This week was another great week at our Wednesday Night Worship Service. I was exhausted afterward from the amount of energy that went into it, but it was so worth it. We began the night by watching another Guy On A Buffalo Video because everyone needs to see how hilarious these videos are, plus you'll see another reason why tomorrow. We then went into a worship set of: "Dancing Generation" (Matt Redman), "Happy Day" (Tim Hughes), "SMS-Shine" (David Crowder Band), and "Always" (Kristian Stanfill).
The message for this night was really what this "Ideal to Real" series begin from. After talking with several students about some of their concerns for this generation, and from I have seen as a youth pastor over the years, combined with the fact that this weekend is our Disciple Now weekend it was a perfect time to cover this topic. Many times we go to a Christian event, Disciple Now, MFuge, Younite, or even a great church service and we come out with escalated emotions. We make a commitment to be different than before, and feel like we can change the world, but the feeling only lasts for a couple of days and we then return back to normal. This is frustrating as a youth pastor or any Christian see this occur, and is an even bigger hinderance on a Christian witness. So how do you go from such a spiritual mountain top back down to the valley in a short amount of time? I heard a speaker once say that it is because we really do not go up to the top of the mountain, we only go up about an inch. We can not believe that true change has occurred in our life and then go back to living like we did before.
Jesus addressed this in His famous parable of the sower in Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23. Jesus talks about 4 types of soil as He refers to 4 different types of people. We talked about two of the four. We mainly discussed the one in verses 5-6 and 20-21 that says the seed fell in a rocky place and was only temporary because it had no deep roots. This explains someone who hears the truth of the Gospel and quickly responds with excitement and enthusiasm, but has not true change of heart or change of character and quickly returns to the way they were before. This happens often to many people, but is a routine that must be broken. If this is something that happens then it because of one of two reasons.
1) You have never actually been saved by making a true commitment to follow Jesus Christ. I did not say this to make anyone doubt their salvation, but is something that must be examined.
2) You are spiritually immature and are being more influenced by the world than by Jesus. You then leave the Christian event and feel like you have been changed and that you can continue going through life as you were before without any effort on your part. You feel like you have a force field protecting you, but that is not true. You then go back into the world and are influenced by the world just as you were before and return to being like you were before like nothing ever happened.
So how do you get away from this and become the one who is good soil and produces fruit like in verse 23? First of all, you have to want to make it real in your own life. You must own it. You must also decide what changes are going to take place, and follow through with a plan of action. You must identify the things in your life that you must separate from and the things that you must completely cut out. Then you must also make a plan of action on how and when you will spend time daily with God. The thing is, we know we must do these things, but why don't we do it?
We closed the night by challenging the students to make a commitment to not be rocky soil this weekend, and with our upcoming MFuge and Younite camps in the next few months. I challenged them to allow God's Word to take deep root in their hearts so that true life change will take place.