I gotta read the whole thing?!
One of the biggest challenges for youth pastors today is getting students to engage with the Bible. When I say engage, I mean moving beyond “have you memorized a verse this day/month/year?” or “have you done your daily devo?” What we want to see are students who develop a passion for God’s Word in such a way that it transforms the way they live, act, and interact with others.
Of all the elements in Church Planting Movements by David Garrison, exalting the authority of God’s Word might be the most difficult to instill in youth ministry. I say this because its inclusion in student ministry is beyond our scope of programming and is dependent upon a students desire and drive to go deeper. This, however, should be our reason for pushing harder.
If we want students to go deeper and embrace the authority of Scripture, our ministries must model what a life transformed by the gospel looks like. This includes lifting the importance of scripture from the stage, having it modeled by adults and volunteers involved in the ministry, and pointing to the Word in all that you plan and program.
In most “What We Believe” statements you will find a variation of the following:
“I believe that the Bible is the ultimate authority and guide concerning Christian life, practice, and doctrine (Rom 10:17; 2 Tim 3:16; Heb 4:12). I believe that the Scriptures are authoritative, fully inspired by God, and an infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind (Matt 5:18).”
With this in mind, to what degree are we ensuring this becomes a priority to our students? When is the last time you not only pushed students to know the Bible, but know ABOUT the Bible. Granted, good apologetics rarely lead to conversions. But, a life transformed by Scripture is contagious.
How do you push your students to know and know about God’s Word? Is this a priority in student ministry, or has it been pushed to the fringes?