Thursday, October 29, 2009

If Jesus Can Change Me...

At Clearwater Baptist Church we are about to be in the second weekend of our Lucifer's Lies drama which is a drama about spiritual warfare and how Satan lies to us. So far there have been 5 performances and this weekend there will be 6 will and one that is youth only followed by a youth rally. We have seen 17 people saved and numerous rededications so far. Its so incredible to see these lives changed each night by Jesus.

The very first performance I had the privilege to counsel a 16 year old who had been saved. This teenager was shaking from the experience he had just encountered. I wish everyone could have heard this guy talk. He had been involved in satanic worship. He told me that years ago a peer had asked him what religion he followed to which he replied 'nothing'. This other guy had told him to become a follower of Satan because he would give him whatever he wanted. He thought this would be great because nobody had ever cared enough about him to share their faith with him and only saw him as the child who stayed in trouble. So for years he followed these lies until this night that Jesus saved him. He was so excited about the change that had taken place in him and the changes he was making. It was obvious by listening to this young man that he had been completely changed by Jesus. As I shared with him and gave him a copy of the Gospel of John and a devotional I asked him the following question- "Now that Jesus has saved you what are you going to do?" His reply was quite simple but so inspiring- "I'm going to tell all my friends. If Jesus can change me then He can change anyone!" The blood of Jesus can change anyone. We must remember this. We must not give up on people and listen to the lie that there is no hope for them. If we've been saved by Jesus, then we need to truly show it so that there is never a question to whether or not we are a Christian.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's Been A While

Well it's been a while since I've blogged and so to the two of you who actually read this I'm very sorry. We've been on vacation and since we've been back we've been working on the Youth House and stuff but I'm ready to share my heart on here today. I just ran across some startling statistics published by the Souther Baptist Convention. Many of these I have read before and it's sad stats like this that the church and me as a youth pastor have to allow to fuel us to do something toward changing it.

- 80% of churches are in decline.
- 10,000 Southern Baptist Churches failed to baptize one person last year.
- 11,000 SBC churches baptized less than six persons last year.
- 98% SBC churches baptized less than 29 people last year.
- Southern Baptist baptized as many in the 1950's as we do today.
- Approximately 60% of SBC failed to baptize at least one teenager last year.
- 75% - 85% of all conversions occur prior to the age of 16.
- 88% of our teenagers will drop out of church after high school.
- America is the fourth largest unreached country in the world.
- only 1 in 20 churches is growing by conversion growth.
- 3,000,000 people are leaving the church every year.
- The most credible evidence reveals that Americans attend church on any given weekend.

This is why I'm so passionate about making a change, especially to the statistic that 88% of teenagers will drop out of church after high school. This is why we have to do effective ministry and not just do church anymore the way some have twisted it to be. I just wanted to share these with you and hope they tug at your heart like they did mine.