Topical - Leadership, Youth
“LEADERSHIP TRAINING SEMINAR”
"Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them " —Ecclesiastes 12:1
Introduction: before I talk about the youth ministry specifically, I want to mention a few things about the ministry itself. And the best place to look for those insights is the Scriptures themselves. I want to look at a man whose life was used greatly by the Lord, this man is none other than the apostle Paul.
1. Paul’s View of the Ministry (Colossians 1:24-29).
a) Paul was called to the ministry (you need to be called).
(1) The ministry is a topic that was dear to the heart of the apostle Paul, and it is a frequent theme in his letters. He never lost the sense of wonder that God would call him to the ministry, and he never tired of talking about it.
Toward the end of his life, he wrote to his fellow minister Timothy, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service; even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor” (1 Tim. 1:12–13).
(2) Like Jeremiah, who spoke of the Word of God as a burning fire in his bones (Jer. 20:9), Paul felt compelled to carry out his ministry.
To the Corinthians he wrote, “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1Cor. 9:16).
(3) All Christians have been called to serve God in one capacity or another.
b) Paul’s source of the ministry-God (you need the same source-God).
“The gospel… of which I, Paul, was made a minister… "Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,” (Colossians 1:25, NASB95)
(1) Becoming a minister of Jesus Christ was not what Saul of Tarsus planned to do with his life.
(2) Paul did not volunteer to become a minister of Jesus Christ; he was appointed one by the Lord Himself. When he met the Lord on the road to Damascus he said, “What shall I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10).
c) Paul’s sum of the ministry (you need the same assessment).
Paul said in verse 28 “that we may present every man complete in Christ. (1:28b)
(1) The goal of the ministry is the maturity of the saints. Paul expressed that clearly in Ephesians 4:11–13:
Paul wrote that “[Christ] gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.”
That goal was shared by Epaphras, the founder of the Colossian church: “Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bond-slave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God” (Col. 4:12).
(2) Our aim is not merely to win the youth to Christ, but to bring them to spiritual maturity. They will then be able to reproduce their faith in others.
In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul charged Timothy, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”
d) Paul’s strength of the ministry (Col.1:29).
Paul says “And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. (1:29).
(1) Paul Labored—(labor) means to work to the point of exhaustion. No one can successfully serve Jesus Christ without working hard. Lazy pastors, Christian leaders, or laymen will never fulfill the ministry the Lord has called them to.
(2) Striving— (striving) is from agōnizomai, which refers to competing in an athletic event. Our English word agonize is derived from it. Success in serving the Lord, like success in sports, demands maximum effort.
(3) According to His power, which mightily works within me— All his toil and hard labor would have been useless apart from God’s power in his life.
To the Corinthians he wrote, “By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Cor. 15:10). God gave Paul the strength to work hard at his ministry.
Galatians 2:20 really sums up the two components in this human divine action: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”
e) Be A Channel of God’s Resources, not Reservoirs!
And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?” But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see (Mark 6:37-38)… One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many (John 6:8)?” …He said, “Bring them here to Me.” (Matt.14:18)