Say Yes to A God Who Is Bigger Than You Think
Reggie Joiner, Catalyst Pre-Lab, 10/01/14
In a hundred years from now all that matters is a person’s relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s all about this relationship and what it means to have one with Christ.
I have a limited amount of time, to hand off the big rocks of faith. What are those big rocks?
- You can know God.
- You can become a christian in a moment. (Jesus summed it up in a simple passage.)
- The Bible is all true.
- Trust leads to stronger faith.
- You should enjoy going to church.
- Your beliefs matter.
- God has an ideal.
- God is good.
Just because these things are true doesn’t mean they will be believed. How we handle these truths will determine if the kids we minister to will embrace them.
In our lives there are people we know who dropped out of christianity, walking away for many reasons. It wasn’t because what we told them wasn’t true, or we didn’t share the Gospel.
5 Years Ago
- 17% of 18 – 30 year olds say they doubted the existence of God.
- 32% say they doubt the existence of God.
- 8 out of 10 believe going to church is not important.
- 65% say they are not religious.
Sometimes in our zeal to fight for what is true, we don’t fight for the tensions that actually connect those truths to what is real.
Tension doesn’t make a truth less true, it make it more real.
If you don’t say yes to the tension, kids will start thinking God is a lot smaller than He really is.
If you want to stretch someone’s imagination about how big God is, create a bigger concept about God, teach them:
- You can know God – God is a mystery
- You can become a christian in a moment. – It will take you forever to figure out what that means.
- The Bible is all true. – Everything true about life is not in the Bible. Our kids will face issues that are not directly address in scripture. That’s why we must research everything about the culture in which our children live so that we can help them apply.) For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…Romans 1:20 NIV
- Trust leads to stronger faith. – Doubt can lead to stronger faith.
- You should enjoy going to church. – You can enjoy living in the world.
- Your beliefs matter. – People matter more.
- God has an ideal. – God uses broken people.
- God is good. – You should do good.
We have to make sure we are not promising believing children something that God did not promise them.
“The Bible was not written to tell you how the Heavens go. It was written to tell you how to go to Heaven.” – Adrian Rodgers
We cannot make life truths, non-Biblical truths.
If you don’t let kids process their own doubts, they’ll never own their own faith. We must tell a generation God is bigger than both their faith and their doubts.
If your beliefs cause you to mean to people, there’s something broken with what you believe. God cared more about relationship than theology, that’s why He sent Jesus.
Our kids are going to mess up. If they believe they cannot measure up to God’s ideal of perfection they will walk away. We must teach them that God uses broken people.
Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as ever you can.
– John Wesley
If you don’t say yes to the tension, you set kids up to reject the truths of the Christian walk.
If you don’t say yes to the tension, kids could grow up to become “that” Christian:
- Don’t be irresponsible.
- Don’t get stuck.
- Don’t be a jerk.
- Don’t be weird.
- Don’t be threatened
- Don’t be an idiot.
- Don’t be shallow.
- Don’t be arrogant.
Don’t judge other churches and organizations because they are trying to figure out how to live “in the tension.” Live in the tension and fight for the tension. Do not push truth to the extreme and do not ignore the messiness.