Marriage Vows Trump Political Endorsements

trump_cruz_original

Last night Ted Cruz congratulated Donald Trump on his victory, denounced Hillary Clinton, and did not launch a 3rd party campaign. For all intents and purposes he “supported” the Republican nominee without an all out endorsement. Still, many conservatives last night and today are blasting the Texas Senator for his words last night, and not endorsing the Donald Trump. Did he break his promise he made? Did he lose is integrity? Is Ted Cruz in sin? I have a different take.

In 2001 Ted Cruz stood before God and Heidi Nelson to make a covenant (a promise). To love her, support her, protect her, and provide for her; for better for for worse. A marriage covenant is a serious problem between a couple that they make to one another, and to God. Scripture is very clear here, here, here, and host of other places. Ted Cruz also has an obligation to honor his earthly father as seen in Ephesians, and the Ten Commandments.

During the campaign Donald Trump suggested that his father was a part of the assassination of Preside John F Kennedy. Trump most likely planted stories his friends at the National Enquirer that Cruz had multiple marital affairs. Trump also set out to humiliate and attack Heidi during the primary season, he did this on more than one occasion.

Ted Cruz took the stand last night that honoring his father, and keeping his marriage covenant promise was more important than a political endorsement. Paul teaches that husbands are to love their wife as Christ loved the Church (which he died for). Cruz did the honorable thing in keeping his promise to God last night by standing with his wife, and by honoring his father. Could Ted Cruz in good conscience support a man who attacked his family? I know I could not.

Still, I am seeing him blasted by conservatives and Christians last night and today. I would hope anyone who takes the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God would take the same stand. That they would fight for One’s approval and keeping a promise to Him, rather than earning man’s approval (Galatians 1:10).

I don’t see them talking about Trump backing off his promise. Or calling for Trump to repent and apologize (he professes to be a Christian) for his remarks. We have thrown aside religious conviction for an election. I can tell you this, I don’t care what promise I make when you attack my family I will stand with them ten out of ten times. Instead of insulting Ted Cruz many men can learn a lesson. What it means to stand with your wife and how to keep a promise you made to God, even if it means getting booed off the stage.

 

Christian Worldview: Gender Identity and Bathrooms

For a few weeks now the topic of bathrooms have been an ongoing and heated conversation. The state North Carolina, led by Governor Pat McCrory, passed HB 2 (otherwise known as the “Bathroom Bill”) in response to a 7-4 approving vote by the Charlotte City Council’s for persons to use the restroom of the gender they identify with. HB 2 protects private businesses from government overreach, and maintains that persons must use their assigned gender in public restrooms.

Supporters of HB 2 have been put to public shame. Being called ignorant, bigots, discriminators, and I was even called racist (not sure how that applies). Filmmaker Michael Moore, artists like Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr, and Cirque du Soleil have all cancelled events in North Carolina. It is a bit ironic that they are refusing to do business with people they disagree with, but chastise Christians for doing the same thing.

So how should we look at this, and respond from a Christian worldview?

Accommodation Only Hurts

First, we must understand that accommodating to those who identify as a different gender than the actual biological make-up they possess are need of help. Currently about .3% of the population identifies as transgender. What is being fed to the American people is that if we are not willing to accommodate for transgender people then we are against them. However, I believe the exact opposite is true. Transgender people do need help because they are dealing with a skewed identity of who they are. Accommodating only hurts because we are telling them they are right, when we should be striving to get them the real medical attention then need. Many doctors agree that those who identify as another gender opposite of the reality of who they are struggling with mental illness. When it comes to any other mental illness we seek to get people help except for on this issue. Instead we want people to be forced to accommodate and only enable.

The American  College of Pediatrics recently wrote about children and gender identity. In the write up you can see many of the issues, and they liken enabling gender confusion to child abuse. Much of this can be applied to adults struggling with gender identity as well.  This is an a mental health issue we are turning a blind eye to while  41% of transgender people attempting suicide.  That is not normal and it is tragic and I believe we need to stop enabling, and them the help they need. Sex change is not the answer, nor does it biologically change gender, and suicide certainly is not the answer.

