Do You Really Know HIM?

 

As I look around my church I am reminded of a repeated phrase in judges “And there grew up a nation who did not know God.” Honestly? My heart breaks as I look across the room at students who do not know God. Many of them know of Him but they do not know the Word, so how could they really know Him?

Judges 2:10-12 tells us “All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.  Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals, and they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the LORD to anger.”

 

As we look at this passage we must ask, WHAT HAPPENED? How did the sons of Israel get here?  If we look earlier in this passage we see Joshua has died. The man who followed Moses as leader and brought the people into the Promised Land has died along with his entire generation. During this time, the stories of the God of Israel and what He did for them ceased. I’m not sure how this happened, but we know that the stories stopped in such a way that the next generation “did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.” Can you imagine? What is the result? They started doing evil, they forsook God, served false Gods, and provoked the Lord to anger. How terrible! Yet throughout Judges we see this happening over and over again.

 

I fear this same thing is happening in our student ministries. Entertainment has replaced the importance of God’s Word. We work hard to look “churchy” but our focus is on “our ministry” rather than God and His Word. We are more concerned with how a room looks, if our worship is cool, if our sermon series has a catchy title than we are about the purity of the Gospel, the importance of speaking the Word of God. Where do we spend our time? On a slide background, or digging into the Word, fervently studying the lesson that will be taught?

If you are a youth minister or someone who teaches students, you need to know that God holds you accountable (James 3:1-2) for what you teach. You also need to know that your words are not more powerful than the Word of God. I have seen many youth leaders focus more on their catchy words than on the Word. Your words do not hold any power compared to the Word of God, which is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Your words are empty compared to the Word of God that goes forth and does not return empty (Isaiah 55:11).

 

So what are student leaders to do?

-See Judges as a serious warning of what happens when we do not intentionally teach God’s Word and equip students to study it themselves.

-Get in the Word yourself; not in preparing for a lesson, not leading a family devotion. Just you, God, and His Word. Study it. Enjoy it.
Diligently study your lesson so as to show yourself approved by God (2 Tim 2:15).

-Pray. Pray for your pastors, student leaders, and students. Ask God to make them hungry for the Word.

-Remember, His Word is always more powerful than yours, so please focus on God’s Word more.

-Lead students to His Word instead of giving your own personal words. When a student comes to you with a question or a problem, lead them back to the Word.

-Teach students how to study the Word themselves. You can do this even if you aren’t THE student leader.

 

I am encouraged by the work of Transform Student Ministry. I am encouraged by the students I have worked with at Boot Camp and the students in my church that want to know God and study His Word. I am haunted by the words in Judges and I pray that this generation will be pierced by the Word and truly know God and not just know of Him

 

If you are a student leader who is interested in teaching your students how to study the Word and how to be leaders, I encourage you to bring a group to Foundation Camp. To find out more about this camp or register your group; CLICK HERE

 

 

Ashlee is a native New Mexican. She is the wife of a College Minister, a student ministry leader, and has been involved with Transform Student Ministries for 14 years. She seeks to be a disciple of God and His Word as well as a disciple-maker. She is striving to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel and to seek the favor of God not men.

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