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How do we get people EXCITED about God?
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Sometimes...as much as we try...young people especially procclaim to be christians but live somewhat of a 'double life'...worshipping God on a sunday, but then getting wasted on a friday. So many people in the youth group i am a part of have really powerful encounters with God at our youth group every week, worship from their hearts, and are really touched by the love of Jesus. But...throughout the week...it seems as though they forget that encounter they've had, and just do whatever they want in their lives. Obviously nothing WE as people do can change this...as it has to be God who convicts them and, inevitably, changes them. BUT...what would you guys reccomend to youth leaders faced with this scenario?

It sounds like they do love God and want to serve Him, so maybe they just need to be reminded that they can't serve two masters. Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. In religion you go to church, say your prayers and try not to commit any really big sins so God isn't angry with you. In relationship you do what you do out of love. If you understand that your choices on the weekend are hurting someone you love you would likely change your habits. In a marriage, you forsake all others and commit to be faithful to your spouse alone, not to just add one more person to the list. When we worship other gods--the god of alcohol, or free will, or our friends and their opinions--we're idol worshippers and not worshippers of God.

Just some thoughts. Not sure how that message would best be communicated in a youth group. Maybe through one on one conversations or through messages in your meetings.

Hey Ash,

I’ve led for my churches youth group for 10+ years. I totally understand where you’re coming from, I see the same thing in my church. I remember that age being a really difficult “coming of age” time for me in my faith; I was just trying to find out if Jesus was real for me, instead of just believing someone else’s word for it. It seems many people “test the waters” so to speak with their faith; especially those who’ve grown up in the church. I think that “coming of age” bit was common for others in my youth group too… the thing I realized the youth group needed was two fold: 1. acceptance of where people were at 2. assurance from those around them that Jesus is indeed real.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I learned there is no magic pill or action to fix people. It comes down to the hard work of getting into peoples lives and caring for them in a way that will point to Christ. Normally that meant just being there, open and honest about my walk with Jesus (doubts convictions and all else on the table.)

been thinking about this issue a lot. I think spending time with these people, and doing stuff that has nothing to do with church is a good start. Be an example.

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Ash, in one forum title you pretty much how you could some up my job description and the joy it brings me. I would hasten to add that I have no answers and may question the use of 'we' and 'excited'.
Ash, you are so right,

As I think about it and my job (at present taking a break from writing a report where I am unimpressed with myself) sometimes we can get in the way.

There are lots we them do, give them youth services, lots events just for them prayer groups just for them. They are all of value and give young people (and ourselves) a real buzz about Jesus.

As with all things we get excited about that hightend excitement will wane and it becomes a back of the mind thought perhaps or maybe it's just not an obvious, external show of excitement. I am sure there is a quiet underlying presence keeping these young people turning up on a Sunday.

We can do our part but there is an element of the Holy Spirit in this too and the Holy Spirit is not always energetic and obvious (Elijah on the mountain).

I have seen adults who by doing nothing else other than spending time with young people have got them excited about Jesus, it come to relationship and community, young people want to belong. Actually the generations meeting together and sharing time is what can make a huge difference.
It won't happen over night and it is a journey and mysterious process but also that group on a Sunday are receiving a seed that can grow through their journey with Jesus.

It is about patience and trust that ultimately these young people will grow closer to Jesus and in the knowledge of the plans His Father has for them and just how valuable they are.

Ash, it also sounds like they are excited about Jesus from what you about Sunday meetings and that they love God and that is a better start than some will get. Perhaps trying to work out how to apply to their lives or what sort of difference it makes. On the drinking point I would say the thing is to listen to them, to let them talk about it openly and safely, perhaps challenge some of what they might say but not judge or condemn. They're learning about the world, choice, themselves and how they fit in.

Don't get too down hearted if they're not becoming completely red hot pure and holy Christians right away but pray for and with them and be patient.

We must do our part (which is some hard graft) and the Holy Spirit will do it's part and it sounds like something is happening in that youth group.

(End of collection of randomness)

"God came to us disguised as our live." Paula D'Arcy

Hi Ash,

I know how your feeling. I'm a youth leader at my church and it's something that I'm currently feeling but I've come to the conclusion that all I can do is be there for them. I know when I look back at my life I know I wasn't perfect but my youth leaders, friends and family stuck by me. I made mistakes and decided that I knew better than God but the more someone told me to live I fought back until I figured out that I didn't know best.
I think we just need to support them and be there for them

Keep on in there mate

Chris