Most important, this is an attack on the imago Dei as well. The imago Dei translates into the image of God. The Bible teaches than man and woman are both made in His image. He created each of us as man and as a woman. In the womb God began a work in creating each person, and God makes no mistakes. To accept that one’s gender is not the reality of their identity is an attack on the imago  Dei and an attack on God.

It is Not LGBT Discrimination nor Equal to Racisim

Supporters of gender neutral bathrooms often claim this is LGBT discrimination. Many will compare the issue to slavery which is not only asinine, but incredibly offensive as well. The comparison of slavery against African-Americans in America, and LGBT rights are so far apart that any comparison should never be taken seriously. Those who make that comparison are playing of emotions. The two are no way comparable. African-Americans had basic rights taken away and were enslaved. The only perceived discrimination, in this regard, is that transgender people are having to use the restroom of their biological sex.

Still, this is not an LGBT issue but a “T” issue. These bills in no way discriminate against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, nor heterosexuals for that matter.The only people facing perceived discrimination are those who identify as transgender. The question is then is it discrimination for someone to have to use the bathroom of their gender? Do individuals have the right to use whatever restroom or locker room they feel like?

Open Door for Predators 

Many proponents for gender neutral bathrooms will try to belittle the arguments of their opponents. Saying transgender people just want to go do their business and don’t care about you. They will make it appear that all who are against gender neutral bathrooms believe all transgender people are pedophiles and are out to hurt everyone. That is not what supporters of bills like HB 2 are saying.

The stance that I, and most people against gender neutral bathrooms, take is that this is an open door for predators. Opponents will say that we are operating out of unfounded fear. To make that claim is either naivety or ignorance. We are already seeing multiple cases of this popping up here, here, here, and here. We already have four cases were predators have either taken care of gender neutral bathroom/locker room laws, or easily could if these laws were passed.

Any man could go expose himself in a locker room in front of children, and watch them change, if gender neutral bathroom laws are passed. There is no way to stop that. Cameras will be installed and the privacy of our spouses, children, and families may very well be attacked. You have to answer if you are okay with children and women being potentially harmed, like in the four cases above, so .3% of the population can use any bathroom they want? I will choose to side with Lt. Governor of North Carolina Dan Forest who said, “If our action in keeping men out of women’s bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it.”

What About Women?

The claim is made that a transgender male or female will feel uncomfortable using the bathroom of their identity. Therefore, we must make accommodations so that they can be comfortable in public restrooms. What we have neglected to ask is, will females be comfortable knowing that men may be in the bathroom or locker room with them? Potentially showering and exposing themselves to these people. What about the comfort of children? Are we potentially going to sacrifice the comfort and security of 99.7% of the population for .3% and pave the way for predators to have easier access to harm individuals? I pray not.

In Ephesians 5 Paul tells the early Christian husbands to love their wife as Christ loved the Church. How did Christ exactly love the Church? He died for Her and protected Her. Christian men, we must be the leading voices in fighting for our spouse and our children. I

God’s Answer 

God’s answer is to run to Him. Transgenders, predators, and everyone in between can go to Him. In their going it will require the step of repentance and crucifying self. Finding their identity in the one who gave use our biological sex to begin with. Our identity will always be skewed when we find it on other things. What we own, what we do, what want others to thing, or what we perceive our gender to be. We need to find out identity in who Christ is. The perfect image of the invisible God. The spotless lamb, the sacrificed son, the giant slayer, the acceptable sacrifice, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and God in the flesh.

 

Christian Worldview: Should I Let My Child See Deadpool?

If your student is like me they love it when Marvel releases a new film. I am not really into the comics, but I have seen all of the movies they have been releasing as of late. They are funny, clean, and usually have a good message. However, I will not be going to see Deadpool when it comes out this year. Just because it is Marvel does not mean it is okay to go and see as a believer. In this short write up I hope you will see why you should not let your kid see it, and why you should not see it.

