1-3 They took the road south through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica, where there was a community of Jews. Paul went to their meeting place, as he usually did when he came to a town, and for three Sabbaths running he preached to them from the Scriptures. He opened up the texts so they understood what they’d been reading all their lives: that the Messiah absolutely had to be put to death and raised from the dead—there were no other options—and that “THIS JESUS I’M INTRODUCING YOU TO IS THAT MESSIAH!” ~ Acts 17:1-3 MSG
Let me start by saying that I absolutely love this scripture. To me, these verses mark us as Christians and more specifically, the one’s who are pastors, church leaders and preachers of the Gospel. Here you have a man, a minister of the Gospel, the Apostle Paul who shows up to the Thessalonica community he visits frequently and begins to preach and teach the Biblical Scriptures that they knew. Spending 3 weeks at a time with them (speaking of a process), he taught them deeply about the Scriptures/Prophecies of a Messiah [savior king] dying and being raised to life in glory. The crescendo of the text comes to an emotional plea as Paul simply says, “This Jesus (who I’m teaching about) is that Messiah”
As I evaluate the current state of youth & young adults and talk with ministry friends all over the nation… I’m constantly finding myself praying for our generation of young leader that we are in dire need to simply give them JESUS. That in light of 2 Corinthians 4:5 we would preach nothing else but Jesus. The Jesus we preach is that Messiah… He simply is. He saves, he revives and he replenishes those who have been lost, dead and dry. That as pastors and preachers, we won’t sugar-coat the Gospel. That the scandalous Cross is preached and we fall nothing short of proclaiming Jesus as the one true Messiah.
In the day and time we live in where we up at arms about the fizzled/flawed economy, a divided government & nation, and social justice being at an all time high… We still consider the message of Jesus. We must not fall short in preaching Jesus as the true living Messiah that vindicates his Bride as we advance the kingdom of God. The World is desperately looking for a savior and King… And his name is JESUS! We as Christians MUST show and introduce them in love to This Jesus… For he is That Messiah.
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Intentional, relational, authentic ministry. I would like to think this is the goal for everyone and anyone in youth ministry. Students are the most accurate “B.S. Detectors” and can sniff out a fake from a mile away. One thing that has been on my heart lately is being real, genuine and intentional about relationships with students that I know well and students I just met. Whether is was the sleep over I had at my apartment for some of my small group guys who I know really well and love or the students I met for the first time at our 80′s Ice Skating Event, being intentional about the relationship I start and develop with them is key. What does it say?
These are my own personal intentional relational goals that I am working on. If you have any personal goals as well, please share! We are all in this together.
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Justin is the Pastor of High School Ministry Small Groups at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He loves what he does. He loves to write. He loves tattoos. He loves his beautiful wife. He loves Jesus.
Awaken This Heart, Intentional Relationship Ministry Goals, Justin Knowles, Ministry Goals, Pastor Justin Knowles, Relationships