READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary l Share the vision of Wesley YM: Youths transformed into the likeness of Christ, to know God and respond to Him with growing faith and obedience.
The purpose of the Wesley Youth Ministry (YM) is to lay the foundation for lifelong discipleship of our congregation aged 15-23, so they may enter adulthood continuing to seek and serve the LORD God.
- Intentionally allow our youths to set the example – with spiritual eyes, see them as our Christ-like heroes; allow ourselves to be blessed by their perseverance, creativity and passion. YM’s purposeful community is special for youths because it allows them in small groups to be mentored, discipled, and held spiritually accountable to embody Christian virtues; and provides opportunities for them to serve with youthful energy.
- Lead our youths by example – We help them realise Paul’s exhortation to young Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but “set an example for the believers”when we model for them “speech and conduct” done “in love, faith and purity” (1 Timothy 4:12), watching our “lives and doctrine closely to save both ourselves and our hearers.” (v16)
- a) IN SPEECH, say only words that (i) encourage and build up (Ephesians 4:29, 1 Thessalonians 5:11), (ii) praise and glorify God (Psalm 71:8). Let there be no unwholesome talk, filthy language, gossip or slander (Colossians 3:8, Proverbs 10:18-21), no swearing in God’s name (Exodus 20:7), nothing hurtful or rude (James 3:9-12) in our talk.
- b) IN CONDUCT, show that in prioritising God, we surrender all our plans to Him to direct. Crucially and patiently establish a relationship of journeying together with them in a safe environment of sharing and mutual acceptance.
- Lay key foundations for our youths to be model examples for their times – that will keep them strong in the midst of any storm.
- a) LOVE – Be that example of agape God-initiated, sacrificial love (1 John 3:16) so our youths can taste and know for themselves that God is the source of this undeserved, unconditional love. (Romans 5:8) Grow mutual discipleship by patiently persevering and compassionately journeying with them through crucible sufferings, their ups and downs. Serve with them the last, least and lost in society so they may continue to serve and show God’s love to others beyond themselves.
- b) FAITH – The home is where our young can seek for themselves God’s gift of grace to trust Him (Ephesians 2:8-9) when they observe their parents asking to trust God, with authenticity, in their struggles. Weekly Saturday YM, including YM camp (16-19 Dec), are worshipful faith environments where God transforms youths to live for Christ. Together, we can create opportunities for them to intentionally seek and personally encounter God as their Father (not Grandfather, the Father of their fathers).
- c) PURITY – Being chaste flows from a pure undefiled heart longing after God, and encountering Him for who He is. (Matthew 5:8) Be authentic to pray for and with our children to help them stay pure for the LORD, and be His salt and light in the world.
2 Timothy 2:2 shows a powerful process for lifelong discipleship – entrust the Word of God to “reliable people” (Paul to Timothy) “who will also be qualified to teach others” (faithful men and women), so that they too will continue to teach the generations that come after.
Unless the church cultivates a vision for faithful persevering discipleship, there may come a generation that completely loses their faith. “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what He had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10)
Both parents and youths today need encouragement to journey through life with Godward Christ-centred intentionality. As YM celebrates 20 years of God’s faithfulness, what foundations are we laying, and encouraging our youths to lay for the generations to come?
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- What is one key takeaway for you from this message?
- How can we intentionally allow our youths to set an example for us?
- How is the example you set in speech and conduct? What are some areas for growth and improvement?
- What are the three key foundations we lay in discipling our youth? Why are they so important?
- What is one thing you can do to build the faith of a youth in your sphere of influence?
- What does unconditional love mean for you? What is the sacrificial love you can show?
- Will you invest in the discipleship of our youth today? Prayerfully consider how you can serve or support the ministry of Youth Ministry.