This weekend at my old church, over 1,600 high school students and their leaders are going on their annual winter retreat called BLAST. It is a powerful, energetic time of intensive teaching where the students are challenged to rise above the common and average way of life to follow further The Way of Life.
Church camp can have a bad reputation of rules and multiple verses of Kumbaya. Not this generation of students. The teaching times they have deal with real heart issues and every student who has attended with a ready heart has come back changed.
These students are our next Timothys. They are bravely standing up when others want to skulk away from the discomfort. These young men and women want to follow hard after the Lord that sought after them.
At our new church this weekend, we are hosting a conference for those who serve in the Children’s/Youth ministries. The leaders in those classes will be equipped and encouraged, as well as challenged, to share Christ in a way that is relevant and tangible for the next generation.
All of this “training up” makes me think of Paul with Timothy. Paul didn’t tell Timothy to come back when he was an adult. Paul didn’t dismiss Timothy from being a part of sharing Christ– no way. Paul reminded Timothy- and those around him- that Timothy was a full-grown, full-sized, Holy Spirit-filled man who was serving Christ. (See Romans 16:21, 1 Corinthians 4:17, 16:10, 2 Corinthians 21:1 for examples).
My heart is that when this next generation becomes the “Pauls” of the world they will remember those who stood before them holding out their hand to bring up and along side to be trained up and loved on as they learned about Christ and His amazing plan.