we'll have it set up very similarly to the way the Mother's Day brunch was set up. That worked out very well. And so we'll have one of our keyboards out there and a microphone. And we're going to have some some testimonies, some songs of praise. And then we'd like to recognize a lot of different groups of people next next week. We're just going over with the deacons, trying to go through our minds, the amount of people who stepped up and took on roles that were not normally theirs, but to minister to people during the pandemic. I mean, it was just incredible to watch person after person, uh, fill roles that they weren't used to filling, but they were willing to step into to that and to be here sometimes when no one else was here to double up on ministries to take on extra Sunday school classes. It's just been incredible to watch God work in the lives of so many of our church members that have have gone above and beyond, uh, to to serve the Lord and to help keep the doors of the church open throughout a very difficult year. And so we'll be recognizing several different groups next week. And we're looking forward to being able to do that and celebrate what God has done. We've got some missionaries coming on the 16th and twenty third. The Jacobs are veteran missionaries. They'll be given a report. The kitchens are new missionaries to us, and so they'll be introducing us to their ministry here, to military missions. And and so praise the Lord for that. I'll say more, I guess, when it comes time for the offering. But anyways, those are some things are going on and hope that you'll be here for as much as you can. We're going to stand again and that's going to lead us in a few more songs.

Speaker 2: And 416 does Jesus care? Oh, yes, he cares, Amy, does Jesus care for 16?

Speaker 3: Does Jesus care when my heart is day to day,

Unidentified: we've heard that song. As the. Stress and stress and the Lakers, Erie of. Oh, yes, he cares, I

Speaker 3: know he cares, his heart

Unidentified: starts with. Craig. When the

Speaker 3: days are weary, the more nights weary, I know I save your kids, does Jesus care when my way is

Unidentified: with a nameless threat and

Speaker 3: fear as the daylight fades into the night, Shades does.

Unidentified: Up to. Oh, yes, he cares,

Speaker 3: I know he cares, his heart is touch with my great. When the days are weary, the long nights weary, I know I save your cares on the third, does Jesus care when I tried and failed to resist temptation strong. Went for my deep grief, primarily through my tears.

Unidentified: Oh, the I. Oh, yes, he cares, I know he

Speaker 3: cares, his escort is such with Bygrave. When the days are weary, the long nights ferry, I know I save your

Speaker 2: kids, Aimen, so thankful that he cares for us each and every day where to cast our cares upon him for you. Care for us. Let's go. In turn, we're going to sing a chorus here.

Unidentified: Many will very well know the chorus. Thank you, Lord. They.

Speaker 3: You for saving my soul. For making me all thank you.

Unidentified: I mean. The Great

Speaker 3: South Southasian, so rich and free, let us see it one more

Speaker 2: time as youngsters make their way,

Speaker 3: thank you for saving my soul.

Unidentified: For making me. They. Thank you for giving to. The great salvation, so rich and free.

Speaker 3: Amy.

Speaker 4: And well, as I mentioned before this morning, perhaps you're in the back and didn't hear, but we were blessed this past week to receive an anonymous donation of twenty five thousand dollars to the new teen room, which is a huge blessing and moves that fundraising effort up to right under fifty thousand dollars of the eighty thousand dollars that we project to need in order to get at least a really good start on that. Of course, the cost of materials just continues to rise. And so we'll just see what God would have us to do when the time is right. But eighty thousand was our initial goal and for a while there, the playground was just really picking up speed and and had actually overtaken the teen room. And so I thought, OK, well, maybe we'll do the playground first and then this check came in. But I was I was told to let you know that there is another person that would like to match dollar for dollar any money that comes in during the month of June towards the playground. They're going to match that. And so that is an awesome blessing. And they kind of let let me know a little bit about what they would like to be able to do. And if we are able to to, um, to meet that goal, we will surpass our goal. And just so that you kind of know, it's not just a playground that we're wanting to put there, that would include also the the dirty work that needs to be done, the ground cover, you know, that that would be safer for the children should they have a fall and then also a pavilion that would be next to the playground. That way, families could go there, have picnics. We can use it for church activities, something that would actually be a gathering place for not only our church ministry, but also the local community. And so that's that's what we'd like to see happen there. That's what we're raising money for. And so I hope that you'll challenge this this person to stick to what they've said and push them to to donate the full amount. And, um, but anyways, we're very grateful for each person that actively participates in this. And I know our children will benefit from this for many years to come because of our willingness to sacrifice and give towards it. But anyways, thank you to those of you that have already given and we'll continue to give towards these projects, I suppose, the same black star, if he doesn't mind, to pray and ask God's blessing toward the offering tonight. Hey, man, you may be seated. Ben. Man, thank you for that, Michel, truly appreciate your willingness to play for us tonight.

