Orange ’14: Reggie Joiner Main Session Message

thHis hope is that we will be surrounded by people this week who we can lean into and share life with each other. As a result of being here this week, whatever is going through your world, beyond learning the skills, you’ll find community. And you’ll find people who do what you do who will lean into your world and you in their world…and out of that you’ll have a better heart.

As he thinks through life and what he wants to share to others. He wants people…

  • to KNOW that they can KNOW God
  • to know that they can become a Christian in a MOMENT
  • to walk away and know that they can TRUST THE BIBLE is TRUE
  • to know that Trust leads to STRONGER FAITH
  • to understand that the CHURCH is a place where they can experience COMMUNITY
  • to know that they understand that BELIEFS MATTER
  • to know that they understand that God has IDEALS in life. If you understand His principles, you’ll have a better life
  • to know that GOD is GOOD. That is Character is good. He cares for us.

These aren’t all the things, but these are some of them.

Just because something is TRUE doesn’t mean someone will hold onto it. We are handing students truth that we hope they hold onto.

People walk away not because what we speak to them is not TRUTH.  It is how we teach them.

As leaders we need to be more intentional about what and how we teach people. Sometimes by the way we handle things and people, it can dismantle their faith, not strengthen it.

Tension is something necessary in our teaching. We think tension threatens what is true, but it doesn’t. We think tension waters down truth, but it doesn’t. The lack of tension that diminish the power of truth. Tension doesn’t make truth less true, it makes it more real.

If you want to stretch the faith of a student, look at truth in a different way.

He wants them to understand yes you can KNOW God but yes, God is a MYSTERY. We don’t know everything there is to know about God, but yes you can know God.

Kids will grow up knowing that we don’t know everything there is to know about God. And that is OK.

You can become a Christian at any MOMENT, but sometimes we hand kids off a faith and salvation that isn’t

Yes the Bible is all TRUE but YES everything that is True about life isn’t in the Bible. Kids will face an issue that isn’t directly addressed int he Bible. The Bible is TRUE and REAL…yes, but they need to understand other things too. The Bible is the Final authority..but there are some issues that the Bible doesn’t address that kids will experience.

We need to be good students of how to do things better. There is a difference between something that is ANTI-Biblical and something that is NON-Biblical…its just not listed.

You are called to lead kids into a growing relationship with Christ. Sometimes the way we teach the Bible can go against that. Kids need to know that God is BIGGER than your Bible.

Yes, TRUST leads to stronger faith, but DOUBT leads to stronger faith. We have to be OK with students struggling/doubting their faith.

If you don’t allow kids in middle school to process their own doubt they won’t own their own faith.

Yes, they should enjoy the CHURCH, but they should enjoy living in the world. Not the world system promoting evil. He’s talking about nature, people, culture. God designed it. They can enjoy things that are in the world. It’s important to have fun.

Don’t make a kid choose between the Church and the world. it’s ok to love the church and love living in the world.

Yes to BELIEFS that matter and yes to PEOPLE who matter more. If your beliefs cause you to treat people the wrong way, something is wrong with your beliefs.

Yes God has an IDEAL…his principals work. But Yes, God uses broken people. God used so many messed up people. When your kids feel that they can’t live up or measure up to your ideal, they may give up.

Yes, God is GOOD and yes, YOU should do GOOD. Because you are created in the image of God, you have the potential to do good. You should do good to reflect God’s character.

Don’t be irresponsible as a Christian. Don’t get stuck when they don’t work out the way we want them to. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t be weird. Don’t be threatened by questions. Don’t be an idiot. Don’t be shallow. Don’t be arrogant.

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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