“It makes me feel…”

A youth ministry built on knowing Word of God, doesn’t sound sexy, or attractive but if our youth ministries are built on feelings – stories making you feel valuable, atmospheres making you feel close to God, songs making you feel loved, there will come a point when all that’s gone and our feelings betray reality.

Knowing Christ and making Him known – knowing from the Word of God, knowing you are valuable, knowing you are a sinner, knowing you are loved, knowing you are forgiven and God is faithful and close to you, then…then you have something to stand on, and in the face of the hurricane that is rejection, acceptance, failure, success, isolation, community, doubt, confidence, anxiety, security, betrayal, trust, embarrassment, celebration, guilt, forgiveness, torment, peace and many more experiences of growing up, you will have a life built on strong foundations that will endure.

I have so many conversations with young people who chase the wind in terms of experience of God. It’s a strange paradox of pain and blessing in drawing alongside them and pointing to a Life that pursues truth and righteousness not buzz and fuzz.

As was pointed out to me by good friends, feelings are important but they should be informed by truth. Iain Kennedy (Assoc. Pastor at Renfrew Baptist) said “Have the truth of the Gospel speak into every moment of life, even the feelings, be discerning: just don’t let your faith depend on the recreation of any particular feeling. The Gospel demands all of us, including our feelings.”

Kenny Rogan (Oak Hill College Student) was helpful with his suggestion to “lead to feel based on what they know is true”, or in Colin Ross'(Elder at Hillview Community Church) words “tempered and levelled out by our knowledge”.

I’m not superman, and so when I get bad news, I feel gutted, sad, angry etc… BUT when I come round to what I KNOW is good and true, then my feet are on solid ground. Thinking in the other direction, when I sing “my chains fell off my heart was free, I’m alive because of You…” And I know I’m forgiven, it should stir a greater feeling of joy and celebration than when your football team equalise in the 82min!

Truth regardless of feeling. Let’s lead our young people to feel yes, but feeling grounded in what they know.

Check out Alistair Begg nail the point exactly Knowing V Feeling from the 2009 West Coast Conference.

V Festival: The Challenge

vfestival_logo_2013Well Hello I’ve now posted my second blog but I am now however off to V festival. I am not going as a punter. I am going with a Church of England team, We give out water, but we also look to have great conversations with people who come to our Marquee. This is the Third year I will have done it now. Every year a new challenge has appeared. But with that has come great conversations and hopefully some conversions. The Passage that I am going to take with me this time to the V festival is :

Colossians 3:15-17

15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The reason for this, is it is very easy to just be used as a service at V fest’ To be just used as a watering hole, and get into the wrong conversations with people. But it should be everything that our team does should all be done “In the name of the Lord Jesus” Because at the end of the day, that is what we want, We want The Lord Jesus glorified. We love people. That is why we help them in any way we can.  We love them so much and we want the one thing they really need, for them to know the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. We should try to make this happen, empowered by the Holy Spirit, in the conversations that we have, in the way we act as a team, the servant ministry, and in the Love that we have for them. After all,  the love we have is tiny compared to the love that Christ has for them.

But with this boldness there is always the risk that we will be bombarded by Satan. But we need not fear, for we have the victory in Christ. We need to remember, that even at 2am, when abuse is hurled at us, people saying awful demonic things:  we have the victory! Christ has won!

Please if you can, Pray for the team, that God moves At V Festival, That there is encouragement. I will post about it, when i return.