Every Sunday before Church in the Bank a group of teenagers sit together in my lounge room and flex their theological muscles. And some of these theological muscles are quite considerable! Each week we will either read the Bible together, read a theological article or chapter from a book, engage in training, ask – and try to answer – tough questions, talk about our ministry experiences and encourage each other to ‘build up the body of Christ’ through ‘speaking the truth in love’. (These quotes are from Eph 4 – one of the key passages that we strive to put into practice together each week. Why not read it yourself and join us in this endeavour!)
We call this group Commitments.
What is Commitments? Essentially, it’s for any of the youth who want to commit to love and serve their peers as Jesus teaches us to. They commit:
To loving Jesus,
To loving their youth community
To being trained and equipped to better love and serve Jesus and their peers.
As a result of meeting together each week to build one another up and encourage each other to serve their peers, members of this group are well positioned to help shape the youth ministry that they are part of. It’s the perfect forum for the youth at SNAC to come and better understand why we do what we do and then to help sharpen what we do through collaborative wisdom. It gives the opportunity to understand and grapple with key theological principles and Biblical concepts in detail and think about what they might mean for the way we live and serve. It provides a great training ground for learning the skills of welcoming newcomers and discipling others. It also provides the opportunity to support each other as we practice those skills and give each other feedback and encouragement.
So, who should come to Commitments?
Commitments is for anyone in Yr 7 - 12 who wants to be better equipped in understanding and applying the Bible in their own lives and putting it into practice through humbly serving their peers. We meet each Sunday of the school term from 5:30 to 6:15pm in my downstairs lounge room (27 Cameron St, Bexley – behind St James’ Carlton). Most of the youth will go on to church afterwards (the 6:30 service at St James’), but this isn’t compulsory.
Let me finish by saying this: don’t underestimate our teenagers. They are capable of great things! It’s amazing to read an article on the atonement or union with Christ with high schoolers who want to know Jesus better and see them willingly push themselves so that they can help others to know him better too.
So please be praying bold prayers for all our young people! Pray that they would flex those theological muscles and grow in their love and knowledge of the Lord. Pray that they would flex those muscles – not in proud intellectual musings – but in humble service of their peers. Pray that their servant-hearted attitudes would help shape a new generation of youth at SNAC. Pray that through their discipleship, many young people would come to know the Lord Jesus.