Spiritual health is more than leader buzz inside today’s church. It is vital. And it’s not just vital for today’s church. It is God’s will.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 3, NIV)
This week’s blog post brings some affirmation to those of you calling students as campus missionaries, empowering students with tools like the FIRE BIBLE Student Edition, FIRE Institute and Alive In Christ. Characteristics taught and highlighted in these pathways are building spiritual health in students.
Recently, one of the excellent Youth Ministry professors at one of the officially endorsed Assemblies of God colleges, universities and seminaries emailed me about a new youth ministry book. Professor Chris McGough, youth prof at Central Bible College, notes that teaching students to PRAY, LIVE, TELL, SERVE, GIVE are not just catchy spiritual disciplines for resources and products…these habits are evidence of healthy Christian students!
I’m reading in a recently released book by Kenda Creasy Dean entitled OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook that sites a study of exemplary congregations in youth ministry and lists the characteristics of spiritually mature youth. You can see the characteristics here:
I wanted to share the findings of the study with you because all of the characteristics of a spiritually mature teenager that they list can be summed up: PLTSG [pray, live, tell, serve, give]!
Youth leader, be encouraged! Concentrate on the good stuff you were called to do. Some may misunderstand you as a purveyor of pop culture, or even a lower-level pastor. Do not let wrong characterizations cause you to look down on solid ministry to youth. (BTW, did you know that AG youth ministry grew by 60% over the past 25 years?) God knows your heart! God knows the high value of your ministry. Keep leading students to:
Pray regularly (in the Spirit)
Live the Word
Tell God’s story in them and through them
Serve others inside and outside the faith
Give generously (God is plentiful)
Now is the time for strong Christian students. The Holy Spirit is moving globally upon a student generation! God wants to use THEM for His cause…NOW!