Speaker 2: Was that a duet with yourself? You weren't playing the piano also. No. OK. Uh. Michelle does play the piano, and so I didn't know. Well. Not. Do appreciate her willingness to play tonight, I take your Bibles if you have them, and turn to the book of Mark Mark, chapter number 16. Mark, chapter number 16, as you find your place there, if you wouldn't mind, stand in honor of reading God's word. Mark, chapter 16, verse number 15. Very well-known verse, probably quoted. The Bible says. And he said to them. Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, it's really short. So let's read it again, shall we? Maybe read it aloud with me. And he said to them, go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Thank you. Let's pray, Lord, I ask you to help us now as we look into your world, as we wrap up this short series on our philosophy of youth ministry. God, I pray that you would help our church to adopt these values, this vision for what our youth ministry can and should be, Lord, that we would support our youth workers, the adults that invest in the lives of our young people, that we would pray for our teenagers, that we would do our part to see them grow up, to be dedicated disciples of Jesus. Lord, I ask that you would be with this time as we are together and we leave here with a better understanding of what youth ministry can accomplish in Jesus name that I ask these things. Amen. Thank you. May be seated. Uh. We talked about four different principals already for what we envision, what we value, what we hope to accomplish in our teen ministry and as Matt alluded to last week, he said that he wished that these things would have been more clearly spelled out when we got here. But as I said, Brother Matt, when you if you remember for Matt. You got here. I hadn't even been here for a year yet. I was just trying to survive. So to be this forward thinking was not on the agenda. We were just trying to keep things going. But part of what we talked about when brother Matt and I were talking was him coming and helping us get some things established and get a get a youth ministry actually going in off the ground so that in a couple of years, lord willing, we didn't know what would happen. God would allow us to bring somebody on that would commit their whole focus to investing in the lives of the young people here at our church and through the faithfulness of your giving, through the growth that God has brought to our church. We are at that point, of course, we voted on Brother Clarence and brother Clarence is making preparations to move here and join our ministry team in just a few weeks. And so the teenagers, I think, are excited. It's hard to tell with them. Sometimes the parents are excited where the Clarence is excited. I'm excited. Were the Mets really excited? No, it's just it's going to be so good for our church brother Clarence Thomas Brittny are thrilled to death to be coming. And just like what happened when brother Matt came on, another person investing, doing the work of the ministry gives room for our church to grow. And I expect no less from one brother, Clarence and Britney's Brittany. Join our team and just cannot wait to get them plugged in to the ministry here. Well, the clearance, if you haven't seen any of it, he is doing what he can from afar. He is posting almost on a daily basis to our Sebti youth group. And he is also posting on the Sebti Youth Instagram page. And so if you have not followed the Instagram page, I would encourage you to do so. If you have teenagers or you are a teenager and you'd like to join the Sebti Youth Facebook group, you can put in a request for that. And and that way you can be a part of the ministry that'll be going on there. He'll be coming to camp with us. And so the teens will get to spend the trip there and the time at camp and the trip back with them and they'll go back to Michigan, pack up their things and then head this way, hopefully on July 8th to be here July 9th or 10th and start moving in. And so we're very excited about that. Youth Ministry is such a special thing to me. I obviously spent eight years as a youth pastor myself and just absolutely loved almost every minute of working with teenagers. I've said this kind of in passing, maybe haven't picked up on it, but teenagers are some of the most perceptive beings on the planet. I mean, they can see through anything. They can point out hypocrisy like you wouldn't believe. Because you point out hypocrisy, then it gives you an out for not having to do whatever it was that the hypocrite told you to do, but anyways, they're amazing. They're so high energy, you say? No, they're not. They sleep till noon. I said, yeah, that's why they have so much energy when it comes time for church time. They've been asleep all day. And so the Wednesday night service might as well be the Sunday morning service for them. But they get excited about things, and it's always fun when the teenager who tries to act cool. The act attached actually gets involved with something and they start playing some game and competition sparks this this fire in them and all of a sudden the kid that that never said a word, all of a sudden they're just like tearing into whatever this game is and just having a great time. Teenagers are a blast. I love taking teenagers to camp camp experience. For me, I was a little varied the first two years when I was in Florida. We did our own camp. That's not fun. It's just not I mean, there you are in central Florida, you're in a swamp, there's no air conditioning in the cabins and you're just sweating and you're like God. What have you done to me? What have I done to deserve this this punishment? I was a good kid. But anyways, it's all you ever really feeling sorry for me, but then we move to Virginia. We went to the Wilds Christian