New Year, Old Message

From all of us at Urban Youth Workers Institute, Happy New Year and welcome to 2017!

With the start of every New Year, people embrace the opportunity to have a fresh start.  We make resolutions to improve our quality of life, pursue interests we want to develop into habits and set ambitious new goals to achieve.  All this to craft a new version of ourselves, better, stronger….you can fill in the additional adjectives.  But maybe, just maybe something ‘old’ will do more to change our lives than anything ‘new’ can.  That old thing is the timeless message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your youth ministry may embody this now more than ever.  In a constantly changing world, where the next new thing is what’s hot, the old message…the timeless message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ needs to be proclaimed all the more.  Not just in words but also in practice.  In order to do that it’s not simply a matter of new methods or strategies but a reminder of an old message.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes to the Corinthian church,

Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it.  It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you… (1 Cor 15:1 NLT)

Paul tells the Corinthians to be reminded of the Good News, it is the Good News that saves IF you continue to believe the message.  It’s a challenge to look back at an old message, the message that Jesus saves.  This is the message students need to hear, this is the message that transforms lives, this is the message that brings light into darkness.

So in 2017 if you want to build a vibrant thriving life and youth ministry, we suggest you are reminded of this old message.

3 ways to remind yourself of the Gospel

  1. Remember you are a disciple first, a disciple maker second
    1. You can become so busied with the tasks of ministry you end up losing sight your own discipleship to Jesus. Because of this various areas of our lives can be hidden from the reach of the Gospel.  When we forget we are disciples first, we live out of doing ministry and forget to be a disciple.  Remembering the Gospel puts us back in the place of following Jesus and growing into His likeness.
  2. Remember to Read Scripture
    1. This might appear obvious but the way the transforming message of the Gospel of Jesus to changes you is not to be more familiar with it but to be more engaged with it. By reading and revisiting Scripture, we can engage with God’s story and give space for God’s Holy Spirit to reveal areas of our own lives where the Gospel needs to continue to consume and transform our lives.  One great resource to engage reading the Bible is from our friends at the Read Scripture app.
  3. Remember to grow in your understanding of the timeless message of the Gospel
    1. Many are familiar with the Gospel when they first heard it and can become all to familiar with it’s power. When we grow in out depth and understanding of the Gospel, it changes us all the more.  A great resource of understanding the Gospel more deeply is from our friends at the Bible Project.  They’ve created videos that show the Bible is one unified story that leads to Jesus.

So there are 3 ways to remind yourself of the Gospel.  Our prayer and hope at UYWI is that this year with all the new you discover that you are daily reminded of the old, timeless message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that urban youth all over the country are introduced to a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ as a result.

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