1) Language

There are a lot of opinions when it comes to language today, especially profanity. Most Christians I have encountered usually have a reason why using profanity is okay. Typically, because the Bible doesn’t explicitly forbid it and because the profanity today is not the same as then.

I think the Bible speaks towards profanity here, here, and here. The Bible also teaches in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Your kids are already hearing this at school, sports teams, and by playing video games online. Why would we want to enable that any further? This kind of speech is not pleasing to God for us to say or to hear, and by going to see this film you’re allowing your ears and mind to be filled with speech that God finds repulsive.

Everything we say, watch, and do is to glorify God.

2) Graphic Nudity

Let me give you some 2014 stats from an organization called Proven Men:

Christian (18-30):

  • 77% look at pornography at least monthly;
  • 36% view pornography at least daily;
  • 32% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 12% think they may be).

Christian men (ages 31-49):

  • 77% looked at pornography while at work in the past 3 months;
  • 64% view pornography at least monthly; and
  • 18% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 8% think they may be).

Married Christian Men:

  • 55% look at pornography at least monthly; and
  • 35% had an extra-marital sexual affair while married.

What about teenagers. This research from Covenant Eyes is pretty alarming:

“In a 2010 national survey, over a quarter of 16- to 17-year olds said they were exposed to nudity online when they did not want to see it. In addition 20% of 16-year-olds and 30% of 17-year-olds have received a “sext” (a sexually explicit text message).

More than 7 out of 10 teens hide their online behavior from their parents in some way.

35% of boys say they have viewed pornographic videos “too many times to count.”

 

More than half of boys and nearly a third of girls see their first pornographic images before they turn 13. In a survey of hundreds of college students, 93% of boys and 62% of girls said they were exposed to pornography before they turned 18. In the same survey, 83% of boys and 57% of girls said they had seen images of group sex online.”

Part of Deadpool’s “R” rating is because of graphic nudity. You are kidding yourself if you think viewing a movie with graphic nudity will not have an affect on you or your child. With the porn industry targeting 8-11 year old boys why would we want to subject them to that? Read this quote from the linked Patheos article:

“Because males are so visual (especially sexually), pornography is almost irresistibly attractive to them. Pornography is so addictive in the male’s mind because it causes a hormone to be released that actually creates a high. It works in the male brain similar to the way cocaine does. This hormone needs greater stimulation and causes the user to need and want more each time it is released. Porn users need bigger prizes, more degrading, more graphic, and more explicit images. The erotic images viewed are cataloged in a males’ mind for further use at a later time. They also cause him to be desensitized toward women and to make unfair and unrealistic comparisons.”

If we know all of this to be true about porn, and make no mistake about it the graphic nudity in this film constitutes as porn, then why would we open the door for that to our children? Why would we pay money for what might enable a struggle in their life, and in our life, for many years to come. Christians, we aren’t called to tolerate evil or close our eyes when it’s on the screen. No, we are called to flee from it. We are called to rebuke it. We are called to be above reproach. We are called to flee sexual immorality. What signal does this send if we allow our kids to see this film, or worse, see it with them?

Bottom line: Does watching this film draw you closer to and glorify God?

Parents, it will not make you cool or liked to not allow your child to see this movie. Maybe you are considering taking your child to see this movie. Instead of doing that invest in your child’s spiritual formation. They may not thank you now but they may just do it later. Make your kid’s spiritual formation a priority even if it cost you some cool points.

Sit down with your child and explain why you are not allowing them to see this movie. Tell Jesus died because of our sins. He died so we can have relationship with him. Why would we causally indulge in the things that crucified our Savior? Instead, plan a fun evening out doing something else. Just be with them. Before the night is over spend time in Scripture together. It’s an infinitely better story, and one that will also change your kids life in a much better way.

