Resource Review: A Student’s Guide to Sanctification

Kyle Hoffsmith
November 23rd, 2020

Church Words. These are words that we use in a church context and rarely use outside of Sunday mornings or whatever night we have youth group. Although we would never say that we teach students to compartmentalize how they think about their faith, one way we do this is by choosing to use certain words at church and then never use them in ordinary life.

Students should learn that these “church words” have rich meaning and important application to their lives. This is one reason this concise resource by Ligon Duncan and John Perritt titled A Student’s Guide to Sanctification is particularly helpful for youth ministries. 

This book contains eight short chapters that help students understand that sanctification is God’s ongoing work in the lives of Christians throughout their time on earth. Each chapter reminds the reader about a different aspect of God’s work in their life and encourages them to persevere through the high, low, and in between points of life.

A resource like this is crucial to get into the hands of teenaged students because a helpful view of sanctification can lead to a more clear understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. If students can understand this, then the remainder of their lives can be built upon trusting God’s work in their lives rather than their own effort.

Three ways that this book could be used in your student ministry:

An effective way to train youth workers.

It’s a myth that youth workers don’t need to be trained in theology. Although we should never require youth workers to have doctorate degrees from a seminary, it is crucial that adult youth leaders see themselves more than just game leaders or chaperones.

Ultimately, youth leaders must know what the Bible teaches so they offer Christ-centered guidance and direction for discipleship.

Helpful to recommend for parents to read with their kids.

An advantage of this method is that it takes theological discussion into the home and allows parents and their children to have conversation around the most important things in life.

Let’s not believe the tale that students are not able to think about theology. If they are learning biology, precalculus, and a foreign language in school, then I am sure they can wade into the waters of theological reading. 

Useful to have students read and discuss with you before they graduate high school.

There are so many scholarly reports of how students are in the church while in middle and high school and then never return after college. One way to actively work against these statistics is to simply teach what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Resources like this one should be utilized to help form the minds of students around what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

The last sentence in this book reminds the readers to “Rest in the work of Jesus, so you can work alongside Him in this life… and the life to come.”

May this not only be what we want for our students, but may it also be the goal for all youth workers.

Let’s rest in Jesus so we can work and see what he will do in the lives of the students that he has entrusted us to minister. 

Kyle Hoffsmith

Kyle Hoffsmith serves as the pastor of student ministries at Old North Church in Youngstown, Ohio. He loves teaching students about Christ and equipping them for a relationship with Him. You can read some of his other blogs on his website www.kylehoffsmith.com.

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.