I spent the last 2 days up in Estes Park at the YMCA of the Rockies Retreat Center with Thorncreek Church’s youth group. My good buddy Scott Dozer asked me to come and speak at their retreat a few months back and this weekend was the culmination of prayers, studying, and preparation.
The theme of the weekend that we wanted the teens to understand was that they needed to be second to God and to live a life that reflected that instead of living second to other idols like drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, etc. “I am Second!” was driven by a pretty cool website that Scott had found and shared with me: www.iamsecond.com. We picked a half dozen or so of these videos and incorporated them into my messages, worship times led by Ambient You, as well as in the mornings to jump start their devotion times.
FRIDAY NIGHT TALK:
I actually used a sermon I preached at Northern Hill Christian Church on December 6th, Resisting Idols, as the inspiration and foundation for this talk. 1 Corinthians 10:1-14 was a great place to start in warning the teens against the temptation of worshiping idols and things that distract them from focusing in on God and Him alone. This talk served a great purpose in focusing them for the weekend and what we wanted them to wrestle with. The goal was to get them to begin evaluating their own lives and acknowledge the things that were more important to them than God so they could understand what they were actually living their lives second to. From there we went back to our rooms and had amazing small group discussions where the teens were really able to share what they were struggling with in life.
SATURDAY MORNING DEVOTION:
We read Luke 18:18-29, Jesus’ conversation with the rich young ruler. As the teens continued to wrestle with the concept of “I am Second!” I wanted to show them two different ways they could respond. They chould echo the actions of the rich young ruler and walk away from Jesus if they weren’t willing to give up the idols in their lives or they could respond as Peter and disciples did by leaving whatever behind to follow Jesus. Given the opportunity to do it all over again I think I would have started the weekend with this passage and challenge and then done my talk about idols to get specific with the teens and whta they struggle with on a personal level.
SATURDAY NIGHT TALK:
Worship was amazing on Saturday night and it prompted me to do something I have never done before when preaching. The Spirit was moving in such a powerful way in that room and in the lives of the teenagers that instead of waiting until the end of the evening I started with a time of response so the teens could express what they were going through. 3 teenagers shared that they had put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ at some point over the weekend and just about every teenager in the group expressed that they wanted to live life second to God and Him alone. It was truly an amazing moment.
From there I went into my talk based in Acts 8:26-40, Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. I wanted to shared with the teens some critical things I have learned by being apart of Dare 2 Share Ministries. The big idea was to show the teens how Philip lived I life of obedience to God by PRAYING and responding when prompted by the Spirig, PURSUING the Eunuch by meeting him where he was at, and PERSUADING him with the Gospel. This passage also demonstrates how we need to be both RELATIONAL and RELENTLESS in our evangelism approach. My challenge to the teens was to go to their small group leaders and share what they had been struggling with throughout the weekend and how they planned on living their faith out by sharing the Gospel with their friends when they returned to school this week.
I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to spend the weekend with these teens and share God’s Truth with them. I pray that they will continue to live “I am Second!” to God and that they will let everyone that they know about the love of Jesus Christ.