 

God Blessing America and Legislating Morality

Earlier this morning I had my wisdom teeth surgically removed. As I have napped and laid in bed I have though about the Republican debate last night, recent events here in the states, and concerns from christians. Often we hear about if we will pray God will hear our land (I wrote about that here). Is that true though? Sorry of any typos, I am still la little loopy and sluggish, but I would love to hear your thoughts.

Over the summer the Supreme Court ruled according to their interpretation the Constitution did not permit the banning of so-called same-sex marriage. Just like that in all 50 states homosexuals legally had the right to wed in the eyes of the American government. A county clerk in Kentucky, Kim Davis, has gotten a lot of attention for not issuing so-called same-sex marriage licenses. Her argument is that it violates her conscience and seeks an accommodation. I have a lot of thoughts on this situations but will not express them here.

Also over the past several weeks a group has released video after video of planned parent videos. Videos that show the selling or baby parts, and other heinous acts. This coming onto a collision with our elected officials very soon and I think things are going to get very interesting.

I want to make it very clear to you that I oppose so-called same-sex marriage, and I hate and oppose abortion. However, the question must be asked if we made laws against these and all others laws if America then would come back under the blessing that we have allegedly lost. You may disagree with me, I may be wrong, but I would like if you would read the words I will write and offer any rebuttal or thoughts you may have.

I will start with this: you cannot legislate morality. If so-called same-sex marriage was banned this would not end same-sex relationships. Marriage is only part of the issue. Simply making something illegal brings no glory to God. Same with abortion. Abortion could be (and should be) made illegal, but the reality is that abortion would most likely never cease altogether.

God is not into behavioral modification. He doesn’t want people not to get married because the law says they cannot, but still live together as a married couple would. As honorable as it would be to round up and prosecute all who perform abortions, He does not want people seeking illegal ways for it to happen. God is not about simply changing the way we live and going through the motions because of laws; friends that is legalism. God wants to transform our hearts.

Israel was God’s chosen nation of the Old Testament. They knew God, they were HIs people. They failed. Those Ten Commandments we fight to have displayed, they failed all of the, every year. This is why Yom Kippur existed. God sent prophets, curses, and captivity to a nation that He called His own. No man or woman is capable of keeping the law. That’s the point! You see, Israel had the laws and still failed. Their theocracy no longer exist even though the laws were put in place. Why? Because we are sinful and we act as we please. Israel knew and experience God in a much different way that the United States. The law was completely moral and they lost their land, and were taken into captivity more than once.

See, you can make all the laws you want. However, if people do not experience the life changing  power of the Gospel, if that doesn’t change them like on Jesus can then God gets no glory. He gets no glory our of legalism, He gets no glory for us following the law out of fear. No, God receives the Glory when He is our utmost satisfaction. God is glorified when we follow Him not because of laws but because we know that’s where joy is. God is glorified when we forsake who we are to make Him known.

We are not a Christian nation. Laws making us look more Christian do not make us that, and they will not bring blessing. What every individual here, and around the world, is to have their eyes opened to the reality of who Jesus is and what it means to follow him. Legislating morality I believe models that of the pharisees in the Bible. It does not mean we let go of our morals however. It means that we know our work will not bring God’s blessing, but only His work can do that. So what do we do? We go. We tell everyone. We pray. We fight for the voiceless. We serve the needy. We serve those against us. We love everyone. And we speak the Gospel with our words and lives. You want change? Turn to the only Sovereign who can bring the change. Legislating morality is a poor savior and it will not work. Jesus though will change and transform lives, something we all desperately need

“Reverend” Ellin Jimmerson’s Lack of Biblical Understanding

There has been a lot of buzz in Alabama recently with the Federal Courts allowing so called same-sex marriage in the state. Christians have been called bigots, among another names, for simply believing that only God can define marriage and that He did so in the book of Genesis. I am not surprised that those who are not Christians, or profess to be be do not take it serious, feel that we are bigoted in our belief. 1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us that the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing. There will be opposition for what we believe. I was sent an article this morning by a friend, and have seen others post it on Facebook, about a minister in Alabama who is supporting and participating in ceremonies for so-called same sex marriage.