camp in North Carolina and I always hated when people said this, but it really was kind of like a little vacation, I mean, to go. And they'd have special things for the workers and different activities. And it was just awesome. It was great to watch as our teenagers that we would take the camp, would sit there and listen to the preaching. And the first night they're just not really feeling it. But as the week went on and God spoke to their hearts, you could see them softening. They were spending that time every morning and God's word reading the Bible, some of them for the first time since last year at camp. You know, they're reading God's word. They're spending time in prayer. They're getting preaching in the morning. They're doing breakout sessions that are geared towards issues that they're dealing with. They're going to preaching at night. They've got a counselor that is investing in their lives. They've got parents back home that are praying for them, youth workers that are there encouraging them and just the decisions that take place. I mean, I'm just kind of getting excited for camp right now talking about these things. It is one of the most amazing ministries that you can be a part of working with teenagers. If you'll be real with them, you'll not treat them like children. You'll find the teenagers, some of the most special people that you can be around. And I love it. I don't know if I'd really go back to it, but I do. I like the idea of it. But throughout our philosophy that we've been trying to to talk about with this this issue of Bible teaching and fellowship and service and all the other one. Family and then tonight, we're going to talk about missions and love missions and love, because both of these things are essential to our youth group and they build on the things that we've been talking about, that Bible teaching and fellowship and and service and family. See, I'm having a hard time here. I should have written them down. They all kind of work together. They're all interrelated. But if we could kind of boil everything down to four to two basic principles that we hope will guide our teen ministry, then I think a thriving youth ministry must simultaneously include ministry to Christians and ministry to unbelievers. There must be two essential thrusts of our youth program, and that is that we would ministry to the teens that that that are saved to have the Holy Spirit living inside them, that are trying to grow in their spiritual walk, but that we would also seek to minister to those teens who don't know Jesus, that we would try to reach them with the gospel. Don't you agree that that I mean, that pretty much boils down to share the gospel and to help kids grow in the gospel. Now, I have to say this. I've always wanted to preach under the big top. I finally get the opportunity. I mean, we should have done like tent revival songs this today, you know, since we got this theme going on here. Anyways, back to the message. But our teenagers. I have a responsibility. To engage in this philosophy that we are laying out because we want our teenagers to to move beyond simply acting as consumers and to take part as participants, it's the same philosophy that we have with our music ministry. Our music ministry is not consumer provider. It's participation. Right. There's not I mean, he gets paid to lead the music, but we're not professionals up here that you pay a price to come in and listen to us sing. We are participating in Praise to God the youth ministry is not a customer that comes in and expects the wait staff to serve them. It's something that our teenagers are going to have to cooperate with us in. Bible teaching only succeeds if there's cooperation, otherwise you might as well be talking to this pulpit. It's a dead piece of wood. It's never going to respond. We want our teenagers to cooperate in the teaching that takes place. I appreciate Brother Randy, a lot of you, but especially when I'm preaching Brother Randy. I mean, when you're not here, Brother Randy, you go on vacation. I have no one to talk to. No, I mean, it has been used to laugh at my jokes, but I guess he's heard them all now and so he doesn't laugh as much anymore. But, you know, having that feedback and getting getting getting back and forth that goes on between the Bible teacher in the audience, I think that's important. When when it comes to fellowship, you understand that a brotherhood, a relationship cannot be formed unless there is cooperation between our teenagers, between our youth workers. We want that fellowship to be strong. And I've seen it and I've experienced it myself, where you pour and pour and pour into a teenager and there's just no reciprocation. It's like a stone wall. Don't try to make a relationship with me because it ain't happening. We need cooperation. It's both. It's not one sided. It has to be a two sided, a two way street. Service requires cooperation. Are youth workers can can set out activities, opportunities we can publicize and let you know, hey, there's this opportunity to help, there's this opportunity to serve, we need this many volunteers. But unless people respond. It's not going to work. You see, for as thankful as I am about the staff that God has brought here, you understand this church can't operate just based on the work of the staff. It takes a whole team of volunteers to get things done around here. This church thrives on. All of us cooperating and participating together. Same is true with our teen ministry. You want to have a family relationship in the youth group, it's going to take cooperation and take two people getting along. Setting aside some of their personal differences to work together in order to foster that family relationship. And the same is true when it comes to this idea of missions and love. And so