I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed. I then give readers an opportunity to register to win a free copy of that resource. This week’s giveaway is a collection of resources from The Gospel Project for Students. Our student team helped write this post.
The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered Bible study for all ages that shows how all Scripture points to redemption through Jesus Christ and drives participants to be on mission. Today I want to share about the unique and important role students have in defending the faith.
I’m convinced there are few stages of life more challenging for a believer than the teenage years. Think back to your adolescence; the physical and emotional transitions, wrestling with who you are in this world, and the pressures from friends. For the Christian teenager, the challenges are intensified as the messages from the world often contradict your faith. Whether it’s relationships, personal identity, or even biology, at almost every point, the world echoes the Serpent’s question to Eve in the garden, “Did God really say…?”
As these messages rub against their beliefs, we have a responsibility to help teenagers navigate the challenges. But this doesn’t mean we give them a list of rules, simply telling our students what to do and what not to do as they navigate these challenges. It means that as we patiently minister to them, we are equipping them to minister to their peers. To see the challenges not simply as storms to be weathered but opportunities to further the gospel. Here are three ways we can do this well:
1. We need to remind them of the beauty of the gospel.
In his short letter, Jude wrote that he was eager to remind his fellow believers of the gospel—to declare the majesty of God’s redemption of sinners through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. This was his desire, his longing, his joy, even if he found it more necessary to convey an urgent plea. Jude’s desire should be ours as well. Our students need to be reminded that the gospel is the heart of the Christian life. It’s not simply what saves us but what sustains us as we navigate our lives in a fallen world.
2. We need to encourage them to face resistance to the gospel.
Jude’s epistle encourages us to recognize that there will always be resistance to the gospel. There will be attempts to subvert and pervert the “faith that was delivered … once for all” (Jude 3). And our students need to be encouraged to face this today. They need to remember that there will be false teachers. There will be challenges and resistance. But their call, and ours, is to stand firm in the faith, to counter the lies with the truth and not stand by while those who doubt, struggle, and waver are led astray.
3. We need to build them up in the gospel.
Facing challenges to the gospel requires encouragement from the gospel. We need to build up our students so they can stand firm, and we do that by reminding them of the One “who is able to protect [them] from stumbling and to make [them] stand in the presence of his glory, without blemish and with great joy” (Jude 24). We need to remind them that even as they strive to stand firm, they’re not doing it alone. It is by and through the power of Christ that they stand, and He will keep them from stumbling for His glory and their joy.
If our students are followers of Jesus, they have an important role to play in the church’s mission to make disciples. They are uniquely positioned to speak gospel truth to their peers. And we must build them up and strengthen them for the task, trusting that the One who saved them will sustain them for the sake of “the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all.”
Enter here or in the form below by 11:59pm tonight, Wednesday, April 18, 2018, for your chance to win a set of resources from The Gospel Project for Students’ upcoming study, Come, Lord Jesus. The winner will receive the following:
- One Student Leader Guide
- One Student Leader Pack
- Twelve Student Personal Study Guides