LIT Youth #GiantSlayers
The Bible records the story of God calling a young boy named Samuel. Samuel answered the call of God on his life and grew to be a great leader of God’s people. When Samuel was older the Bible records God sending Samuel to anoint the next king of his people. The lord sent Samuel to a man with eight sons. Samuel went and saw the eldest son who looked the part of a King. He thought “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed”. But instead the Lord called the forgotten about younger brother. He was the youngest of eight children, the runt of the family, the one working in the fields as a lowly shepherd boy. He was the one overlooked because of his status as the youngest, he was only a boy. But his youth did not stop God from choosing him. God’s response to Samuel was “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God chose the one forgotten about, the young shepherd boy. And this young shepherd boy God used to slay a giant and set the people free.
Years later, three young men stood before the mightiest King in the world at the time. He ordered them to bow down and worship the idol he had made. They refused even in the face of sudden death. They were only youths but they decided they would bow to God only. This choice got them thrown into a fiery furnace, but the flames did not even touch their coats. They trusted God as they stood before a giant, and because of their faith God used them to bring glory to his name in a nation that did not know him.
Years later God chose a young orphan girl named Esther and made her a queen and used her to save his people from destruction. She was young, but she trusted God and she too became a giant slayer.
Years later when Jesus came on the scene he chose twelve disciples, they were fishermen, uneducated, unlikely choices, and they were most likely in their 20’s or younger. Most of them were only youths! God once again used young people to turn the world upside down. They stood before the dominance of the Roman Empire and in the name of Jesus they prevailed. Rome has been gone for thousands of years. The church still stands. God’s plan is still advancing. And just like he has done all throughout the Bible, using the young of every generation to help advance his plan, God is still doing it today. He calls and uses young people as conduits to display his love and saving power in a world that so badly needs it. On the backs of both the young and the old God has and is advancing his plan of redemption.
We as a church sit in the heart of a community that is ripe for God’s redemptive power to be on full display. We have the opportunity to be his hands and feet as he transforms Rockwood from a place that’s a byword for poverty, crime, and brokenness to a place of prosperity, healing, and hope! I believe the youth of this community will be a huge catalyst in advancing God’s redemptive plan for the Rockwood Community and the state of Oregon as a whole. In a community snapshot, done by the Boys and Girls club of Portland, it was reported that Rockwood has the largest concentration of youth under age 18 in the Metro Region. When I read stats like this I see a field ripe with future giant slayers. I define a giant as any intimidating obstacle that interferes with a person being all God has created them to be. A giant slayer is someone who is overcoming the giants in their life. A giant slayer is someone who helps others to freedom from the giants in their life. LIT Youth’s vision as a ministry is to reach out to these young souls and share God’s love with them so that they know whose they are and who they are! They need to know that they are dearly loved by God and that he loves them with an unconditional love. This generation needs to know that they can be giant slayers! And nothing, their age, their economic status, their race, where they live, who their parents are, orphaned or foster child, nothing disqualifies them if they know and put their trust in the one who qualifies the weak to take down the strong. But this won’t be done through words only. The youth of this community will know the truth that they are loved when we obey God’s command to us which is this, “Dear children, let’s not merely say we love each other; but let us show the truth by our action”. Showing the truth of God’s love for this generation of young people is what LIT Youth is all about.
In the words of the retired NFL great Marshawn Lynch “we are about that action boss”. Every Sunday morning and Sunday night we are about sharing God’s love with this broken and hurting generation who so badly need his love. Every lesson we teach, every game we play, every meal we serve, every activity we organize, is done so that all the young people the Lord brings to us can not only hear about his incredible love, but experience his incredible love that is beyond understanding. We do this in the hope that once they know how much God loves them they will love him in return. We do this in the hope that once they know how much Jesus paid for them they will imitate him by living a life of devotion to God just like him. We do this in the hope that their lives will be transformed by this love, and they will go out and transform the lives of others. We do this because that is what AS IS Church is about, “Loving God, Loving others, Changing lives”. And as a ministry of AS IS church that’s what LIT Youth is about, “Loving God, Imitating Jesus, Transforming lives”. Most importantly we do this because that’s what Jesus is about!
“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” –Jesus
Faith family, God is moving through LIT Youth Ministry. If you want to be a part of this movement you are welcomed to come and join the team! If you want to be a part of this movement you are welcome to provide a meal for Sunday night youth group. If you want to be a part of this movement you can keep LIT Youth in your prayers!
Grace and peace,
AS IS Church Student Ministry Director