The same cross that saves us gives us the power to have victory over sin in our lives on a practical level. But, if we are honest, our practical sanctification is never a complete 180.
Here's a good basic rule of thumb: if it is something that Hitler is more likely to do than Jesus, it's probably a bad idea.
I am not a Catholic, but I am a priest. And, if you're a believer in Jesus, then so are you.
I've had awkward moments as a pastor. I've had them as a counselor. I've had them as a traveling evangelist.
Why would I resign from what many consider to be the most powerful position in a church ("the pastor") to pursue highly distracted and super twitchy teens?
Evangelism forces me to decide whether or not I believe in Jesus enough to tell someone else that he is the only way into God's favor.
Too many times in too many churches kids aren't taken seriously. They are cute distractions that can only absorb the most basic of Bible stories.
Remember the old 7up commericals? They billed their clear soft drink in a green can as "the un-cola." I love the idea of "un". Why? Because, while we don't serve an "un-God"
Every Christian needs something to hate. If sin and Satan don't top that list I don't know what does.
There is no single act in the Christian life that will trigger spiritual maturity in the life of a teenager more quickly and completely than evangelism.
So what's the preacher dare for all you preachers out there? To preach the Word! Don't preach around the Word or about the Word, preach the Word.
You may be thinking "Well, we as believers are righteous through Christ so I guess all of our prayers are effective, right?" Wrong!
Youth ministry has potholes too. For some these potholes are apathetic teenagers who shoot "rolling eyes and heavy sighs" our way when we try to make a spiritual point.
Stand on the corner and scream "REPENT!" at others. If it didn't work for Jeremiah the prophet, it won't work for you.
Can you see where you are headed? Do you have an ultimate youth ministry destination you are driving toward? Or are you flapping in the wind?
Many youth leaders have acquiesced to the seemingly inescapable reality that the average Christian teenager won't make it spiritually through college without trashing their Christianity, so they have settled for survival.
When I use the word "evangelism" what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Gracephobia is alive and well and it demonstrates itself in the adding of human effort as a pre-requisite to genuine conversion.
Read Spurgeon, Whitefield and Wesley. Read old sermons and old books from old dudes. Why? Because these guys weren't distracted by Tivo or Facebook or Twitter.
Enough of depending on outreach meetings and evangelists to do the work for us! Let us turn our churches, youth groups, small groups
"Okay, I'm done talking about evangelism. Now we are going to do it."
Jesus knew that when the disciples were put in a position of danger that they would be forced to either trust in him or run and hide.
What's your flat tire? In other words what are your personal and ministry capacity challenges?
I'm tired of holding my breath waiting for American evangelicals to realize that this country is not going to be converted to Christ politically.
"Daddy God doesn't talk to me. He is quiet. Why doesn't he talk to me with words?"