The early church had to be close to each other because they were often ostracized from their family and society. Like many today who leave cultish religions, the early church only had each other as family. It was important for the health of the church that the members of the early church family to be close. The Apostle Paul shows the health of the church in his closing salutations as he referenced many people and what they did for him and the church. If a church is to be healthy, they will embrace and emulate all of these characteristics that the Apostle Paul pointed out about these Christians. Let me share with you the traits that a church needs to be healthy.
I. Spiritual Youth Group Serves People – 16:1 “servant of the church”
A selfish youth group is not a spiritual youth group. When the youth department is filled with self interest, it isn’t long until it is filled with strife. Young people should be taught and should practice serving others. (Phil 2:1-5) Teens who come to Youth Group not thinking about what the Youth Group can do for them, but rather, what they can do for the Youth Group make up a Spiritual Youth Group.
II. Spiritual Youth Group Helps People – 16:2 “succourer of many” – 16:3 “Helpers”
A Youth Group should exist to help other teenagers. Every member of the Youth Group should have a vision for helping other people. Teens should be trained to help the hurting, the wounded, the backslidden, the carnal and the struggling. The goal of EVERY ministry of the church should be to help people. A Spiritual Youth Group also helps those leading. A Spiritual Youth Group is quick to help those helping them. They are “helpers” in the Youth Group, in the church ministries and to those leading the church.
III. Spiritual Youth Group Sacrifices for People – 16:5 “in their house”
A Spiritual Youth group is one that sacrifices of self for people. Here Paul mentions some who had opened their homes for the church. They gave of their time, talent and treasures for others. Convenience is outweighed by a conviction to help others in a Spiritual Youth Group.
IV. Spiritual Youth Group Loves People 16:6
The amount we love each other is a direct display of our love for Christ. (John 13:35). One of the best ways to be Christlike is our love. A Spiritual Youth Group loves each other. Through good times and bad, love covereth a multitude of sins. It is a carnal youth group that loves only a select few. Cliques, criticism and carnality have no place in a Spiritual Youth Group. Love dominates the spirit and is spread to ALL involved.
How is your Youth Group? Is it spiritual?
Maybe a better question is- If everyone in your Youth Group were like you, what kind of Youth Group would you have?
We should strive to have a Spiritual Youth Group.