instead of being exclusively takers, we want our young people, your young people, to learn how to give back. To reinvest what has been shown to them, that's kind of the whole theme of our our church this year, grace to us, Grace through us. You see we're not just a receptacle for Grace. We are to be a dispenser of grace. That's that's a principle that we want to see carry through into our youth ministry and March 16, 15, the verse we read just a moment ago, Jesus speaks unto a group of people to say a group right now, a group of people, and tells them to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Now, we understand this. We have titled this The Great What? Commission. In the giving of the great commission, who is Jesus speaking to, who is this group of people that is addressing? Can we say it's the disciples? We say it was a collection of individuals. Could. But is there something bigger? That he is speaking to. Yeah. The people that he's talking to are the the members of the first church. You see, Jesus is not just speaking to. Peter, James, John, the other disciples that I can't remember their names. Don't think ill of me, you can't remember them either. Some of you would probably say Mark and Luke or some of the disciples, and they weren't. But he's talking not just to the men who had walked with him and their families that were there and the other disciples who are unnamed, because if he was just talking to them as individuals, then when they died, the commission is over. Is giving it to that first church. You see that first church, whenever it would then start another church. That responsibility, that commission that Jesus ingrained into the makeup of what a church is, was then passed on in the genetics, kind of like you pass on your genetics to your children. It goes beyond, of course, you understand their physical appearance. There are behavioral things that are passed through the genetics that we give to our children. But the genetics of a church are hard wired to fulfill this commission that Jesus gave to him. And so for two thousand years, churches have been starting other churches and handing off the baton of responsibility to make new disciples of Jesus. And so here we are in twenty twenty one, our church is almost sixty six years old. And so even though we live 2000 years after Jesus handed down these directions, we share in this responsibility, it is ingrained in our our churches DNA. Now, a church. Is nothing. If it's not the members of that body. Right. OK, without you, Baptist Tabernacle doesn't exist. So every member of this church has a responsibility to help this body function, to help it perform the task it was ordained to fulfill. I don't know whose this water is, I'm hoping it's mine. Arnis, did you have what? No more than that, it's mine. OK, from Wednesday. I hope. I told you about the time I chewed one of my teenagers gum, right, OK, so. Yeah. I was around all of you that had covid, I never got it, so I must have some. Bubble or something, I don't know. So is home school immune system all right, anyways, so if I'm going to take a drink of this water, how many different parts of my body have to be involved in simply taking a drink? And. Lips, tongue, esophagus, stomach, brain has to do it, my eyes have to have good hand eye coordination because otherwise, you know. Goes over my shoulder. We have been sitting there talking to somebody and you've got a drink with a straw in it and you're like trying to find the straw. Every part of the body has to be involved. I mean, what if I'm trying to take a drink and my knees decide they don't want to work anymore? You know, that's awkward. I mean, we have a role. We have a function as a church body, it's not just to provide social interaction. It's not just so that you don't have anything better to do. So I guess we'll go to church now. There is a reason for our existence. There is something that God has given us to fulfill. And if we're going to fulfill it, it's going to require the participation, the cooperation of every part of the body. Including our teenagers. They are a part of the church, aren't they? I mean, we don't we don't do provisionary status as a church member. Right, I mean, a teenager gets saved, they get baptizing, we don't say, oh, they're just they're they're on probation. Not really part of the body, we're just giving them a test in out period until they turn 18 and then they really become a servant of Jesus Christ. No, it's not what happens, I will tell you this, probably some of these children, some of our teenagers have invited more people to church and tried to share the gospel and talk about Jesus then the rest of the adults in the church. Titus is asleep, so he doesn't care. He's convinced that his whole first grade class from Harold is going to be at VBS tomorrow. I hope he's not too disappointed if they don't come. But our children are just as vital to the mission efforts of this church as any adult in this room. Our teenagers have a responsibility to participate in our outreach and missions efforts, the oldest members of this church and the younger youngest members of this church share the same responsibility. That is to reach our community, our region, our world with the gospel. Look, back in March 16, 15, can you find there any? Disclaimers. Any exceptions to Jesus command? Well, no, hold on now, you know, the great commission is given in multiple places in the Bible. I'm sure none of the other places where it's recorded that there are exceptions built in to the great commission. Now, there's not. If you have the Holy Spirit, you've received power to be a witness, Jesus Christ. Even if you are a 14 year old snot nose, acne face, teenage boy with body odor. You know, there's no difference to a teenage boy between a can of ax, body spray and a