Giving youth pastors the tools they need to make and shape disciples.

The Hammer of Youth Work

10 · 07 · 22

This is part two of a series called The Process. The Process is my new discipleship series for students but it should first be applied to the life of the youth worker, you. You can read the first part, The Fire of Youth Work, here.

The Bible is the Youth Pastor’s main tool or should be the main tool, in laying the foundation for a lifetime relationship with Jesus. The Bible makes you and then you make disciples. The bible is the hammer and you are the unformed steel.

The Hammer represents both God’s written word and the voice of the Holy Spirit. Both shape our internal compass with the hope that our steps lead to a more Christ-like life. The Bible calls this sanctification.

Students do not read their bible often enough to understand the ramifications of not reading their bibles. They just know “Reading bible good. Not reading bible bad.”

You, on the other hand, know what you’re missing out on if you avoid or become forgetful in spending time in God’s word.

The hammer is a visual of God’s intent to shape you and make you, not with only with written word but being led by the Holy Spirit. Scripture says,

“Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:29

The power of God’s word is likened to a hammer that breaks rock but sadly the Bible has been relegated to a life management tool grouped together with whatever productivity apps we use to chisel our lives to perfection.

Your students will pick up from your life, and messages, how you view scripture. Do they see see you as someone who uses the Bible as a way to tamp down on your sinful behavior (as in the game Whack-A-Mole)  or do they see you using Scripture as a vehicle of spiritual formation?

God, The Blacksmith, doesn’t use His hammer to beat the metal into submission, as if the hammer (Or God) hated it, but uses the hammer to shape, with love and integrity, the metal to a desired end. 

The Crafter and the crafted have mutual goals. You want to know what your purpose is and God is trying to bring out our purpose through His word. 

The tool you use shape students must shape you first. Before you wield the Hammer (are you worth to lift it?) you must first place yourself under it.

Youth Pastors throw around the phrase, “Spending time in God’s word” to students, but what if it’s not about time spent, but depth?

Reading God’s word is one thing. Studying God’s word is another and meditating on God’s word is another. Yes, you can do all three, but it is the latter that forms and shapes beliefs, convictions and behavior. How can you kids to meditate on God’s word more?

Create space in your weekly youth meeting with

  • let scripture scroll on the screen before service as a part of worship

When was the last time you read God’s word and it hit you like a hammer? When did you last feel a part of you bend in a way that you knew wasn’t going back the way it was? God’s word has that kind of effect.

It affected Peter when Jesus said “feed my sheep” and “Get behind me Satan”

It affected Gideon when an angel of the Lord called him “a mighty man of valor.”

It affected the woman in adultery when Jesus told her, “neither do I condemn you”

When was the last time God’s word affected you? This is not a condemnation for not reading your bible or for only reading the Bible when you need to preach a message, this is a reminder that the Hammer of God’s word is always ready to shape you if you’re willing to let it.

If you’re interested in teaching your students the process of discipleship, you can start with the first of my four week series, The Process: Fire (Trouble and Trials).

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