It is my greatest pleasure to serve in student ministry. Today in the community in which I serve high school and middle school students will be heading to one of our nations greatest mission fields: public schools. There is a wide range of students from different cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. It’s a chance for the students I serve to make a difference each and every single day. I want to offer 3 challenges to my students as they approach this school year.
1) Start each day with prayer.
As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42:1,2
I cannot emphasize this enough. If you want a healthy marriage communication is crucial, if you want to maintain a friendship communication is a must, and with God the same is true. For a healthy relationship with our Creator then we need to understand that we get to communicate with Him. When we read the Scriptures we are hearing Him speak, and when we voice ourselves to him He listens. Jeremiah 9 says that we are to boast that we understand who the Lord is. If we truly understand who He is then we understand the power of fervent prayer. Prayer is powerful, and prayer is essential. As the great reformer Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Jesus prayed, if he should how much more should we? Spiritually prepare yourself for the day ahead. Praying will flow right into the next two challenges.
2) Point Others to the Cross
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Simply put, do good works and die to yourself. Not works that glorify yourself, but the Father. Because our faith we have good works. So lead out as a spiritual leader on your team, or club that you participate in. Do things that the world sees as crazy (1 Corinthians 1:18). Serve your classmates, teammates, and your teachers. Don’t see what you can do to benefit yourself, but how you can serve others to point them to the cross. If you are different people will notice. I am not talking about being odd for God, don’t do that. I am talking about sacrificially putting others before yourself (Philippians 2). People do not care what you have to say until they know you care about them. Show the people in your school that you care by serving them. If you show love and service to others it opens up the last challenge I have for you.
3) Unashamedly Speak the Gospel
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
One of my least favorite quotes is “Speak the gospel and when necessary use words.” It’s absolutely ridiculous. Yes speak the gospel with your life, but also always with words. When you start your day with prayer, then follow that with serving others questions will come up. When they want to know why you do these things speak the gospel. When they want to know why you will not do or do not believe certain things speak the gospel. When they mock or look down on you speak the gospel. The gospel saves. It saved me, it have saved millions of others, and it will save more. When you speak the gospel you are speaking the very Word of God. It has power. Back that up with prayer and seeking opportunities to serve others then I believe the reward will present opportunities to speak the truth of His word. Articulate what the gospel says, and invite this classmate to participate in a faith family. Do not leave them high and dry but let’s partner with them through discipleship. What greater joy can you have this school year than seeing your classmates walk from darkness into light? Do not be afraid and know you are not alone.
My promise to you:
I promise to do all three of these things for you. I will pray for you as you walk into places that many feel God is being forced out of today. You can make the difference and you have my supports. I promise I will support you in every way I can. With advice, by listening, and by doing what ever i can to help you and your friends. I promise to unashamedly preach the gospel as well. When you bring your friends I will speak it, when you are around I will speak it, and we will see God work and change lives. Let us pray, serve, and preach to all the school in Chesterfield County this year. Let us serve God and other together. Let God be made known and let it start with you.