In March 2021 we had a season of 12 Days of Gospel Stories. We’re now reproducing these stories here for all to see and be inspired by!
I’ve been intentional about our youth ministry coming to know Jesus in a deeper and more personal way. Recently, I’ve had some profound conversations with young people about Jesus. Our ministry context has assumed belief or at least knowledge of him, yet many don’t have worldview that has room for Jesus. For many young people I’ve connected with recently, Jesus is attached to a stale church. He’s a boring Sunday morning. For many youth, he’s represented by global church leaders who fall from grace in public and damaging ways. Jesus’ call to love is drowned out by hate speech of all forms from pulpits and tweets.
Gospel renewal means a rediscovery of the word, and an application to the everyday.
Gospel renewal in my current ministry season hasn’t meant new believers and a constant stream of baptism’s (pun intended), but it has been—and hopefully continues to be—a season where assumptions are raised to the surface, positive examples of Jesus followers are abundant and where we converse with Jesus and allow him to speak for himself.
Sentiments like “I don’t need Jesus” or “if God exists, he’s very evil or very far away” have turned into “I think Jesus gets angry when people use him to hurt others” and “God says he cares, and I don’t think God’s a liar.” It’s a small but fundamental pivot: they’re beginning to look to God as a source of hope!
Young people near me are rediscovering Jesus for who he is, earnestly and deeply. With God, the brokenness of our world is not overwhelming. There is hope to be had!
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.
Father, we lift a prayer of hope to you for young people across our nation. Help us to introduce your Son Jesus to those that don’t know him, that together we may praise Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
Contributor: Andy Beales-White, Karori Baptist