Friday, June 10, 2011

Understanding Our Roles In Church Community: Young Men

Young men have a great responsibility when it comes to leading in the church community. Notice this isn't just for "pastors" or "leaders" in the church. This is for all young men who believe and are part of the Church. Here's what the Apostle Paul says in his letter to Titus:

6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. -Titus 2:6-8 NLT
Photo by Rennett Stowe

Paul knows that young men have a tendency to react quickly, courageously, and often maliciously to certain situations. That's why he begins with the exhortation for young men to be self-controlled. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, in order to become more self-controlled, we must live in the power of the Spirit. When we live in the power of the Spirit the next part comes naturally (or supernaturally, rather!)

Young men are called to be an example of good. Not worldly good, rather, the goodness of God.  That is, the grace of God demonstrated on the cross.  We're called to demonstrate God's goodness to others by the way we live! We are to teach with integrity, seriousness (seriousness is a lacking attribute that plagues young men), and soundness of speech that can't be condemned.

Why so serious?  Because the decisions we make, reflect the gods or God we serve. The small "g" gods are the gods that send us to Hell—selfishness, pride, and greed. The capital "G" God is our great God who saves us from Hell through faith in His son Jesus. Therefore, if our decisions look like Hell, we'll drive people away from the one true God and they may never experience the grace of God through faith. At the end of the day, the only thing we're taking to heaven is people.

As young men in today's world, we're facing more selfishness, pride, and greed than we've ever faced in all of human history. They take the form of distractions, unfaithfulness, and consumerism. Today, between video games, the internet, and wal-mart, young men face a slew of "easy" decisions. Easy decisions are not necessarily (actually, hardly ever) good decisions. Paul encourages us to be examples of goodness and truth.  We are to be Jesus to a world that is lost in selfishness, pride, and greed! We must live out truth (God's Word) and live in the Spirit so the Gospel we preach—Jesus and Him crucified—is realized in all its power!

Many young men are trading the truth of God for a lie.  Don't fall into the temptations of more, infidelity, and laziness.  Instead, let's rise up and stand for Jesus with all that we have.  Let's take Him at His Word and serve Him faithfully so those who oppose us may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us!

Young men, let's reject passivity and accept responsibility!

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