4 Disciplines for a New Year
Original pic by Jose.
Upon the onset of a new year, we tend to focus on efforts to start, improve, or make some changes towards a better upcoming season.
What if you, the youth worker, the leader, the representative of Christ, committed yourself to just 4 disciplines to help shape your life and the lives of your students into looking more like Christ?
As youth workers, we must realize that in order to effectively lead students to find and follow Jesus Christ, we have to collectively create training models that will reproduce themselves year after year. The best models are not the written ones, but the living ones. Students will look to you as a model, learning from the choices you make and soaking in the disciplines that you choose to live out. If we can disciple a generation of youth to recover the cultural misses that have permeated thus far, then we can change a nation that is in need of cultural cohesiveness. That’s why this is your year! Start this year focusing on just 4 good disciplines. If you practice them privately, then it makes it easier to model it publicly. Our students want the real deal. So let’s give it to them!
1. Love People, Love God.
No matter their background, their situation, or the circumstances, it’s what God expects from us! – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
2. Don’t Forget to Bring The Bread.
Your experiences with God are the bread that you bring to share with your students. So commit to reading your Bible with some sort of consistency and not just when you have to. This will help feed God’s spirit on the inside, so that you can trust the outcomes of where you serve, who you serve, and how you serve. Remember, the Bread of Life is always with you. – “The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.” (Mark 8:14)
3. Pray in the Spirit.
Don’t forget to talk with God! We can get so busy doing all the good things of ministry that we forget to care for our own souls. Talking with God on a daily basis is a key way we can do that. Take time to be still, pray for students surrounding your ministry, and the cultural connection within your community. – “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
4. Beyond anything else, just allow God to be God.
In other words, trust that nothing happens without God knowing about it. Your ability to “train up a child” and witness a great societal shift will happen, because you want the best of God and the most for people. And all of us at YS want the most for you!
I believe God has a special place in HIS heart for the youth worker, as HE has designed you to be equipped to have your presence positioned across multiple generations. Through the strength of Christ Jesus, you are helping guide the church to reach those it might have missed. So I want to leave you with some encouragement from the Apostle Paul:
“My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master, now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught.” (Colossians 2:6-7a; MSG)
Fred Oduyoye is the Director of Networks at YS and a long time veteran of urban youth ministry. When he’s not caring for youth workers through the YS Networks, you can find him spending time with is lovely family and coaching soccer.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.