shower. They are exactly the same to them. There is no difference. You say, what's ax body spray? You don't want to know. You don't use that, do you? OK. To put you on the spot or anything. So well. Who can a teenager reach? I mean, really, who is a teenager going to reach with the gospel? Anyone? You remember the series we did recently on evangelism, sharing the gospel with people, you remember the Welsh revival that we talked about. You remember where the Welsh revival started. Children. Children who got serious about sharing the gospel with other people and were so effective that it spread and affected the adults. I mean, it swept across an entire country now isn't a big country, but still. Children can reach anyone. You kids ever said anything that melted your heart? Sometimes a child sharing the gospel with someone so innocently and simply just. Can melt the most cold hearted. Nasty cuts you ever met. Because a child said, don't you know Jesus loves you? Teenagers. Are just as responsible when it comes to the great commission as anyone else. Now, you realize that the great commission is not just evangelism. Yes, we are to share the gospel, we are to evangelize, but if you go over and you look at Matthew twenty eight, you'll find that it's not just getting them saved. The gospel isn't just about keeping you out of hell. It's about transforming your life. It's not just the question of who can teenagers reach. But it's also a question of who can they teach? You know, it's common some of you know this better than I do. It's common when you have a student who has picked up a skill, they're excelling in a certain area for a teacher to utilize that student to help the other students learn. They'll use that student as a tutor, a coach, a mentor for other students that are coming alongside them. You see, our our teenagers are not just responsible for reaching others with the gospel, but they're also responsible for teaching others. I mentioned this before and I think it's something we should all keep in the back of our minds. I think if our church 20 years from now has a lack of people who are willing to teach, we'll have failed somewhere along the way. Because our teenagers should start our children's should start getting experience of speaking out about their faith. So that when they are adults, when, when, when, when the next pastor of the Baptist Tabernacle is looking for men and women that are able to teach, there will be young people that we, as our generation led, trained them to be able to do that in the future. I I feel pretty strongly about this. We may grow our church to five or six hundred, but if we don't have men and women in our church who are capable and comfortable with getting up and teaching a Bible lesson, then we will have failed in some way. You see, part of the great commission is not just about reaching them with the gospel, but it is training them to observe all that Jesus Christ commanded. There are churches out there that are really great with reaching the loss, but they do very little for training them to live godly lives. We don't want that for our teenagers, we want them to be involved with all points, the mission of this church to reach the lost and train the believer. They can have a part in that. And I think that's something that we should be praying for our young people and encouraging them to consider. I love hearing about teenagers that are are willing to share a devotion with their sports team. That are willing to speak up and invite someone in their public school to come to church. Was mentioning I was we were talking about this earlier with somebody. The source of the most visitors and our youth group came from the kids that went to public school. They were willing to go and ask their friends to come to church. I had one one teenager, Carlos Walker, Carlos wanted me to come to his school and we had done the the the work to get certified with the the Lakeland School District to be volunteers for the public schools so that we could go on campus and we could go and we could go eat lunch with them the way their school district was that we could go to class with them. Anything they wanted to see, we could go, we could follow them. And and so Carlos, he was like, Really, Gary, you got to come to school. You got to come to my school. So I went I had lunch with him and his friends paid for their for their meals. And then he's like, I was going to leave. Like, I'm just going to go. I mean, we talked and and invited them to church is like, oh, you didn't come to the library with me. OK, I knew if I went back, I was very young in the ministry, if I went back to the church, I was just going to end up. Changing light bulbs or scrubbing toilets, and so I'm like, I'll hang out here at the school with you. Sounds preferable to what I would be doing chasing alligators and stuff. It's Florida, so. So I went to the library, he's going around. He said, hey, this is my youth pastor, hey so-and-so, this is my youth pastor. Yeah, you should come to our church. He took me to class and his teacher was like, Carlos, she had a visitor with you don't have a lot of visitors in English. Who is this like? This is my youth pastor. Teenagers, like I said, they're great. But they've got a mission field that they're able to reach that without them, you and I would have very little access to. Do you know that, that if a school has a any kind of club, any chess club, Glee Club, theater club doesn't matter if they have any club, your high school junior high student can start a Bible club. It is a protected right in this country that they can start a Bible club at their school. I can't go start a Bible club at their school or the mat can't go start a Bible club at their school, but your student can. That student that runs that club can invite whoever