I have a book on my shelf titled Why So Many Gods? written by Tim Baker and Kim Etue. The writers’ goal is to put definition to the various religions, cults and spiritual expressions in this tolerant world and in so doing, show how Christianity trumps all the rest. It’s a bit of a curious book in that it doesn’t make a list, so to speak, of the deficiencies of all the other religions. That would be “intolerable” in a tolerant world. But is does get its point across. What does it matter being a Christian? A line from the introduction reads,
“Christianity is the only religion where God is really God, because it’s the only one where God saves the people instead of the people saving themselves.”
That’s hugely important to know and confess in a world that allows for so many spiritual aberrations.
Teens themselves seem to understand that they need to be equipped to confess their faith, defend their faith and live their faith. How do we respond from faith to a high school teacher who belittles us for believing God created the earth? What do we say to a friend who says our religion is aloof, arrogant and standoffish when it says Jesus is the only way to heaven? How do we talk about our faith? How are we faithful to God when so many “religions” beckon with their false idols and worldviews. How do we stand for what we believe when the world seems to be yelling, “Sit down!”
The LCMS teenagers at our Lutheran Youth Fellowship Teen Leadership Initiative asked those questions in consideration of a new leadership training module. This spring these young people were trained in Teens Stand Strong Training. They took their cue from Martin Luther who famously confessed, “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise.”
These young leaders were trained to lead this new workshop to their peers. Their leadership skills are amazing. God has blessed the church with some amazing teen and young adult leaders. Their faith convictions are awesome. They recognize that it does make a difference what you believe and how you live it. Their worldview begins with Jesus. They believe God’s Word is the truth Jesus said it was.
We have 40 youth and adults trained in this exciting leadership module. If you’re interested, we’ll work with you to get in touch with a trainer or order the module from the Youth Ministry Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and work through the material on your own.
Reminds me of a Bible passage, “Train up a child in the way he should go and even when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Pr. 22:6)
Our youth are not the future church, but they are the church’s future. They are our future leaders, our future pastors and teachers, our future elders and deacons, our future LWML presidents and Sunday school teachers. These future leaders are worth our investment as we train and support them to “stand strong” now and be equipped for the future.