Loving Jesus - Shaping Ministry to Youth, Young Adults, and Their Families, Part 2
This is part 2 in this series of posts.
If you haven’t already, please take time to read part 1.
Under the broad vision we have at Christ Redeemer to see God’s kingdom advance through the gospel of Jesus, we want to build our ministry to the youth and young adults in our midst upon several vision pillars. The first of which is directly related to the gospel of Jesus:
Loving Jesus: Our greatest desire for young people and their parents is that God would grant that they turn to God from idols and that they genuinely, passionately, and increasingly love the person and cross-work of Jesus Christ with all of their heart.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt.22:37).
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1Jn.4:10).
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all” (2Cor.14).
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1Jn.5:3).
More than anything, we want God to be glorified in each young person by their deep satisfying love for Jesus and their experience of God’s love for them in Jesus.
Now, we don’t mean just any Jesus. We’re talking about Jesus of the Bible. Jesus who is eternal God, who became a man, who lived a perfect sinless life on behalf of his people, who died a sacrificial death in the place of his people, who was resurrected from the dead, who ascended into heaven and is now seated at the Father’s right hand, and who will come again to gather his people, judge the world, and live with his people forever.
We’re talking about the Jesus whose death on a Roman cross some 2000 years ago was more than a mere example to us, but actually demonstrated God’s love and made forgiveness possible as his sacrifice bore the wrath of God that we deserve for sin and turned it into favor so that now, for those who are in Christ, for those who actually believe and trust this by his grace, there is no condemnation.
We want to help young people obey “The Great Commandment” to love God and others. We want to help them to understand what love is - that love is not God, but God is love. We want to help them know that true love is rooted in God’s love for his people manifested in Jesus’ sacrificial death. We want young people to be compelled by that love to sacrifice their priorities so that others would also know the love of God themselves. We want young people to be so ravished by God’s love for them that they can’t help loving others through various sacrificial good works reflecting God’s love displayed in Jesus’ sin-atoning death.
We want the youth and young adults in the CRC body to be thrilled with the love of God for them in Christ, and to see that love burst out in praise to God and spill over into love for him and others in good works and obedience to his commands.