they want to come speak at it. They could open the door for brother Matt to come for the clearance to come speak at their school and that cool. They've got a mission field. That they can reach. We want to be a place where we help train them to go and do that, to encourage them and give them the boldness to reach their friends with the gospel. We want our teams to be cooperating with the mission of the church, but also lastly, turn to John. John, Chapter 13. First number three, four. John, chapter 13, verse number thirty four. Bible says a new commandment given to you. That you love one another, as I have loved you, that she also love one another. By this, shall all men know that you're my disciples, if you have love, one to another? That's a pretty heavy passage. By this Shall Almen. By the beauty of your buildings. Not not by your good works, necessarily, by the way you dress. Whether or not you have love, one for another. That is the distinguishing mark. Follower of Jesus. How many times? Is church life. Characterized by something that has nothing to do with love for one another. Love is a word. That causes a lot of confusion in today's world, doesn't it? And yet, over and over throughout the New Testament, Jesus, Paul, John, they all command believers to love one another, love one another, love one another. You're using a digital device to read along. I mean, you can search it right now, love one another. How many times is it in the Bible? It's all over the place. I'd love one for another. In the seventies, I was reading about this this morning. A study was conducted that still stands to this day that found that students learn the most and the best through memorization and repetition. Memorization and repetition. You want to teach somebody something? That's what it's going to take. Think it's any mistake that the God who created us this way, over and over and over repeated himself, love one another, love one another, love one another? It's not hard to memorize either. What is God wants to do? So you already got it. Love is an essential Christian quality, but too often it is lacking in the relationships that make up a church. When it comes to our teenagers, we want love to be demonstrated through what our teenagers do and say towards one another. We're going through C.S. Lewis book Mere Christianity, and it's funny sometimes to read the way he words things, obviously living, you know, 70 plus years ago and writing back then and being British on top of that, I mean, well. When we say the golden rule, what do we say golden rule is? Uh, yeah, that's right, good. I can't even tell you how he says it. It's so backwards. Do as you would have done and others do, do you do you do? That sounded better in my head than it came out. But we want. Love to be demonstrated what they do and what they said one on one towards one another. Now, if they're going to get this lesson, how important is it for us as adults to model it for them? We talk about this last week, first Corinthians 13. The love chapter not talking about husbands and wives, it's talking about church members living together, working together within a local church context, we have to have love in First Corinthians 13, spells it out for us. We're not going to spend time going over it tonight. But love must be demonstrated consistently on a little note levels that our teenagers will will see it and learn from it and not just hear us talk about it. In order for love to be really, really shown not only to the Christians that we're trying to minister to, but the unbelievers we're trying to reach. That our teenagers need to learn how to show love consistently. You see, there are going to be teens who come to youth ministry from a difficult background. They've got some some things in their young life that might make it difficult to love them. You know, they've got a mom or a dad or or just an adult guardian in their life that speaks to them harshly, roughly with words that we would not suggest you use to your children. You've got a teenager who's been told all their life, you're ugly, you're stupid. You're you're an idiot. You can't do anything right, what's wrong with you? They're probably going to have some. Some difficulty in fitting in. There's going to be some barriers, some walls that are put up, they're going to be hard to overcome. They're probably going to respond to you pretty harshly. I mean, youth workers, sometimes they have a hard time showing respect to adults because of the way adults have treated them their whole life. We can either sit back and say. Self, righteously. Kids these days, they just don't show respect to nobody. I mean, when I was a kid, you talk like that to an adult, you'd get backhanded. But what good does that do them? What good does this response do to that, that young person? They've got a difficult background. I mean, hopefully we get our best ministry going back now that this pandemic thing is just about in our rearview mirror, we start bringing these kids back in who have difficult home lives. They're going to do some things. They're going to say some things. You know, you've got you've got eight, nine, 10 year olds who are being exposed to pornography by their parents. And we can either sit here as good godly people and moan and complain about it or we can show them love. Well, I did show them love and they spat on me. I tried to be nice to them, but they're so disrespectful. Love is to be demonstrated consistently, love, love, I think I know you know this, so I'm not I don't want to talk down to anybody tonight, but love means that I'm going to open myself to be hurt again, even though I've been hurt by you before. Love is no evil. Love, believe with all things. They're going to kids who are going to disappoint you in the way they act and speak. But you've got