I find it amazing how things go in cycles. Recently we realised that our young people don’t bring their Bibles to church because there are ones provided and we have the Bible reading on the screen for the congregation. So we have started a point system in our Sunday morning group. They get a point for bringing their own Bible and for remembering a memory verse. This is not a new idea as I remember a point system when I was young, but it is something to encourage the young people to get into God’s word.
I have an NIV Bible just like St Saviour’s has, but I much prefer using my own. It is hard to explain, but you just know the feel of your own Bible and get used to where everything is. It is also important to remember memory verses. In Jesus’ time, by the age of 12, Jewish children were expected to know the scriptures. The devil likes to twist the scriptures to catch us out, as we see in Genesis with Adam and Eve, and in the gospels with Jesus. The difference is that Jesus knew the scriptures, so he knew the devil was twisting God’s word and could counter him. We want our young people to know God’s word and to do that they need to read it – not just on a Sunday morning, but each day – and to learn it, so they can’t be caught out.
We also asked our young people at Core whether they thought they had heard from God before. A few said no they hadn’t, which made me wonder what people thought when asked that question. Are we expecting an audible voice, or visions, or dreams? The sad thing is we don’t always realise that whenever we open our Bibles, we hear from God because we are told that ‘All scripture is God breathed’ (2 Timothy 3:16). For us it is like receiving a bunch of texts from a loved one, but then telling people that we never hear from them because we are expecting phone calls.
We want to be praying for our young people, to be opening God’s word and listening to what he has to say. Not only that, but also that they would understand it and put it into practice. If we want to hear from God in different ways, we need to be expecting to hear from him in the most obvious way he has given us.
Nathan Bendell, Youth Minister
PS You may not realise this but we have lovely young people. They are very welcoming and supportive of one another. They are enthusiastic to learn and love to have a laugh with the leaders. It is so easy to build great relationships with our young people. Caz and I love leading the groups, but we can’t be everywhere at once. I would like to start by thanking, from the bottom of my heart, the volunteers we do have. We appreciate it so much as do the young people. That said, you are probably bored of reading about the fact that we need more volunteers, but sadly that is a fact.
If you are interested in finding out about the groups, come along and get involved. You may think that you wouldn’t be any good, but sometimes just being there to listen to them and advise them is really helpful. Or maybe on a Wednesday evening you can be on tuck shop, which is a great way of getting to know individuals. Another way of getting involved could be by prayer-walking with Caz and myself as we drop off new leaflets to houses in the parish to let others know about the groups that we run. Come and chat with me or Caz if you can help in any way.