Think about hearing the gospel for the first time.
Those of us who have been Christians for a while, can’t really imagine this. We heard it, accepted it, and joined the rank and file.
Maybe that’s the problem with the model church and it’s frailty. We didn’t have to find an underground church to hear this good news. We didn’t get kicked out of our houses because we confessed Christ to our Muslim family. We didn’t have to share a portion of the Bible that was passed from house to house. The price for being a disciple of Jesus is so cheap, we’ve grown to resent any price at all.
Yet, in America, there are kids hearing the gospel for the first time. They are in your youth group.
I just read a post by Seth Godin. He said
“Campbell’s soup is almost never bought for the first time. It is a replacement purchase. No one switches to Campbell’s either. They buy it because their mom did.” – Seth Godin
Many of our kids are being handed down something that is less than the good news from previous generations. Our kids are inheriting the religion of their parents, but in many cases, this is not good news.
Our kids have been taught that it’s good to go to church, the bible is a good book, be faithful but not fanatical, and give when it’s convenient not when it it’ necessary. This is not good news. It’s bad.
The kids we get speak to every week have not made a choice, they’ve come with what was passed on to them and it’s killing the church.
How can we get a teen to turn in their religion for Jesus? A quick definition of religion before we begin
- a particular system of faith and worship.
- man’s way of attempting to please God
It’s not hard to convince teens to trade up on their religion if we show the difference between Jesus and religion. Here is a short list using the CEV version of Matthew 23
religion is not worth imitating (vs 3)
Jesus said, “Follow me”
religion is lazy (vs 4)
Jesus said, “Work while there is still daylight”
religion is for show (vs 5)
Jesus said, “When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven. Matthew 6:1 (CEV)
religion is about being seen (vs 6-7)
Jesus said its about glorifying God.
(false) religion neglects the needs of others (vs 23,24)
Jesus met the needs of lepers, women, and the poor
religion cares more about the outside than the inside (vs 25,26)
Jesus said the inside matter most (Matthew 6:23)
religion values tradition over relationships (29-33)
Jesus showed relationships matter
After hearing this, which one do you gravitate more to? Which do you think your teens will embrace?