Developing Responsible Royals for Kingdom Growth

A PRESENTATION BY REV CHARLES OPPONG-POKU (MID-GHANA SECTOR, GHANA BAPTIST CONVENTION) AT THE RA NATIONAL CLINIC 2020 AT GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH, KUMASI ON 19TH MARCH, 2020

TEXTS: DEUTERONOMY. 6:4-10, 20-21; ECCLESIASTES 11:9

 “Be happy ….. while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgement.”

Joel 2:28 (NKJV)

And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh. Young men and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young man shall     see vision.

I John 2:12-14 (NKJV).

I have written you, young man, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you and you have overcome the wicked one.

Prov. 20:29 (NKJV).

The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendour of old men is their grey hair.

INTRODUTION

1. Greetings And Appreciations

a. From the President

b. The Sector EC

c. My good self.

In fact, I appreciate very much this opportunity to meet and worship with you, and I am deeply grateful for the confidence and for the honour that you have done me.

2. The Nature of the program

a. Annual National Leadership Clinic  

3. My Assignment: To be the Main Speaker for this important programme.   

4. The Theme: Developing Responsible Royals For Kingdom Growth

            a. Very relevant and important

b. Timely and necessary

c. “Developing Baptist Young People in Order to Effect Growth. 

5. Structure of my delivery

  1. Explanation of Some Key Words
  2. Biblical Rationale For Young People
  3. God in the Lives of Young People
  4. The Necessity of Developing Young People
  5. Steps to Developing Responsible Royals
  6. Conclusion  

I. EXPLANATION OF SOME KEY WORDS

a. Meaning of Key words

1. Develop:

  1. Grow or cause to grow and become more mature, advanced, or elaborate.
  2. Start to exist, experience, or possess.

2. Responsible

  1. Having an obligation to do something, or having control over or care for someone, as part of one’s job or role.
  2. Being the primary cause of something and so able to be blamed or credited for it.

3. Royals

  1. As an adjective it means having the status of a king or queen or a member of their family.
  2. As a noun it means a member of the royal family.  

4. Kingdom

  1. A country, state, or territory ruled by a king or queen.
  2. The spiritual reign or authority of God.
  3. The rule of God or Christ in a future age.
  4. Heaven as the abode of God and of the faithful after death.

5. Growth

  1. The process of increasing in size.
  2. The process of developing physically, mentally, or spiritually.
  3. The process of increasing in amount, value, or importance.

b. What is Youth or Young Person  

1. Identifying The young People 

  1. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers a youth as anyone within the ages of 15 years and 34 years.
  2. The United Nation General Assembly considers these living between ages 15 years to 24 years as youths (Madugba 2012). The Kingdom Age, Spiritual Life Publications).
  • Youth is a period when life is at a peak and one’s potentialities at its highest level of performance.
  • At this time, they are bold, fearless and courageous fighters. The bible confirms this in the following texts (passages):
  • Joel 2:28 (NKJV) – And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh. Young men and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young man shall     see vision.
  • I John 2:12-14 (NKJV). I have written you, young man, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you and you have overcome the wicked one.
  • Proverbs 20:29 (NKJV). The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendour of old men is their grey hair.

II. THE BIBLICAL RATIONALE FOR DEVELOPING YOUNG PEOPLE

a. The Biblical Rationale For Developing Young People In The OT

1. The Book Of Proverbs

The book of Proverbs was written to give prudence to the naive, to the youth knowledge and discretion (Pr. 1:4).

  1. Solomon believed that young people were and are able to be taught and trained in God’s word so that they can learn wisdom, prudence, knowledge and discretion.
  2. Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement.
  3. A wise person, therefore is one who has or shows experience, knowledge and good judgement.
  4. To be prudent is to act with or showing care and thought for the future.
  5. Discretion on the other hand is the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offence or revealing confidential information.
    1. It is also the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation.
    1. It is about choice, option, judgement, preference, disposition and volition.

The book of proverbs is intended to make the young person acquire experience, a good sense of judgement, make the right choices and behave right.

2. The Book Of Ecclesiastes

a. In Ec. 11:9, the Teacher addressed his conclusion to youthful readers saying

“Be happy ….. while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgement.”

b. Solomon concludes Ecclesiastes that the ultimate goal of life is to worship God and follow His ways knowing that God will subject every aspect of human life to judgement (Ec. 12:1).

b. Biblical Rationale For Development Of Young People In The NT

Jesus Christ, A Perfect Example Of development of young people In The NT (LK. 2:42)

1. Jesus modelled the holistic growth objectives for a healthy development of young people.

  1. He developed intellectually, physically, relationally, and spiritually.
  2. He grew from a natural baby to a young adult and encountered the challenges all teenagers are facing today:
    1. Obedience to parents
    1. Developing a self-identity
    1. Puberty
    1. Relationships with God and with others

2. Jesus modelled what a life growing in healthy relationships looked like

  1. It was a life of vulnerability and interdependence
  2. He gave greater attention to a smaller circle for support and mentoring.