to show love to them anyways, teenagers, there are going to be people who are going to be mean to you when you try to share the gospel with them. You have to love them anyways. Their meetings with difficult backgrounds that are going to be. Prickley. Cold. Hard to break through. Those are the kids that need to be shown love the most. There's going to be teenagers. Come to our youth group. That are struggling. In a certain area in their life. A teenager's. You can either sit back and judge them. And say, well, I would never do that. Or like I was told to me. I don't struggle with that temptation. What they do, congratulations, you're human, you have some temptation. You've got something. It may not be the same thing as me, but you've got sin. Just because you don't deem your skin to be as gross as their skin doesn't mean you get to treat them like dirt. They need to be shown love. Gary, I'm a firm believer in the old statement, you know, Gary, I know you've said it before. You don't care about what you know until they know how much you care. That's great, I'm glad you believe in that. Are you living it? Does it actually show up in your actions? Are going to be teenagers that are hard to love, they're going to be teenagers that that are struggling in an area that we don't think they should be struggling in. They're the ones that need love the most. I don't know how successful I was at this. But I tried. So identify the kids in my youth group when I was a youth pastor. Who needed the most help? There were kids, I could name them off, I mean, I could give you a list of kids who were just fun to be around, right. You know, they're just they're just pleasant. They come from good families. They're they're happy. They'll joke with you. They'll talk to you. I mean, you can sit down and just go on and on and on talking to these teenagers. Know, those are the teens who are probably getting a lot of investment at home. There were some teenagers that weren't like that. There were difficult cases. Tried to make sure they spent as much or more time with those teenagers than the teenagers that were getting all of the attention at home. Now those teens need attention as well, right? But there's some some young men that we're in our youth group didn't have a dad. They had no male influence. There are some teenagers who had a godly dad that was faithful, that spent time with them, that took them places. Yes, I'm going to spend time with that kid, but I'm also going to make sure this kid doesn't get overlooked. Young people, when there's a new person that comes into our youth group. Another teenager, maybe you know them from school, maybe at school, you guys don't get along that well. Will they find love? Will there be a teenager who'll be willing to step out of their comfort zone and even though this kid may be mean and a bully, so you know what? I'm glad you're here. You know what, the mean bully needs church, they need the gospel. The teenager that's dealing with sin in their life, what better place for them to be? Then where the gospel is preached, where there's other Christians and will influence them. They come in and they're treated with a cold shoulder because we all know what's going on in their life. They'll never come back. We'll miss out on an opportunity to reach them. We want our youth group to be cooperating, participating in the mission of the church. Not only rich people with the gospel, but to train them. The teachings of Jesus, a teenager can teach. We also want our youth group to be a place where God's love is shown. The kids that are struggling. Kids with a rough background. They should be able to come to our church, show up here, ride the bus, come with a friend and no. That they're going to find love. Someone is going to care about them here. You realize love doesn't mean accepting everything that they do that's wrong. Love and acceptance are not the same thing. We don't have to accept their lifestyle, but we had better show them God's love. From the adults. To the teenagers. That's what people should find when they come to the Baptist. How else are people going to know that we're his disciples? If we don't show love one for another. Or thank you for this day for the good attention of the folks that are here. Thank you for the teenagers and the youth workers. Current, past and future. Who has invested faithfully in the lives of the young people at this church and other churches across the world. God, I pray that you would help. Our ministry to continue. To develop. Train. Only the adults, but the young people. To cooperate in the mission of this church. Show love to those that we interact with. Pray that our teenagers would be active in service. That you would develop a family connection among the young people. They will enjoy fellowship, brotherhood. People that are trying to walk and live the same way that they are. Or that they would be attentive. Soak in the Bible teaching. We endeavor to share with them. God, we want our youth group to grow in number. We want it to grow in spiritual and spirituality as well. So I pray that you continue to have your hand of blessing and protection upon this ministry, especially the youth ministry, the days and weeks to come, Jesus name that we ask these things in that. Let's all stand we we're have a time of invitation, but invite you to spend some time during this. Time of. Reaction to the message, praying for our youth ministry, praying for our teenagers, the youth workers, brother Clarence, brother Matt, all those that volunteer or God would use this ministry to reach young people, to train them, to serve him, we make a difference in the lives of the young people in our community. What takes place here on a regular basis to pray for that rhythm at things you do business with God, however, he would

