We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labour, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. Colossians 1:28,29
When it comes to youth and kids ministry at our church, this verse sums up what we are trying to do.
Our first priority in all our ministries is to proclaim Christ through teaching Gods word to them. Whether that is at Generators or 46ers kids clubs, SWAT youth and SWAT groups or Kids church. We are always seeking to proclaim Christ as we encounter him in the bible. There is no greater tool for ministry than this sword of truth that penetrates and changes lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. As I told the MAP trainees at a recent training seminar on youth ministry, good youth ministry reflects a faith in God that he can change young people’s lives by the power of his Holy Spirit working through his word. If we really believe this, it will entirely shape our ministry. If we don’t believe this, it will be reflected in what we do as well. In that, we will turn to other methods to try and change youth. But the only sword of the spirit is God’s word. That is the weapon he uses for change. And we need to keep faith in God to do that work.
This verse also spells out our goal in youth and kids ministry. We are aiming to present everyone perfect or mature in Christ. It is not enough to just desire kids to become Christians, to be converted. We want to see them mature as believers as well. Perfection will only come when Christ returns, but we want to see them become mature followers in the meantime, not tossed here and there by life and the deceit of this world. Not prone to trying every new fad that comes along, but holding fast to Gods word and the steadfast God that we learn of and live by. We want them to know God, to enjoy him, to grow in obedience, to proclaim him and be equipped to do so. These are the signs of maturity. And maturity comes from knowing God and how he created us best to live.
In our recent Generators and 46ers leaders meetings we have been wrestling with this verse together, and have been aptly reminded that as we seek to proclaim Christ and mature the kids in our care, that we must labour hard at this because it is so important, but that we must labour not in our own strength but with all Christ’s energy, which so powerfully work in us. We do not do this alone, and we must not do this alone, for our energies and power are pitiful compared to Christ’s. How foolish it would be then to try and go it alone.
We often thank God in our various leadership teams, SWAT, Generators, 46ers and Kids church, for the great privilege it is to be used by God to help mature our kids and youth in Christ. Please pray that we may struggle with all “his energy which so powerfully works in me (us)”.