III. GOD IN THE LIVES OF YOUNG PEOPLE

a. The OT Is Full Of Examples Of God’s Dealings With Young People

1. Samuel was at his youthful age when God called and used him (1Sam. 12:1).

  1. God used him as a great prophet in Israel
    1. He anointed Saul as the first king of Israel

2. Joseph was said to be 17 years old when God began to communicate with him in incomprehensible dreams (Gen. 37:2,19,28).

  1. His seemingly overambitious dreams landed him into life threatening situations, slavery, and prison (Gen. 37:19,28; 39:6,9,20).
    1. However, his relationship with God resulted in God’s favour resting upon him
    1. God used him to save the then world from starvation and delivered his family, the bloodline of Jesus Christ.
    1. In all it took 22 years for his dreams to find fulfillment.
    1. His secret was faithfulness to God which is very difficult for many people (Rev 2:10).

IV. THE NECESSITY OF DEVELOPING RESPONSIBLE ROYALS YOUNG PEOPLE

a. The Role of Young People in Today’s Church

1. Investing in today’s youth is necessary in growing the body of Christ.

  • Teaching young people in the church to grow in their relationship with the Lord prepares them to serve Christ in all they do.
  • As a result, this nurtures the congregation and allows the church to flourish.

2. Serving young people cannot only prepare them to become future leaders, but also allow them to contribute to the church.

  1. This is seen many times in the Bible, as God often used young people to do great things.
  2. For example, God used Timothy to pastor and lead the Ephesian church when he was a teenager. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
  3. Because of God’s heart for young people, it is important to recognize their value in today’s church.

Matthew 18:2-4 says, “He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”  

 

b. They are strategically positioned to fulfill a purpose

1. The gifts that young people possess point to the fact that they are   living for a purpose and seek out ways to fulfill that purpose.

  1. It should also be noted in the above three mentioned bible passages that vision or revelation, strength and victory over Satan were specifically attributed to the youths.
  2. This is the prophetic destiny of Christian young people.

c. It is obvious that God has reserved for the young Christian of the Ghana Baptist Convention the role of receiving revelation of His words and engaging the gift of their youthful strength to the utter demolishing of Satan’s kingdom.

  • Youth ministry is vital to helping teens integrate into the larger, intergenerational community of the church.
    • Youth ministry resists the status quo, helping the church stay relevant.
    • Youth ministry focuses on inviting those who are not already part of the church into the deeper narrative of God’s plan.
    • Youth ministry helps the church focus on the way of Jesus, which goes beyond tradition, dogma, and work.

V. STEPS TO DEVELOPING RESPONSIBLE YOUNG PEOPLE.

To be able to develop responsible royals for the Kingdom of God, the leadership of the church needs to Stop, Look and LISTEN. 

1. L stands for Learning
a. Learning refers to gaining an understanding of the young people sub-culture when planning ministry programs.

b. This new generation often does not hold traditions and values because of the lack of effective role models. 

2. I Is for Identifying Potential
a. Each young person has a unique level of potential.

b. The church has to assist young people on their journeys to self-actualization.

c. A self-actualized young person is able to cope with and adjust to changes and assist friends in their development.

d. Youth leadership is strategically positioned to facilitate the teenager’s growth within a safe and nurturing environment.

3. S stand for Sincere Interaction
a. This generation, which is more isolated, seeks interaction with adults who are genuine and want to have a long-term relationship with them.

b. Youth leaders will need to move away from measuring success in terms of numbers and toward depth of relationships.

c. It will require the extra mile whether that means sending instant messages or attending some events in order to connect with other young people.

4. T stands for Training and Empowerment
a. Churches that train young people empower them with life skills that allow them to gain a healthy self-esteem and develop effective decision-making skills.

b. This results in youth becoming active and integrated members in society.

c. Also train them in peer ministry using groups or teams. This can enhance the young people’s sense of responsibility, as well as teach him or her to deal with diverse ideas and cultures.

d. Churches need to provide a safe environment in which young leaders can develop their skills through successes and failures and be utilized by the church body.

5. E Is for Encouragement
a. The current generation of youth does not fear failure, an advantage over past generations.

b. They know computer games in which heroes, if they fail, get another chance.

c. On the other hand, adolescence brings with it a great deal of change and confusion, making teens vulnerable.

d. They need constant encouragement and reassurance, especially when learning new skills and becoming involved in service opportunities.

6. N Is for New Opportunities
a. Once young people have been trained, it is important for them to become involved in the church because doing so allows them to impact other people’s lives, provides opportunities to share their faith and gives them a sense of belonging, which allows them to take ownership.

b. The most effective way in which youths can accomplish this is by integrating into the wider faith community.

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