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Speaker 4: Oh, well, thank you so much for your good attention tonight being here, and I'd like to ask Alan Upchurch to come up here to the platform and close this in a word of prayer and appreciate it. Brother Alan. Brother Alan has stepped in to the janitor position here at the church and working with Brother Jerry to not only keep the church repaired, but also clean. And one of the things we talked about in the Deacons meeting, and we've had several over the last year in our janitor ministry, they have doubled their hours and also increased the amount of cleaning that they do, cleaning more surfaces and items than we were previously before coronavirus. And so really do appreciate all those have been involved with that and appreciate Brother Alan and Miss Barbara in their ministry here at our church and God bringing them here. I don't know why anybody would leave Colorado for Oklahoma. Uh, but we're grateful for it. So, Alan, you come closer, a order of prayer and we'll have the van open if you'd like to come check it out before we leave. And looking forward to using that for the Lord's glory for many years to come. Pray for VBS and we'll look forward to seeing many of you back here in the morning.

Speaker 1: Let's pray. Dear Lord, we're so thankful for our time here together and hear your word preached, Lord, and convecting our hearts to be more and more like Jesus, and we might show your love to everyone around us, no matter what their age or occupation, their race or their creed. And Lord, we pray that you would just use the ministers here as they teach us, especially the youth of our church. Lord, we pray that you would prepare them for the coming youth pastor, that Clarence might be able to mold them and the likeness of of your son and Lord, we ask that your spirit will work mightily and vacation Bible school and that many children, Lord, would come and see the love of God. And when they meet your love, the Lord made their hearts be moved to follow you. And that you might add many souls to your kingdom. Or we ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

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