Evidently a growing debate among youth pastors is whether students in this generation will actually spend time alone with God. Is it a useless effort if God doesn’t have His own Facebook or Twitter page to teach them to spend time with Him? Or is it a waste to provide resources for them that they may not choose to use?
Consider these points on this dilemma:
1—We all know how volatile college life can be to a Christian teen. Even going to a Christian college. So, teaching them to have a relationship with God—on their own—during their high school years is crucial to them surviving the 18-21 years. One of the foundational elements of a relationship with God is learning to talk and listen to Him.
Mark 1:35-39: 35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” 38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
In verses 36-39, how did Jesus know what He and the disciples should do that day? And where did He get the power and strength to preach and cast out demons? . . . Read verse 35.
2—Our final commandment from Christ was and is to go and make disciples. Not church members, fans, or sympathizers, but disciples. Again, a foundational element for making a disciple is teaching him or her to speak to and listen to God—their personal God.
Matthew 28:18-20: Jesus came to them and said: I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.
Teach them to do everything I have told you . . . Pretty clear mandate.
Is it possible that the reason one generation doesn’t want to teach the next about spending time alone with God or providing them the resources is because it’s no longer a priority? And why teach something you don’t fully believe yourself?
But what if just one student catches the fire of God this summer? What if one student’s life is radically changed, because he/she starts talking to Him and figures out that He actually speaks back? How cool would that be? Only one way to find out.