Just the mention of the word “holy” would make most teens today cringe. It sounds so archaic, so ideal, so far far away! I myself use to associate holiness with old people who have white hair in nice formal clothes with halos and wings who could take you to the skies! This topic is just too controversial that even we Christians would just be silent about it and sometimes joke about it.
But what is it really in the first place? What does the Bible teach us about holiness? And most importantly, how can we effectively teach this to teenagers?
Dictionaries would often relate the word “holy” to the words “religious”, “sacred”, “devout”, and “pious”. They’re all external. And so we tend to miss what it really is and so we try to pursue it from the outside-in rather than from the inside-out.
Here are 3 Basic Truths About Holiness that we must teach Teens about:
1. Holiness is Beautiful!
It it surely for teens! It’s never for old people who we tend think have nothing to do but just pray. It’s not archaic or boring. It is good! It is truly beautiful!
But to really appreciate its beauty, we first have to acknowledge that sin is awfully ugly! Sin might be pleasurable for a time but its only for a short time! It is a sugar-coated poison, like a chocolate-covered poop! Its a killer! Sin would always lead to death! This is the Truth. It could cause teens to get into a distorted kind of love, same-sex not to mention, and kill out of rage and jealousy in a public mall. Sounds familiar huh?
Sin leads to death.
But Holiness is life! It is beautiful!
Yet the thing is, its impossible to have on our own because…
2. God Alone Can Make Us Holy
To be “holy” is to be right and approved before God. On our own its totally impossible. But God gave us the way to be right with Him. It’s through faith in Christ alone.
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Christ Jesus to all who believe.” -Romans 3:22a
Teens must be led to the truth about the person and the work of Jesus for only by trusting him and giving our lives to him can a person be truly holy and happy! This is good news!!! And…
3. Because of Jesus, We Would Pursue Holiness!
God saved us through Jesus, from the power and the consequences of sin that leads to death so that we could experience true life and really live! This new life He gives must be set apart exclusively for His use! We won’t eat a bread whose rolling pin was used to scratch an itching armpit or drink a glass of water that has cockroach’s feet soaked in it! In the same way, we don’t live in the world’s ways and expect to be used by God.
In short, Christ followers no longer live for themselves but for a Cause that’s something bigger than their own lives!
Teens must know that to live for effectively for God’s use and for His Honor, we could and we would pursue holiness!
If you’ve already trusted Jesus as your Savior and Lord and is on the verge of giving up because of the heavy tide of temptation that we have in today’s culture, know that Holiness for you is still possible!
It only comes from God through Christ and for the rest of God’s people, esp. teenagers who are yet to respond to this good news!
Time flies fast. We are now in the month of July and many of you who belong to a student government, student organization or any other school clubs are most probably in a season of team building and strategic planning for the rest of the school year.
Whether you’re the org. president, the treasurer, or simply a member of a your student organization, you got to know the way of TESL or The Effective Student Leader. Here are 3 things that I believe what TESL is all about.
1. Making Things Happen
Effective Student Leaders brings the organization to the next level by getting things done and achieves your set goals for your organization. You have to be deliberate and aggressive about goals or “wins”. Draw them out clearly. Every one should be on the same “page” and should have the same clear mental picture of “what could be” driven with a conviction that “this should be.” And remember not to be too idealistic (demanding too much on yourself and the team) nor too easy by setting “safe goals”. Get yourself and your team some coaching and feedbacks from those who have gone ahead of you. Never underestimate the role of your advisers. Honor them by asking for their opinions and set courageous goals!
2. Vital Friendships
Its possible to get things done yet in the end destroy relationships along the way. Reaching goals are good but still people are also valuable. Developing long-term friendships within the organization is a wise and worthwhile thing! There are leaders who tend to be more people-oriented and most of the time they can be too loose on the goals. And yet there are other leaders who tend to be more goal-oriented and most of the time they could easily step on people in the process of reaching goals. As a leader you must know your make-up and tendency and you must ask people to help you strike the balance and keep you in check.
As a student leader remember that you must always be teachable and willing to learn and grow from your own experiences and from the experiences of others. Its “ok” to make mistakes, get criticized, your firey suggestions watered down and even see some of your projects or ideas fail. It takes courage to attempt new things and it takes much humility to be better and better!
