The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our May 13, 2018 message, An Ounce of Mother is Worth a Ton of Priest.
It’s really hard to be a teenager is 2018. This is the first generation to grow up in a completely digital age, only 4% of teenagers born since 1999 have a biblical worldview, and teen depression and suicide rates are both skyrocketing. However, don’t lose hope! The key to having a healthy church is having a healthy next generation. By using 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 as a foundational Scripture and encouraging church membership, we are seeing life transformation and growth in teenagers as we make sure they are: 1) Known & accepted, 2) Taught about Jesus, and 3) Challenged to grow.
- Are the first generation to grow up in a completely digital age
- Are the first post-Christian generation in a America
- Only 4% have a biblical worldview
- Depression and suicide rates are both skyrocketing
1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 is the foundational Scripture we use for student ministries.
The three priorities for all high schoolers at Watermark is that they would be:
Known and accepted
- Kids need a place where they can be real.
- Kids are placed in a small group in 6th grade and their leaders stay with them for 7-years until they graduate.
Taught about Jesus
- The common source of all problems in the world is sin.
- The common solution to all the problems in the world is Jesus.
Challenged to grow
- Kids need to be taught to embrace everything God has created them to be.
- The best ministers to high school students are other high school students.
In an increasingly unreliable and non-committal culture, church membership makes four counter-cultural statements:
- I can make and keep commitments
- I am contributor, not a consumer
- I am not independent, I belong to the body
- I am willingly under leadership
The only thing better than teaching kids once a week for seven years is doing it every single day…that’s your job, mom…that’s your job, dad…
The church was never meant to be anything other than a supplement to parents. An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Whether you are a parent or not, how are you being intentional about pouring into and discipling the next generation?
- Of the four counter-cultural statements that church membership makes, which one do you struggle to live out the most? Share this with your community group and identify one way you can take ground in this area over the next 7-days.
- Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 and 2:7-12 and come up with three different actions you can take this next week as you seek to live out what you read and learned from God’s Word.
Mentioned or Recommended Resources
- Scripture study: 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 5:13-16, Ezra 7:10, Luke 6:40
- Sermon Series: PREP
- Resource: Church Membership: Why It Matters
- Real Truth. Real Quick: Why Does Watermark’s Membership Reset Every Year?