Who is your favourite music artist?
I’m all in on Toby Mac.
I loved him when he was a rapper with DC Talk, and I’ve loved him since he has gone solo with his “Diverse City” band. I was at the first tour they did in Canada as a warm-up band for “Degarmo and Key” (throwback…google them) when I was 16 years old.
Since my boys have been small, I have worked hard at indoctrinating them with Toby Mac music from his first album until his last (my wife is very thankful their musical tastes have moved well beyond DC Talk). My youngest son bought in, but I’m still praying for my oldest.
So it was with great pride, and perhaps some jealousy, when my youngest son Cole, reported to me that Toby Mac addressed him at a concert when he was about 8 years old. Cole was at the front when Toby mentioned that he was going to go old school for a song he was about to sing. Immediately Cole began to yell “Heaven Bound” (again, google it) when Toby turned to him and said, “Not that old school”.
Are you kidding me?
Toby Mac spoke to my son!
How cool is that?!?!?
It can be a powerful thing when someone you admire speaks to you.
It’s the reason you think your life would be changed if only God would speak to you.
The reality is that He has.
God has spoken to you.
Hebrews 1 says He has spoken, “At many times and in many ways.” First by the prophets, and now by His Son. And we have His words recorded in the Scriptures.
Are you kidding me?
Think about that for a minute.
We have a God who has chosen to speak to us!
The questions you have to ask yourself are:
Are you creating space to listen?
Do you know what He has/is saying?
In 2013, the EFC did a national survey called the Canadian Bible Engagement study. Amongst other things, they found that only one in seven Canadian Christians read the Bible once a week. And these numbers do not seem to be improving.
One of the most important things you can do as a youth worker is help your students hear Jesus. And the place God has designed for your students to most clearly hear Him is His written word.
It’s not the only place, just the clearest.
In light of that, there are a few ways you can help students more clearly hear what God has to say through the Scriptures.
1. Model good listening skills.
Students watch what you do, and feel what you love.
When you love Scripture, talk about what you are hearing and learning, and model what it is to let God’s Word shape your decisions, it shapes your students.
Are you intentional about letting God shape you through His Word and are you intentional about showing your kids how He is doing that?
2. Invite students to try new listening practices.
There are so many great apps and bible study resources that you can use to invite students to join you on your listening journey.
Take for instance the Dwell App.
How cool would it be to invite a teenager you love to join you for a week listening to different parts of Scripture, or maybe a theme, on the Dwell App, and then talk about it next week when you get together? You can even choose a different accent each day to change it up.
3. Acknowledge barriers to hearing from God.
One of the reasons students don’t know Scripture is they have very limited space to hear.
Their minds (and ours too) are constantly being filled with other noises.
Take some time to talk about the things that make it difficult to spend time with God in His Word. As a group, take time to acknowledge the distractions we all face that keep us from being able to listen.
Put together a short term plan to create space for hearing and share what the journey of implementing the plan is actually like.
- What was hard?
- What did you lose in the process?
- What did you gain?
- Is this something you would want to try for a longer period of time?
- What would make that difficult?
- What could be the benefit if you could keep this up for a month? For a year?
Hearing God is not easy…even when His words are right in front of us. But teaching your kids to know Scripture, to hear God, may be the best gift you can give them. So, let me ask you three questions…
Have you created space in your daily rhythm to hear God through His Word?
Is there a practice that is most helpful for you to “hear well” (journalling, a reading plan, an app that you can listen to)?
Have you ever invited any of your kids to join you on your journey of listening to God speak through His Word? Will you?
Interested in exploring your faith more and understanding the background and inspiration of the Bible, its history and composition, the overarching themes and message?
Rocky Mountain College has partnered with us on this resource and is also offering a FREE university level course where you’ll explore all 66 books of the Bible and understand the context in and the purpose for which they were written. You will also gain an understanding of how the various types of literary forms in which the Bible was written can legitimately be interpreted so you can better understand the message of all parts of the Bible.
All of this from the comfort of your own home.
Learn more today by clicking HERE.