Summary: Faith Development is more than just a phrase used in churches, it should be the heartbeat of bringing believers closer to God.

I. Hoyt Family -

"Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they’re not in a marathon they are in a triathlon — that daunting, almost superhuman, combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of bicycling, and 2.4 miles of swimming. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America."

Small Group Questions

1. What does this video mean to you? How do you feel?

2. Do you think you could do something like that for a child?

3. What can we take away from the persistence of Dick Hoyt?

I hope that seeing this video and hearing the words of both the father and son, will give you an idea of what our spiritual life must look like. We cannot just say, ok God I accept you and never come back to Him. In order to become a better Christian and someone who reflects Christ, we must continually look to him, through studying His word, prayer, spending time with other Christians. Being a Christian is not a sprint but a marathon. How many of you would be able to walk into a team meeting at your school, tell your coach that you wanted to play and then never show up again? Do you think your coach would like that? Would you still be part of the team? Sometimes that is how we view our Christian life. We have accepted God as your personal Saviour but we don't really live like it. When try to fit God into our life, rather than fitting our life into God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

One of the jobs of the church is to give you the opportunity to grow in your faith. As we continue to look at the 5 Practices for a Fruitful Youth Ministry, we will look today at Intentional Faith Development. Some of you might have been here when Pastor Curtis talked about it during the adult services, others of you might not have any clue what I am talking about. When I say "Intentional Faith Development" I am talking about having a plan for the spiritual growth of each student in our ministry. This would be things like small groups, Sunday School, retreats, devotionals during trips, VBS and camps. Intentional Faith Development is having a plan to help students grow deeper in Christ with the help of those who are ahead of you.

Poll Everywhere.... How important is your spiritual Growth?

Before I get into our plan for "Intentional Faith Development", I want to talk to you about where we get this idea. Most of us at one time or another have been on a team. It could have been a sports team, debate team, chess team, marching band, concert choir, jazz band or any other group activity. When we joined this band, we were at a certain level. For some of us, that level was higher than others, for others of us, that level was lower.

Story of playing football in 7th grade

. Never played before

. weight less than 100 pounds to other 200+ pounds

The teams we join have coaches for a reason. We never go up to the coach and tell them how to do their job, because most of us have never been where the coach has been. We don't know, what the coach knows. Some of us might think we do, but we usually don't. The same thing can be said for our Christian faith. If we are not seeking the council and advice of others who have gone before us, our growth will be very limited. We must look to the generations ahead of us, to see things that we can't possibly see.

When the church first started, after the departure of Jesus back to Heaven. We read the following verse..

Acts 2:37-47 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,

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