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Think for a moment about the person or people that you love most in life.

Try and quantify not just WHAT you feel when you think about them but WHY you feel it.

What are the qualities or characteristics about that person that draw you in? What experiences have brought you to this point in your journey together?

Remember the times of laughter and tears. And, if your friendships are anything like mine, there are probably some really weird moments that no one but those involved would ever understand.

We live in a time when people are lonely, and relationships—like the ones we just thought about—can be challenging to find and even harder to maintain. There is a literal epidemic of loneliness and the Church, in whatever form it takes, has the incredible opportunity to be a place where people can find friendship, love, and community. 

When Saint Paul was writing the letter to the Thessalonians, he said, “We were delighted to share with you, not only the gospel of God, but our lives as well.”  Paul cared so much about the people he was teaching and preaching to that he often ended his letters with a list of people to say hello to.

Paul wasn’t simply showing up in town for one night on a preaching tour, he was sharing life with these people and modelling the Christian faith through the change in his own life.

This sort of thing takes time, trust, and intentionality. And it also takes courage.

Sharing our faith is not about tricking people into believing or using fancy sales tactics. We are not trying to manipulate, pressure or push people to make a decision. The reality is that being fake or acting like you know all of the answers only pushes people away, but authenticity and humility draw people in.

We can simply be ourselves, be real about the ups and downs in our lives, and build friendships with the people that come. It’s often as people see Jesus work in the lives of ordinary Christians—brokenness and all—that they understand what it means to have a real relationship with Jesus.

When we talk about being real, it means that we can be honest and vulnerable as we present the authentic message of Jesus. Jesus is real and only the real Jesus can change lives through genuine relationships. 

How authentic is your ministry environment? How open are students and leaders to sharing their true selves?


If you think about these kinds of questions as it relates to your ministry than you are exactly the kind of person who will benefit from the Youth Ministry Online Summit.

Two events. One for youth ministry staff. One for youth ministry volunteers.

The most thoughtful and strategic speakers we know are presenting to Canadian youth ministry staff on August 19. Here are a few of them you won’t want to miss…

Kristen Ivy from Orange
Vince Parker from Life.Church
Mark Matlock, coauthor of Faith for Exiles

On September 12, there will be practical training that will unite and inspire your whole youth ministry team, covering topics like:
How do we help teenagers in crisis?
How do we lead a small group?
How do we model spiritual disciplines?
How do we become healthy Youth Workers?

Both events will cover the most important things pertaining to ministry this fall.

To find out more, click on the banner below.

 


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