READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary l The scripture verses are written by Paul who mentored Timothy as a young pastor. Raised in a godly family, Timothy was taught scriptures by his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice from young, laying the foundation for Timothy to become a pastor. It takes a village to raise a child. Wesley Methodist Church is like a village with different generations of worshippers. Each has a part to play in lifelong discipleship.
As a secular state, Singapore’s values are decided by the prevailing morals of society and not by any particular religion. Christian parents have a role in instilling Christian values and modelling their faith to their children. Otherwise, the next generation may grow up not knowing the Lord and what He has done (Jgs 2:10-12).
3 Discipleship Lessons to help us lay the foundation for lifelong discipleship:
1) By creating opportunities for our young to encounter God
Deu 6:4-9- constantly talk about God, love God with all our heart, mind and strength, impress them on our children. We create opportunities for our children to know God not just intellectually but to come to be amazed at God’s greatness and be transformed by God. Only God can transform hearts but we do our part. We can encourage our children to attend YM activities and programmes like YM camps.
2) By modelling our faith to the young (1 Tim 4:12, 15-16)
Set an example for believers (at any age) in –
a. speech –honest and loving words, speak the truth in love
b. conduct – lives guided by God’s word
c. love – motivation for life, love God and love others
d. faith – trust God and be faithful to Him
e. purity – keep mind, body and heart pure
Be diligent and watchful to live godly lives consistent with priorities, e.g. do we let our children skip church to prepare for exams?
The values we impart are caught more than taught.
3) By investing in the next generation (2 Tim 2:2)
A goal of discipleship is to make more disciples. There is a multiplier effect as we make disciples who then go on to make more disciples. In the book “GenerationS” Pastor How from Heart of God Church, wrote “Discipleship is not just reaching our generation but many generations to come. Youths need to be invited, included and involved before they can be influenced and impacted. Generations are not replacements but reinforcements.”
Pastor Edmund Chan shared how we can invest in youths not by telling them what to do but getting them to pass on their faith:
1) Capture their attention – there are many voices and distractions in the world but we help them to see there is something much better which is God
2) Fire their imagination – help them see God’s kingdom, the power and glory of God
3) Redirect their enthusiasm – redirect their efforts and passion to pass on the faith
4) Build their foundation – get them into the Word of God to inspire their faith
Will you be a Paul to a Timothy around you? Consider how you can play a part in nurturing the Next Generation. Discipleship takes time and effort and we may not see the fruit of our labour. Every small act and encouragement helps in the building of God’s kingdom and in God’s time and season there will be fruit for His glory.
(Sermon notes by Woo Choi Yin)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- What is one key takeaway for you from this message?
- What are ways we can create opportunities for others to encounter God?
- In 1 Timothy 4:12, the Apostle Paul shared 5 areas of our life that we can model our faith, he said “…set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” Which of these 5 areas do you struggle with? And which of these 5 areas do you aspire to live out?
- How are you living out that call to be a disciple-maker? Are you investing your life in anyone at the moment?
- Are there areas that you are currently serving in that involves nurturing our Next Generation here in Wesley MC? If not, are there areas you can prayerfully consider serving today in any of our NextGeneration Ministries?