“Revered” Eillin Jimmerson who is a pastor on staff Weatherly Heights Baptist Church in Huntsville has offered her opinion. She will be one of the pastors who will be advocating and participating in so-called same sex marriage ceremonies. It takes me by no surprise that churches who ordain and hire female pastors are among the churches who accept and celebrate so-called same sex marriage. The Bible speaks clearly to the issue and qualifications of the pastor/elder in the New Testament. This is why I have put the title reverend in quotes before her name. It is my belief, along with the Southern Baptist Convention and other denominations as well, that women are not called to be Elders/Pastors according to 1 Timothy 2:13. That is unpopular and seen as sexist by many in and outside the faith, if you don’t believe in the authority of Scripture I understand that.

There are endless opportunities for women in ministry, and women should minister but not when it comes to being and Elder/Pastor. I highly recommend John Piper’s free pdf “50 Crucial Questions” which you can find by following this link: http://cbmw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/50Q_contents.pdf

Understanding God’s Design

God’s design for marriage was established form the very beginning. Genesis 1:26-28 tells us that God made man and He made woman, uniquely different, complimentary to one another, and equal. Man is not more valuable than woman, each serve a role and purpose in God’s design. It’s said in the text both were made in the image of God. The Imago Dei teaches us that man and woman are equal in essence. Many will argue that the Bible teaches women are in a role of submission and men have undeserved power over women. I say, these individuals have not read or understand the context of Scripture. Man and woman are under submission to God, and are equal in essence. They have different roles in the family structure and when carried our they do one important thing: glorify God.

God’s design was one man and one woman for life. However, Genesis 3 happened which led to brokenness for all of man kind. This brokenness has led to abuse, adultery, divorce, and every other sin we are slaved to as humans.

Many will say Jesus never spoke on so-called same sex marriage. First, we must understand the role of the Trinity in Christian theology. What the Father spoke in Genesis the Son was in complete agreement with as well. Moreover, Jesus spoke to marriage in Matthew 19:5 reaffirming what was declared by God in Genesis 2:24. Not matter what some may say Jesus was no silent on the issue for Christians. Scripture is God-breathed, and the Bible speaks to marriage. We have drifted from God’s design due to sin which has led to brokenness. Our response when we understand that is to repent and believe and then pursue God’s design.

Troubling Comments

Let’s address some of Jimmerson’s misunderstandings from the Bible in her interview:

“The truth is that people in the 21st century would not be comfortable with the kinds of marriages which are represented in the Bible. For example, we would not be comfortable with the biblical model that is one man, one woman, one concubine.”

First, the Bible was not written to make anyone comfortable. It is the Revelation about God from God. It speaks of His holiness, and makes me uncomfortable honestly at times when I measure my life to the standard I have been called into.

Concubines are in the Bible, no way around it. Solomon had 300 concubines, and King David as well had concubines. The Bible never advocates, promotes, or says the concubines are okay. If you look to these men who had them you will see many problems because of their sin. Concubines are not Biblical model for marriage, but tell of the sin many men lived in during this time. The Bible does not teach this is an acceptable form of marriage, instead it shows what going against God’s design brings you: brokenness.

Importantly, the Son of David (Jesus) had no concubines. He has one bride, the Church. He has loved her perfectly and demonstrated well how a husband is to love his wife. This is God’s design.

“Nor would we be comfortable with the idea of a widow being compelled to marry her brother-in-law.” 

Now her is something that the Bible teaches that we do need to understand. In the case of a woman’s husband dying it was the responsibility of her brother-in-law to take her in as wife. Of course, there is the possibility that he was already married. This law from the Old Testament was known as levirate marriage. This was law for jewish people but not unique to jewish people only in this time.

Matthew Henry writes, “The custom here regulated seems to have been in the Jewish law in order to keep inheritances distinct; now it is unlawful.”

