Summary: The church must be involved to fill the gap when a teenager graduates from the teen ministry.
Intro: The church has the main responsibility of the Commission of our Savior. It is more than merely Win ‘Em, Wet ‘Em, and Work ‘Em!
I. Ambassadors of the Gospel - Go ye therefore and teach all nations
We are not merely to see people saved, We are to make disciples!
A. Reconcile the Alienated
2 Corinthians 5:18 "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God."
This responsibility is shirked, ignored, and even misrepresented by methods. We are to be constantly aware of here and around the world.
B. Recognize the Affliction of Sin!
Romans 3:12 "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
II. Identification of the Saved (baptism) baptizing them
A. It is a Public Profession
Acts 8:36 "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
B. It has the Purpose of Identification - abused verse - Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
The word “for” if taken as water baptism is necessary for salvation, would be inconsistent with other Scriptures. Think about this:
2 verses in Romans chapter 6, clearly Spiritual baptism - no more
Chapter 10, which tells us how to trust Christ - never mentions water baptism. No references to Baptism in 2 Corinthians, Philippians, 1 & 2 Thess, 1 & 2 Tim, Titus (pastoral Epistles) - And Paul even said - 1 Corinthians 1:14 "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;" If baptism were necessary for salvation - would Paul have said this. Scripture must agree with Scripture - SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Identification - Jessie James wanted FOR murder - is that advertisement to hire him? NO, he is wanted because he committed murder. We are baptized because we have received the remission of sins!
III. Discipleship of the believers - Teaching them to observe all things!
A. I am striving to GROW you!
2. Staff - we are a team to get the jobs done!
Sunday School, Children’s ministries (SS, Awana, Kids Choir, Skids) - Changes will come, must be revamped and strengthened (most are lost before they become teens. Youth ministries (teens, activities, Sunday School, Sunday afternoon Bible study, Teen accountability, and activities) Adult ministries (Sunday School, Life 2 Life)
3. Lay Leadership
4. Life 2 Life
We are striving to see you and your family grow!! But WE HAVE A GAP!
The biggest gap in our ministry has always been the transition from high school to family life. Young people begin college, and have a tough transition of life.
George Barna, Josh McDowell and others have statistics stating that 85% of teens raised in evangelical churches in America stop attending church in their late teens and early 20’s. Another survey puts the number at 70%. WHY?
1. There is no good foundation in doctrine ( we are working on that)
Evolution and other issues have caused doubt in Biblical truths.
We must have a Biblical foundation.
2. The inconsistency of the Home - When your children are not faithful, it goes back to the home. Our kids can make bad decisions, like us all, but an inconsistent home will produce unstable young adults.
3. The number one reason stated in two surveys were life changes.
Why would we have a church that life changes would remove our children?
- They get jobs that keep them from church
- They do not feel connected to the church anymore.
A large part of those surveyed stated they had no connection to their pastor or church after they left the teen department. It is as if they lose their church! Where is the next generation?
Remember the excitement of going into the first grade, then the Junior department, then the TEEN DEPARTMENT! Then kicked out into life. And many out of their connection to the church. THERE IS A GAP!
We need to get to the point that our teens get excited about their next phase in life.