Summary: Teach your teens how to effectively follow through with their commitment to Christ when facing opposition using these three steps gathered from Jehoshaphat’s confrontation.
Air Guitar Contest
Choose contestants that you know will really "ham it up" on stage. Find some music that has a lot of guitar solos. Tell the contestants each will be judged (by the audience’s applause) on how well each can play the "air guitar". Send each contestant in one at a time, so that "ideas" won’t be stolen! It is hilarious to see what these kids can come up with!
-------------Opening Media Clip:
BEGIN CLIP AT Chapter 23
“Going For The Win”
BEGIN with the coach saying “Are you OK?”
STOP after everyone celebrates with Bobby lifted on shoulders
Read the scripture-2 Chronicles Chapter 20: 1-29
1. Station (Know your position in Christ)
Several centuries ago, a Japanese emperor commissioned an artist to paint a bird.
A number of months passed, then several years, and still no painting was brought to the palace.
Finally the emperor became so exasperated that he went to the artist’s home to demand an explanation.
Instead of making excuses, the artist placed a blank canvas on the easel. In less than an hour, he completed a painting that was to become a brilliant masterpiece.
When the emperor asked the reason for the delay, the artist showed him armloads of drawings of feathers, wings, heads, and feet.
Then he explained that all of this research and study had been necessary before he could complete the painting.
---------Illustration: Pony Express
When it comes to being on the alert and ready at any moment to do the job, it’s hard to beat the Pony Express.
This historically famous mail service between St. Joseph, Missouri, and California depended on constant movement and readiness.
Relay stations were established every ten to fifteen miles.
A rider would shout aloud as he approached a station, giving the station master very short notice that he needed to be outside waiting with a fresh mount.
Even when a rider came to the station where he was to spend the night, another rider was already mounted and waiting, ready to grab the first rider’s bundle of packages and continue the trip.
The completion of the transcontinental telegraph system rendered the Pony Express obsolete after just eighteen months.
But we have this service’s intriguing example of what it means to be ever watchful, in knowing the importance of being in your position.
“Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” - 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
Know where your station or where you’re at in your Christian life—if you don’t now your position in Christ, chances are you don’t know Christ.
2. Stand (Be committed in your stand for Christ)
Illustration: Football Players
I have often wondered what would happen if football coaches approached their work like most youth ministers are expected to.
For example, I wonder what would happen if when a player was too busy to show up for practice, the understanding coach simply said, “We’ll miss you. I hope you’ll be able to make it next week sometime.”
Imagine the players leaving practice and hearing the smiling coach say, “Thanks for coming. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow.”
If a football team operated like a typical youth ministry, we might expect concerned parents to call the coach, saying, “Can you tell me what’s been going on in practice?
My son says it’s boring, and he doesn’t want to come anymore. I was wondering, could you make it a little more fun for them?
And by the way, you might want to talk to the coach at the school across town to see what he is doing with his teens--he seems to have the right idea.”
A coach, responding like a typical youth minister, might first feel guilty that the practices were not meeting the boy’s needs, and he would try to adjust his program to suit this boy (and every other boy who complained that it was’nt fun).
Between trying to keep everybody happy and giving every student a good experience, the coach would squeeze in a little football practice.
And what kind of season would this coach have? It’s a safe bet that the coach wouldn’t be the only one who felt like a loser.
To expect that youth be committed to the church at the same level of commitment that would be expected on an athletic team would draw the charge of harsh rules and infringement of religious beliefs and that the expectation of commitment to the church has become unsatisfactory to most Christian parents.
Because the god of individualism pressures most youth ministers to gear their youth program to the lowest common denominator, NOT TO HOLD THEIR TEENS ACCOUNTABLE which seldom raises the expectations high enough for teenagers to experience real community and faith through that in Jesus Christ.