I've started doing a leadership class for our high school teens. The purpose of this class is to prepare our older teens for service in the church now and in the future. In doing this class I want to see these teens putting into practice the leadership principles and skills they are learning by taking more of a leadership role in the youth group.
Why a leadership class for our teenagers? One of the things that I have been thinking about over the past few months, and something I have often questioned, has to do with two simple phrases found in three passages (1 Peter 2:1-2, 1 Cor 3:1-2 and Hebrews 5:11-14). The phrase is "spiritual milk" and "solid meat." Up to this point I never really understood what those two terms meant.
I often hear people say "I'm just not getting the meat I need from his sermons" and I think to myself "What does that mean?" I don't think they know. What I do think is happening is a misinterpretation of the God given feeling to grow. Many people think that spiritual growth comes from the pulpit and if the pastor isn't making them think about some obscure Greek word then he isn't doing his job and the people aren't being fed. The truth of the matter is only a portion of our growth comes from being in the Word.
When babies are born the only thing they can digest is mama's milk. They don't have teeth or the stomach to digest much else. As they grow they go from milk to solid food. Now I've never done a study on this or heard research concerning this, but I am assuming that a human being could not live on their mother's milk for the rest of their life and so it is with the Christian life.
A new Christian is ravenous for the Word and spends a lot of time devouring it, but God did not make us just to solely take in the Word. He also made us to put it into action. So I equate spiritual milk with being in the Word and solid meat with putting the Word into action. There comes a point in the Christian's life were they need to put what they have learned into action in order to keep on living.
I have about 50 or more teens in my youth group. Many of these teens have grown up in the church and know the Bible. Statistics show that many Christian teens will end up leaving the church after the graduate. Why? I think it is because we continue to feed them spiritual milk and never give them the opportunity to sink their teeth into solid food.
Jesus said in Mark 9:35 that if someone desires to lead they must serve. Serving is an action. Serving is solid food. I want to get our teens into eating solid food by serving their peers. I want them to start experiencing a growth that they have never experienced before that comes from being in ministry. So I am doing this leadership class.
Please be in prayer for the 8 students who are a part of this class. Pray that God gives them a passion to serve, an ability to learn and the desire to put it all into action.
There may be some reading this blog who feel like they aren't getting fed. I encourage you to start serving God. If you want some ideas on how you can put what you've learned into action just ask.