Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
10 Times Better.
Better: Having good qualities in a greater degree than another. With superior excellence.
No matter who the YP is and what church he serves, everyone I know would love for their Youth Dept. to be BETTER…
By the way, that is why they keep us around.
We are to take the immature 7th grader and make them BETTER.
We are to take the backslidden Sophomore and make them BETTER.
We are to win the Bus Kid to Christ and help them to be BETTER
We are to Help Public School Kids be BETTER, Christian School Kids Be BETTER…
We are to LOVE them where they are and then LEAD them where they need to be.
That is next level. Better is Next Level.
Whatever the next level is for my Teens, I want them to Grow to that NEXT LEVEL.
1. Next Level Christianity- Walking with God. Prayer. Bible Reading. Spirit filled Living.
2. Next Level Character- Work, Integrity, Honesty, Helpfulness, Attitude,
3. Next Level Convictions- Higher Standards, Dress, Music, Entertainment, Friends
4. Next Level Compassion- Burden for people, love for souls, love for ministry.
5. Next Level Communication- Talking to you, people skills in general, authority relationships,
6. Next Level Commitment- Making Decisions and Keeping those Decisions,
So, how do we take Teenagers to the Next Level?
I. Initiate Appetites
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Teens have natural desires for fun, fellowship, relationships, excitement, new things, technology, sports, fashion, etc.
However, as leaders, we must initiate spiritual appetites in them for the things of God.
We must cultivate a desire in the next generation to love the things of God.
- Bible Reading, Bible Study, Preaching, Teaching, Soul Winning, Memory, Drills, KJV-
Yes these are spiritual desires, but they are appetites that must be acquired.
- Prayer, Prayer Meeting, Prayer Requests, Fasting, Answers to Prayer, God’s Moving, Holy Spirit Power-
Salvation brings the Spirit that desires these, but the flesh fights and must be trained and taught.
Church Attendance, Good Music, Separation, are all appetitites that must be initiated by Powerful Preaching and Strong Leadership.
II. Individual Attention-
Book of John-
Jesus spends one-on-one time to…
- Select leaders (1:35-39, 42, 43)
- Speak the good news (1:47-51; 3:1-21; 4:4-26; 9:35-39; 18:28-38)
- Heal and counsel (4:43-54; 5:5-9, 14; 9:6-7)
- Encourage (8:10-11; 11:38-40)
- Comfort (11:21-37; 19:26-27; 20:14-16)
- Rebuke (18:10-11; 19:20-23)
- Confront other leaders (John 20:24-29)
- Restore fallen leadership (21:15-19)
There is grand blessing in spending time with your teenagers. INDIVIDUAL TIME!
Sometimes, and for some of them, the best thing you can give to them is TIME!
Visit them Regularly- Individually.
Call them, just to say Hello-
Facebook or Tweet Them
Teen Sunday School Class, Youth Meetings and GROUP activities are great, but if you want to take Teens to the NEXT LEVEL it is going to take some Individual Attention.
III. Isolate Apprehension
Stand STRONG against Sin
Never Condone Wrong
Never Criticize Other Authorities
Don’t Isolate the Teen, Isolate the Temptation.
I never confront a teen about a personal problem in front of a group.
I will confront a teen about a public problem.
If a teen will disrupt my class or sermon, I will “smite the scorner”.
If a teen has the guts to post sin on Facebook, they have no right to be upset if I address that sin.
But as a general rule, I want to isolate the apprehension, not the teenager.
Sin is the problem, not the teenager.
Worldliness, carnality, apathy, cold heart, back slidden, lost, – may be the problem- but not the Teenager.
IV. Interesting Activities
Jesus had fish fries, foot washings, revivals, dinners, weddings, funerals, parties at peoples houses, fishing trips, wilderness expeditions, mountain climbing, water skiing, etc.
He kept it interesting with the disciples and the multitude..
At school, with friends, in the world… things are interesting and FUN! Like it, lump it, bump it or jump it.
THE WORLD IS FUN !!!!
NOW IF YOU DON’T HAVE SOMETHING FUN…. YOU WILL HAVE YOUR BORING STUFF ALONE!!
The things you do in your youth department are the grips that help us pull our teens closer and closer to Christ.
You will either BUILD or DESTROY your Youth Department with YOUR ACTIVITIES.
If they are ALL FUN you will develop carnal, worldly teens who want to play all of the time.
If they are ALL CHURCH you will develop Pharisees who think they are better, cant enjoy life, hermits.
WE MUST BE BALANCED… WE MUST BE BALANCED… WE MUST BE BALANCED… WE MUST BE BALANCEd
V. Illustrious Associations
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
If you want to take your teenagers to the NEXT LEVEL, it is going to take more than YOU!
You will need to help them build some illustrious associations….
Encourage Teens to have good relationships with their Parents….
Even if their Parents may not be as “Fundamental” as you would like…. THAT IS STILL PARENTS !!!!
Help them build relationships with authorities who can help them grow closer to Christ…
Teenagers need to have a relationship with the Pastor…
Pastor’s Wife, Youth Pastors Wife, Ladies in the Church, Principal, YP,
Build up PREACHERS to your teens…. Help them have heroes…
Lebron James is not going to take them to the NEXT LEVEL…. But John Seay Can!!!!!
Get them to Youth Conferences… NYFC… Camps…
Surround them with opportunities to find another rope to pull them to the NEXT LEVEL
VI. Immediate Action
1 TIMOTHY 4:12
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Be sure your teens know that there is no waiting period for them to Walk with God or to Serve God!
They can Immediately start to Walk with God…. They can Immediately Serve the Lord…
Push them to SERVE….
Bus Ministry… Teen Soul Winning… Cleaning Up… Nursery… Whatever it may be…
Get them involved NOW !!! The Next Level is not at Bible College it is 7th grade… 8th grade… 9th grade….
Lets take our Teens to the Next Level.
Clays Mill Road Baptist Church