DON’T MISS THE HARVEST OF YOUTH: PART TWO OF GOD’S PLAN TO REACH AMERICAN YOUTH
A harvest of young souls can be right at our doorstep. How tragic if we miss it. If you want to save them then here are three things to look at:
Be true to the message: The best messengers have always been faithful to their message. Proverbs 25:13 Says, “Like the cold of snow in time of harvest, Is a faithful messenger to those who send him, for he refreshes the soul of his masters.” God is refreshed when His servants are true to his message.
We feel the pressure to alter or sidestep the parts of the Gospel that we think will turn off young people. Mark Dever said, “People often try to improve the gospel, but in “improving” it, they always end up losing it. This gospel we have received is itself full and lacks nothing. Thus, to add to it is only to detract from it—and from God’s glory.”
Woodrow Wilson said, “the proof that the Gospel is divine is the preaching it has survived.” Indeed, it is a miracle that all of the tampering with the message of Jesus has not killed it.
The Holy Spirit is a big reason we preach, the Cross, the Blood, Heaven and Hell. He uses these themes in His work to convict lost souls. Billy Graham was often accused of preaching simple sermons. Over and over again, you could hear him say, “the Bible says.” Yet, look at the results. Millions came forward and he shattered attendance records all over the world.
His secret was to build a sermon that the Holy Spirit could use and not try to dazzle the audience with oratory.
Method: Now that we know what to say, let’s talk about how to say it. As I said yesterday, the enemy we face is sophisticated, organized and well-funded. Any endeavor with a human origin is doomed from the start. We must saturate our plans in prayer and only apply solutions from the Holy Spirit. The ideas must and will come from Him.
While our message does not change our method will and must change. It has always baffled me how preachers are courageous to alter the Gospel but cowards to alter their traditions.
How we look, where and when and what time we meet are all up for grabs. Defeating a culture of selfishness is job one. Until the passion to win youth becomes greater than our fear of obeying God we will get nowhere.
Your method will be original. The youth culture in your area may seem like all the rest but it is not. What worked in another county let alone another state may not work in your area.
Take Northern California for an example. When I am at Bethel in Redding they worship for an hour. When I am at the 209 Awakening in Manteca they begin with intercessory prayer and get straight into the Word. Both are products of obedience not copying.
My guess is that Jesus has already told you what to do but it seems so ridiculous that you struggle to obey.
Miracles: The truth is God is calling and bringing forth a people who will live and operate in the heavenly in His Kingdom realm rather than in this limited earthy realm. God is giving birth to and raising His sons who will recognize they are supernatural and not just humans.
The agency of the supernatural must now permeate all of our efforts. Supernatural events have always been a part of youth culture. It is not our job to create a youth miracle but to recognize it when we see it. It will happen among them and be directed by them. Our role is mentor with the Father’s heart.
Right before the Jesus Movement revolutionized America Look Magazine said this “If there is a solution for our youth it must spring up among them.” As a matter of fact, the Jesus movement was the result of God pouring out His Spirit on youth. At first pastors ordered them to cut their hair and fit into the church mold. Thank God they dropped that insanity and let the youth express the supernatural.
Not only this but God is always telling youth what He is about to do. Young people have always been Jesus’ favorite way to bring the church the latest news. However, at this moment in history He is saying the most explosive things He has ever said to youth and He is giving them a job that He has never offered before. So the bottom line is we don’t create a youth revival we stay out of its way.