Pastor's Corner

12 Jun
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Mid-Week Challenge

My sister and I are spending this week with a campus full of teenagers. No, I did not lose a bet; I’m attending Centrifuge at Carson Newman University with my church youth group.  My sister and I have fond memories of our time as campers when we were this age and we both looked forward to sharing our past experiences with our children who are here with us.  So far so good! All of our kids are learning to love it as we did and the other adult chaperones have yet to call for an Uber to the nearest Holiday Inn!  We are learning a lot about what students this age are thinking and what they are socially going through.  Kids are not that much different than we were.  I have enjoyed the stories they share in our church group time at the end of the day.  Eating meals with them has been a blast for me! Listening to their perspective on life and their take on the major issues of the day, I have come to realize these young men and women are a lot smarter than some in the world give them credit for.  These young adults are listening and forming opinions on our world quicker than I remember we did. God has reminded me on a few occasions this week as to how important our roles are as parents and role models.  The world is throwing things at them at a faster pace, younger age and higher intellectual level than you or I could have imagined possible.  Satan is battling for their souls but they are not going without a fight.  Our job is to make sure they are ready for this battle.  Some cool songs, flashing lights and emotional speakers are not enough to get the job done any more.  These young adults are hit with lifestyles and personal expressions that I never knew existed.  Issues that you and I were told to avoid are now issues they are told by culture to embrace. Words that were defined for us one way now have totally opposite meanings.  

In all of this, what I am experiencing just reinforces what I have always known to be true.  Methods of teaching might change but the Message never does.  With all the changes in technology and the flashy things we use to appeal to the senses, the one thing that has not changed is the need to preach the unchanging truth of God’s Word.  Out of all the tools available to reach this generation the one tool that remains most powerful is the Bible.  God has given us the answers to the cultural questions of our day and if our young adults are not taught the Bible they will be forced to use the tools the world places before them instead.  As parents we do them a disservice to give them a great emotional experience and no theological truth to back it up. Like it or not they can emotionally handle issues we could not at this age, in fact, they have to!  They are a lot tougher than we give them credit for and we were at this age!  

If you are a parent or role model for young adults don’t be afraid to tell them the truth about whatever they might be asking about.  In addition, don’t be afraid to use the words “I don’t know!” Your honesty will mean more to them than you realize.  “Let’s find out together” will get you a lot further than “because I said so!”  When they find out you are just as interested in something as they are or that you struggle just like they do they your bond will grow and trust will be established.   And here is another tip, if you hear something and don’t know what it is, ask them!  Don’t play it cool and pretend you know; you’ll just embarrass yourself further.  Come to find out, honesty really is the best policy!  

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4 

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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