This was about family taking care of family, and preserving the family line. A childless widow at this time essentially had very little chance of surviving. If she had a son this was not needed. This law established a means to protect the widow, this is evident when we read the story of Ruth. This had to to with preserving families and tribes and we see this evidently since Jesus comes from the line of Ruth.

This is not God’s moral law, as marriage is, and so today this is not needed. Instead, it is recorded to show how God preserved the tribes of Israel and indeed the line from which Jesus would come. Jimmerson’s claimed again hold no water.

Scriptural Authority

If you are not a Christians I do not expect you to agree with me. I understand that completely. However, Jimmerson has not stood in authority of Scripture. She clearly believes Scripture is not sufficient and that the our faith changes and its truths change as the world does. The Bible is about God, He does not change. Jimmerson has proven where she stands, and that she lacks basic understanding of what the Bible teaches. One cannot claim to be a minister of the Word, and to live by the Word.

The Episcopalian Church and PCUSA have demonstrated this, as I believe Jimmerson. They not longer believe the Bible is inerrant and infallible. These churches no longer stand on the authority of Scripture and are looking more and more like the world. Not standing for what the Bible says is a slippery slope to not believing anything it says. For example, the PCUSA has denied the deity of Christ.

Where We Go From Here

So-called same sex marriage is here and it is not going anywhere. I have homosexual friends who I care for dearly. I have friends who struggle with same sex attraction. I completely understand why homosexuals want to become married, I truly do. I think the best thing we can do as Christians is listen and talk with our homosexual friends and neighbors. Largely Christians have handled this situation very poorly. I think we should understand where they are coming from, and all I ask is that those who oppose what I believe do the same.

It does not make me a bigot, it does not mean I hate you. On the contrary, it simply means based off what I believe that I live a certain way and I care. My faith is literally the most important thing to me in my life, it has shaped me and my views. Just as it has for the jew, the muslim, and the atheist.

I am not going to protest at the court house, I am not going to yell you are going to Hell. That benefits no one and is not the approach I believe Jesus would have us take. I may differ from you on this issue, but that does not mean that we cannot have genuine dialogue and see how we both come to different view on the matter. I can’t change your mind and it is pointless to try and do so. I believe only one’s belief in the truth of gospel can do that.

Church Covenant Model

Church Covenant Model I had to work on for one of my classes

*This is NOT the covenant for Enon Baptist Church*

As members of Enon Baptist church, we affirm this covenant with one another by God’s grace, for our good, and for God’s glory.

Having been led as we believe by the Spirit of God to receive divine grace and repentance through the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; 16:21; 20:21; Romans 10:9-10), surrendering our lives to Him (Luke 14:25-33), and being baptized in the name of the One and true Triune God (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; Romans 6:1-4), we come under this covenant together to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

Together, we acknowledge that God established the local church for the transformation of its members, and the sending of its members to carry out the Great Commission to become disciples who make disciples to the ends of the earth (Matthew 29:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:2). We will not forsake meeting together and make it a priority to attend corporate gatherings (Hebrews 10:25). To strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; To give it sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin.

Together, we want to see God change lives to His glory according to His plan, and acknowledge each member needs the help of the body to see that happen. We will exhort one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). We will pray for one another consistently (Philippians 1:3-6), and serve one another sacrificially (Romans 12:9-13). We will lovingly and genuinely confront one another and receive correction form one another as taught in the New Testament in regards to church discipline and restoration (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Galatians 6:1). We will gladly, consistently, and sacrificially support our church, the poor, and missions around the world for the spread of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 2:16; Mark 12:41-44).

Together, we will submit to the leadership of our church as they serve and care for the members  as they are led by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 13:17; Acts 6:1-7). Remembering they have been entrusted by God to teach His Word, and we will call on deacons who meet the qualifications to be servants of this church (2 Timothy 3:1-17). If we move from this local church, we will commit to another local body as soon as possible where we can carry out the truths of this covenant and the teachings of God’s Word.