I first saw this really good video clip during the “4/14 Pilipinas” conference – a gathering of various organizations whose heart and goal is to Reach the Next Generation to Build Our Nation.
Why Full-Time Campus Ministry?
This is one of the major questions people ask me whenever they learn about me and what I do in life.
I can still remember I was about 12 yrs old when I recognized my “discontent” about the kind of “Christian” life I was living. That time I knew that I am saved through faith in Christ Jesus and I even remember personally praying with my mother together with my other siblings, accepting Jesus as the Savior of my life when I was about 6 yrs. old!
And yes, I grew up attending “Sunday Schools”, I went to church weekly with our family and was quite active in serving our local church but there was just something lacking within me. My purpose for living was not clear, I have no cause to live and die for, and things were merely becoming mechanical.
Some months after this our parents decided to move out from our local church and try attending other Christian churches. It partly hurt me because I was getting “busy” in the music ministry of that church and feeling valuable (though I was spiritually “dying” inside). So we went on for a season of “dating churches”. Yet still I can feel the discontent within me. I still had no sense of purpose and direction in this life.
Then came High School. I tried other applying for other schools but God’s providence led me back to the Christian School where I spent my preparatory level through thru Grade two. During those times there was a spark of a new desire to get to know this Jesus of Christianity. I started reading the Bible beginning with the book of John and I was blown away by the truths about this God who became man, and lived a life with a seemingly worthy cause! It was during those times when I understood about what the Bible teaches about being “born again” etc.
It was here during my days as a teenager when my sister invited me to join this group called “Youth on Fire”. I was “culture shocked” the first time I entered one of their Friday night gatherings! There was about 500+ students and young people who were so passionate for Jesus! I honestly felt weird about it but something in me kept me coming back every week. They were jumping and singing from their hearts and during the pastor’s preaching, many would respond and repent of their sins and give their lives to Jesus!
It was here where the spark that Jesus did, caused me to give my life to Him in absolute surrender. I repented of my sins and put my faith in Jesus and gave my life for His cause! This was the time where I said: “You’re Saving Grace is so Great and Amazing! I can’t help but to give my whole life to you in absolute surrender!”
Fast forward my high school season, I found myself helping my friends in High school know and follow Jesus too! I did it through one on one with them and gathering them together. I really enjoyed doing this that I considered doing it as a “career”. I found our group growing and soon even some of our batch mates were helped to follow Jesus by my other friends! We even had an opportunity to coordinate a high school wide event about SEX and RELATIONSHIPS with the help of some student life coach from our church.
The turning point happened during a national student youth conference that happened in Baguio called “Campus Harvest Asia“. It was there and I was about age 15 where I dedicated my life for full-time ministry still not even know how to prepare for it. I just kept on following Jesus together with a small group of young men & helping my friends follow Jesus. Then After high school, my father who is also in full-time Christian work, encouraged me to try entering a Bible College for me to better get equipped and grounded in the Basic Biblical truths.
I never planned continuing for another four more years in the same college. But step by step I know God was with me. There, I was exposed to a lot of other Christian ministries- hospitals, drug abused, provincial missions, street children, orphans, and even teaching values to students among campuses (which is my favorite) I did my OJT in San Francisco High School which I really enjoyed!
Then came last year when I graduated last March, I was back with my home church in Victory-the people who helped me in my teen years to live for a worthy cause and love and follow Jesus!
So why am I in full-time campus ministry? It’s because of the “spark” that I believe God did in my heart as a teenager who has no purpose to live for. He gave me Jesus, the only Person from whom I have found my identity, purpose, value and worth! It was He who chose me and loved me first that now I was able to chose and love Him passionately and live for His cause of helping people know and follow the Jesus of the Bible esp. with the students who are in campuses! I just want to pass it on! 🙂 They may not become a full-time Christian work, but as long as they “get it” and live for the cause of Jesus in whatever vocation God calls them to be, I’m happy and it’s job well done for me!
And this year I am very excited to be a part of a national campus conference called “Ignite”
This will be another year where I believe God will be calling out more young people in this generation and make plain to them the cause they are to live for and even die for! 🙂 I know each of us has his/her own story. Yet all I desire is to see young people love Jesus and His Story and Make History all for God’s greater fame and glory generation after generation!
For more details about the conference: Click here!