Summary: What the church ought to be now and in the future
Good morning, church! We start back into our series through the New Testament book of Titus called “Grow, Church, Grow!” As we get ready to hear from God’s word, take your Bibles and turn to Titus 2:1-8.
Sometimes I wonder what Central Park Church of Christ will look like in years to come. If I could jump into the future 30 years, I wonder what I would find. Would I be excited to see hundreds of people worshipping God, or would I be disappointed to find only a handful of people?
Would people be excited about how our church is impacting the community? Would we hear that missionaries are being supported and making an impact overseas? Would we find that we had sent out multiple young people into full-time Christian service? Or would the attitude be one of apathy towards the needs of others?
Would people come up to me and say, “I cannot believe how much I am learning about the Bible!” Would they say, “You've got to see what's happening in our children's ministry!”
I think it would be great to come back in 30 years and find that people have been led into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ; that families have been strengthened, young people have been encouraged, older people have been ministered to, and most of all, Jesus Christ has been honored.
Last Sunday was Youth Sunday and we were very blessed to have our youth group join us here in the main auditorium, amen? This morning, we’re going to turn our primary focus on young adults.
Last week, we learned that Jesus taught and exemplified the idea that young people are important to God. Today, Paul is going to teach us that young adults are important to God. Young adults bring energy to the mission of the church. They bring creativity and excitement to the mission.
So this morning as we look at Titus 2:1-8, let's read it with the future in mind. Let us “Plan for the Future.” In these verses Paul gives us three things we can do to make our church what it ought to be now and in the future.
Titus 2:1-8 – You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
Develop Young Believers
I think it is safe to say that in 30 years the strength of the church will rest on the shoulders of those who are under the age of 45 today. If our church is going to have a dynamic future then it is crucial that we develop the young people.
I believe that a wise church will plan for the future by placing an emphasis on developing the young people. This may not sound fair to some, but we have to realize that the majority of people who become Christians do so before they are 21 years old as was shown in the statistics we heard last week.
The first thing to focus on in developing our young adults is education. Paul’s emphasis in these eight verses is teaching and training. Jesus told us in Matt. 28:19-20 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Here are important questions we need to answer here at Central Park. What ministries do we offer that focus on the needs of young adults? What opportunities do we offer for them to give of their unique, energetic, and creative abilities in the ministry of our congregation? What opportunities do we utilize to pour our lives into their lives?
Some of us who are older have the view that our young adults are under-committed. They don’t have the commitment to be regular in church attendance. The problem is that many of our young adults are over-committed – especially if they’re parents of young children.