Together, we acknowledge that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and will fail at times in keeping this covenant. We will strive to work towards keeping the truths of this covenant, and exhort one wan other to do the same. When we fail we will seek correction, ask and give forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-23; Colossians 3:13; 1 John 1:9), pursue reconciliation by way of repentance (Acts 3:19), and flee from our sin by reestablishing accountability (Luke 17:3; James 5:16).

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship with the Holy Spirit be with us all (2 Corinthians 13:14).

Amen.

Why I Don’t Bribe Students to Invite

We live in a church culture that is numbers drive, and quite frankly I am okay with that. Numbers represent people and people matter. We should want every seat filled in our churches so we can faithfully proclaim the Gospel to all the hearers. Student Pastors sometimes take this a step further. They bribe their students to bring a friend

Gift cards, money, and more for whoever brings the most friends on a Wednesday. I don’t think it’s necessarily sinful to do this, but you will never seeing me do this. I commend Student Pastors for wanting to fill up their Youth Rooms (for the right reasons, hopefully) I take a different approach though.

You see, I believe when we do these gimmicks to invite people we are sending the wrong message. Your student is not inviting someone because they are lost in desperate need of the Gospel. They are doing for that dollar, or whatever prize is being given. The greatest reward to bringing someone to church would be to see their life transformed by the very Gospel that saved them. Do we really need to be bribed for that to happen? When we become children of God it should not even be a question. We have to tell people what we have in us. I don’t want my students to invite someone because they will be rewarded. I want them to invite someone because they have been changed by the Gospel and understand the importance of every human being on earth hearing this message. The Gospel is why I want my students to invite friends, not reward.

Here are a few reasons that our students may not be inviting their unchurched friends:

Students Don’t Get the Importance

We are failing to communicate the importance of this of bringing friends. It’s not about having a big youth groups, or an awesome time. It’s about seeing people walk from darkness into light. I have attended too many youth services where the communicator tries too hard to be cool. Just preach the Gospel, it works. It was good enough to save us, and it’s good enough to save many more. A message that is filled with jokes, little Scripture, and sinner’s prayer at the end is not communicating (in my opinion) the importance of sharing our message.

Take a series and go over this important command. Teach what Jesus said and what the disciples lived through to get this message out. Emphasize if you have been saved their are two options when it comes to sharing our faith: obedience or disobedience.

Haven’t Been Taught

In a lot of cases the students don’t know how to invite others. I always tell my students do not be “odd for God.” The two biggest fears in outreach are rejection and not knowing what to say. We have to encourage and help students get past these two big fears. Students are not going to do something they don’t know how to do. Again, walk through Scripture and be honest that it won’t always go the way you want it. You can’t expect someone to solve a calculus equation without being first taught how to solve it. Same with inviting friends, we have to teach our students how and why we invite people to church.

Go out with them and let them see how you invite others, which is my next point.

They Haven’t Seen Us Do This

Are we asking students to do something we do not do? I am blessed to be in the schools all during the week. I lead Bible Studies in one of our local middle and high schools, and help out at FCA at another two schools. When I am there I make it a point to speak with students, and invite those without a church to come with us. If they see us inviting the students might just do the same. As the old saying goes, practice what you preach.

I am not perfect at this and it is somewhere I am challenging myself everyday to become better.

They Are Lost

Another plausible reason is your students are not saved to begin with. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. You can bet that if your students are not Christians that they will not be inviting others to church. Faithfully preach the Gospel every week and pray for your students. As we see them come to know Jesus we disciple them. This is a very important thing that we must do with students. In our discipleship. I really believe this is where we can emphasize the importance of bringing a friend to church, and learning more about what the Scriptures say. Are we faithfully discipling our students? If not, maybe we should try to that before we bribe them to inviting friends.

I want my students to want to bring their friends.  Not because our youth group is cool, not because it will make me happy, not because it makes them feel good, definitely not so they will be rewarded, but simply because they take joy and satisfaction in following and obeying Jesus.