I will be addressing the youth of today. I want to try and get them to understand the concept of love, and what that means. The scripture we will be focusing on is 1 John 4:9-11 which says: This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
This can sometimes be a hard concept for youth to understand since the only kind of love they see on TV is the love that includes sex and things that promote sexual promiscuity. So how do we get them to see Agape love and show that to one another?
For starters, when you have a large group, I have always found it best to get them to interact with one another in groups of three or four. The three works best for me because I like to do the praying in three, and reinforce the trinity through that example, so it just works best for me. Once they are in groups, I would get them to ask themselves and each other this question: “What does love look like?” There will always be that one that asks, “well what kind of love?” That’s when you have something up your sleeve like whatever love looks like to you.
It is important for them to get out their views of love because once they do that; they will make their opinions of it more rounded based off what their friends say. Sometimes it is best to have your key students stay away from one another, so that they can be in the groups that aren’t regular attendees, and possibly lost.
After you do that activity, it is time to bring the group back together. Once they have their own understanding of love, then we go off of what scripture says love is. There are many scriptures on this, but we want to emphasize the value of Agape love, and how we can show it.
How do you get the youth to feel that?
One thing to do is explain in detail what true Agape love is. Agape love is simply loving the un-loveable. You can always bring up the illustration of the boy who cried wolf, or those who don’t have the things you have, but you want to make sure and feel out the room, and know everyone’s status before you do this, because you do not want anyone to feel singled out. Another example you could use for youth is that we should love those who are thieves. This will be something they can see, and may even be a bit hard for them to even think about, but it will allow them to see this.
We must get them to love people who are not in their group of friends, or even who are not on the same level as them. Our youth now thinks only about them self most of the time, and it is time to get them to think about others, or this world will not go anywhere. So get them to be able to feel what it means to have and show Agape love.
Another good thing to do is show them how Christ did this. He loved the beggars on the street, and to reincorporate what it means to be a Christian: Little Christ’s. I think they lose what that means, and think that it is simply a club to be a member of. They become Christians and never do anything with that. To see them grow and allow Christ to be shown through them, I believe the first step is to get them to love others.
The next thing to do is to get them to show love. How can you get them to do this? Many times they think that they cannot do anything because they are too young. They feel as if they have no grounds to stand on, and as if that is what everyone else thinks as well.
We must get that stigma out their minds. We must challenge youth to get out of their comfort zone, and to not just tithe with their money, but also tithe with their time. There is only one problem with challenging youth to do something. If you truly challenge them, and even a handful of them accept and live out that challenge, they start changing their community. The people who are not up to the change will get freaked out, and possibly people in the church will leave because there are kids dressed in black, guys wearing makeup, kids wearing hats in church, etc., etc. the list goes on.
Once they see the value in showing love, and act upon that a firestorm can happen. Revival could possibly sweep this country. We just must make sure we are feeding the fuel to it, and pushing them to do the things that God has called them to do. We must not allow them to become lazy like so many generations before. Our youth needs to become again a generation that loves everyone, and leaves no one out.
There is only one other problem with doing this. People will be out of business. Porn industries will go under. Alcohol and tobacco industries will go out of business. There will be bars that turn into churches. Is it time for our youth to stand up and allow God to work through them and change this nation?