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1 Timothy 4:12"Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

If we desire revival to sweep our homes, churches and nation, then we got to start from the grass root level, and that is among children and the youth!  Youth are the engine of our growth!  Glory to Jesus! 

Today we have our churches filled with ‘false converts’ who emotionally surrender during a meeting and then they stop growing; eventually they slide and slide and end up getting lost.  We must teach our youth to treat the Word of God as their breath and live according to the Word. 

God helped me start luncheon prayer cells in the multinational bank where I worked before joining ministry.  Revival hit the prayer cells and many youth surrendered their life to God.  We started all-night-prayer and also Fire-retreat camps, which brought tremendous revival in the lives of the young people.  We also traveled and ministered to the youth in the villages and brought them out of the power of darkness. 

My teenage daughter would tell me, “get into our shoes and understand us.”  Very true!  When we approach the youth with compassion and love, they readily respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Now, how we handle them after this is very important. It is not all about jumping for a few days but to ‘stay rooted in Christ’ is important. The youth need regular spiritual guidance. They need strong, anointed mentors whom they can follow and trust. 

Some youth camps, retreats and meetings are clustered with programs and lack the most essential thing which is the Word of God.  In some occasions as little as fifteen minutes is allotted for the Word.  More focus is given for skits, dances and other things.  These should be just frills for the program and not the primary. Some churches concentrate more on pleasing the youth rather than drawing them to Christ.  Some youth groups just gather in restaurants after church and call it ‘fellowship meeting’.  Once in a way it may be exciting but not on a regular basis.  The hangouts, the parties, the get-togethers all the entertainments will not make a difference if we don’t  teach our youth about the importance of prayer and the study of God’s word. Are you listening?

All the hip hop, all the concerts, all the urban fashions could never do what prayer, knowing God and living a holy life will do in a young person’s life.  Programs should be used to just break the ice and allowing the kids to get to know each other. I know of youth groups hanging out with guitars talking a lot of Jesus but they never touch their Bibles and set their mind to know ‘more’ of Jesus.  All such groups have withered away and vanished.  They cannot stand the ‘heat’ of this world and they fall into the trap of satan.  They are happy to stay in the shallow level and never want to dig deeper.  We must help this hip-hop generation seated in our churches and hanging out in streets and teach them the importance of seeking more of God and less of this world.  It is also very important to give individual attention to every youngster who attends church, it is not all about numbers but it is all about quality nurturing.  We need to be upfront with the truth of God’s Word and not try to always entertain and please them.  The enemy is all out to grab the young people.  The moment they walk out of the church, there are ‘distractions’ to hound them. Beware! Nothing but determination, perseverance and commitment could save them and keep them.  We need to tell them this. 

We need to also introduce them to Jesus in a personal way.  I have seen young people go berserk and crazy when they encounter Jesus in a personal way.  Nothing but this can save them.  No flowery language but the love of Jesus given to them as they can understand.  It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to learn the slang or teen lingo. Neither do you need to be up to the minute with the code of the streets, although helpful but what is most important is making the message understandable and reachable to their mind.

Most of the young people trained under me are into ministry now.  It is important to teach them to walk deep with Christ.  Daniel learnt to fast and pray in a disciplined way and no wonder he stood before kings and found favor in their eyes.  Such would be the life of young people who learn to fast and pray like Daniel.  Joseph was able to flee from  the lust of this world because he had a close relationship with God because the Bible says in Genesis 39: 2”The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man..” That’s the secret my friend!

Jesus didn’t use gimmicks to gain followers, He was straightforward and honest. Mathew 16:24 says “Then Jesus said to His disciples, if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” The word ‘disciple’ means a learner and also the one who would be disciplined. Jesus goes on to say, “if anyone desires to come!”  Did you get that?  It is a matter of personal choice and decision.  Let our young people know the cost of following Jesus and living a disciplined life!
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