Young Adults: Learning to Live as Disciples
The sudden influx of mutant dandelions in our otherwise modest backyard, remind me that once again, summer is just around the corner. While most institutions and study groups are gearing down for the (hopefully) sunny season, I feel that the Young Adults group is really just starting to gear up.
After a few weeks of DVD studies, and individual bible studies at the start of the year, we are now kicking things up a notch, as we dive into the big question of ‘How do we live kingdom first?’ and then going forth, and doing just that.
WEEK ONE: What is a disciple?
(Coincidentally, a day or two before this lesson, I asked myself this very question) The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as : ‘one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.‘ We added a few descriptions of our own; a follower of Christ, teacher, leader, servant, one who is changed, one who makes more disciples, etc.
We spent some time in Matthew 4:18-20:
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
From there, we broke it down into three themes, or steps:
1) Follow: A conscious decision, that requires us to let Jesus sit in the throne of our hearts, instead of ourselves.
John 12:26 : 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
2) I will Make You – The transformation of the heart, as a result of time spent with Jesus.
3) Fishers of Men – The invitation to join the mission of Christ; to
seek and save the lost, as well as take care of other followers.
WEEK TWO: Why do we serve?
Why do we serve?
Because Jesus did.
How are we to serve?
Get on the field! (Running with the sports analogy here…)
Society might sometimes try to coax us into staying in the stands, ( Perhaps where it is warmer, where there are snacks; where we can kick up our feet, sit back and relax ) but we are called to greatness!
With this in mind, we are also reminded that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
In beginning our pursuit of where and how we are to serve, we were encouraged to keep in mind these questions:
1) Does it glorify God?
2) Does it edify others?
WEEK THREE: Ministry
Switching gears a bit, we begin to make the shift from Young Adults nights, to Young Adults Ministry. In this venture, we learned that God is about transformation.
Romans 12:2 :
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
God desires us to build our life upon him; to build our life upon the rock. ‘The Message’ paraphrase of Matt.7:24-27 helps to put that in perspective:
24-25 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
WEEK FOUR: Roles
Dipping our toes into the water, as we stepped into one of the following ministry roles: YA Noticing Ministry; Planning Team; Host/Snack Team; Prayer Team; Helping Hands; Outreach; Teaching.
Later into the evening, we each shared our experiences regarding our particular roles. I felt blessed and encouraged to see how the Spirit was at work in people’s lives through these experiences.
Mike and I have hosted Young Adults for about two years now. (Wow, time flies!) I feel the Lord has great things ahead for the young men and women of this group, and I look forward to continuing this journey with them!