On Saturday, June 15, 2013, 25 teens and 8 sponsors from Colonial Hills Baptist Church left the church parking and travelled over 800 miles to Ringgold, Louisiana in order to minister for the week at Kingsway Baptist Church. This trip served as the culmination of months of requirements and preparation as teenagers diligently honed lifetime skills of discipleship and faithfulness in their pursuit of Christ that would serve them well on the trip, as well as in their lives. Along the way, God impressed an important theme into our minds: God answers prayer. Allow me to explain:
The fact that God answers prayer should come as no surprise to true followers of Christ, but it often takes events like mission trips to make us understand just how powerful the resource of prayer is. It didn't take long for God to begin to teach us this lesson. On Saturday evening we sat in traffic near Jackson, Mississippi for an hour and a half while the bus didn't move at all. As I pulled up a traffic app on on my phone, I quickly realized that we were in some real trouble. Even though we hadn't moved at all, the app showed that we were only halfway through the traffic. We could be in for a long night. Quickly, we asked five teenagers to pray for God to intervene so that we could arrive in time to minister on Sunday, and within fifteen minutes of praying, the traffic cleared and we were on our way. This episode set the tone for the week. On Sunday we prayed that God would bring some children out to the first night of VBS, and 29 children were there. We prayed that God would grow our numbers on Monday, and 42 children arrived. On Tuesday, we prayed that we would see one soul come to Christ, and we saw 43 children attend, with two professions of faith. Wednesday night saw 57 children attending the closing night, along with three more professions of faith. Every request that we asked for was answered with stunning swiftness from our sovereign Ruler.
As we approached our Cola War on Thursday night, we began to become concerned. No matter how hard we looked and canvassed, there did not seem to be any teens in the area. I began to prepare our teens for an evening of sharing testimonies of God's goodness if no teens showed up. Again, we prayed. Inexplicably, God saw fit to bring 19 teens out to our Cola War that evening, with 5 professing Christ. Once again, God was teaching us that if we ask in His name, He is inclined to hear and to answer our requests. The emotion that filled the room that evening after the Cola War as we shared testimonies of God's power to answer prayer is one that I will not soon forget. I believe that God brought our youth group to Ringgold to teach us that He will answer our prayers.
As I spoke to the teens this past Sunday, I used the illustration of receiving an inheritance. Imagine if you received an inheritance of one million dollars, and yet you allowed yourself to live in poverty. You didn't work, you didn't eat, and you had no means of sustenance. All the while, the inheritance money sat in a bank available for your use, but collecting dust while you rotted away. I am convinced that this is what many Christians are doing with their prayer lives. They long for God's power, but find their journey of faith to be marked by abject spiritual poverty and fruitlessness. All the while, their loving Ruler has provided the remarkable resource of prayer that sits there collecting dust while we spiritually waste away. He's inclined to hear and to answer us (I John 5:14-15), but we must tap into the resource that He has provided.
God used a trip to Ringgold, Louisiana to show us that His love and care for His people is manifested through His eagerness to answer their prayers. May we remain faithful to draw from the source of His magnificent power all year long -- not just on a mission trip.
For a pictorial recap of our Trip to Louisiana, click HERE.
Summers are without a doubt my favorite time of the year. I love the blessings of not having to worry about the stress of school work, the awesome weather, swimming, baseball (Boston Red Sox baseball), ice cream, and the break from normal schedules. I could go on and on about things that make the summer awesome. There are many places that you could choose to identify with as a faith-family that bask in the glory of summer without any thought about how they could use this God-ordained break from the norm in order to make the name of Jesus famous.
By the grace of God, thats's not how we do things. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Summer includes the two annual highlights of our youth calendar: camp and mission trip. We believe that when we see Jesus for who He really is, and when we understand that He is a Savior who is worthy of our trust, our plans, and our love (Luke 9:57-62), we will choose to redeem the time that our Heavenly Father has given to us in order to fulfill His mission for true disciples. We want to make disciples of every nation. That's why we're here. That's why the true followers of Jesus exist (Matthew 9-10).
This summer we are praying towards a time of spiritual revival as we head to Camp Cobeac in Prudenville, MI. Many parents and teens have already expressed their excitement about this new opportunity and we are really excited to see how God works. We will also be heading to Ringgold, Louisiana for our teen mission trip. While there, we will partner with Kingsway Baptist Church in order to help them with a VBS and a teen rally. We are praying that God will work in the hearts of those that we minister to, as well as the hearts of our teens, perhaps even calling some of them into full-time Christian service.
Will you pray with us in regards to this summer? Start praying even now. Pray that God will revive our youth group and give us a passion to live for Jesus and follow Him with reckless abandonment. That's how we believe that He wants us to live. Pray that we will seek to find our satisfaction this summer in Him and Him alone, not in any of the cheap thrills that the world has to offer.
I can't wait for Summer 2013 to officially begin.
For the glory of Jesus,
Click the button below to find out more about our summer plans:
One of the most common questions facing Christian teens today is this: "What is the will of God for my life right now? This question is completely natural, and it is totally understandable. Teens are in the process of exploring a stage of life in which they are transferring their thinking from the concrete to the abstract. They don't just want to be told what to do, they want to be involved in reasoned discussions that consider the logic and grounds for why they should do it. When it comes to the big picture of their lives, teens are beginning to realize that many of the most important decisions that they will ever make will be made within the next five to ten years. These concerns are very real. They impact how a teen thinks, behaves, and interacts with those around them. Biblically-minded teens want to what God says about how they should act right now. What is His will for them today? So how should this question be answered? Unfortunately, it seems that we too often complicate this question, bringing it to levels of minutia and confusing dialogue at which it was never intended to arrive. As we search the Scriptures regarding the will of God for young people, two simple, primary principles become abundantly clear. The heartbeat of God for a Christian teen is that he would obey and honor his parents (Eph. 6:1), and that he would develop a passionate relationship with Him through learning and applying the truths of Scripture (Psalm 119:9-11). There are, of course, many other passages of Scripture in which young people are addressed, but as a Christian teen learns to know and apply the Scriptures (Psalm 199:9-11), these principles will naturally come to the forefront. Both of these disciplines, as any Christian teen can attest, require hard work and dedication, but they are both essential to the Christian teen who would seek to stay in the center of God's will for his life right now.
In 2013, it is the desire of our Youth Group to partner with teens and parents in order to help Christian teens learn how to understand and apply the truths of Scripture. One of the ways that we are going to attempt to do this is through developing a systematically interactive curriculum that we are calling "Grounded," which will take the Christian teen all the way through the New Testament in 2013. "Grounded" will be unveiled to the teens in Sunday School on December 30. Please pray for us and partner with us as we embark on this exciting endeavor. I am anticipating great things from the Lord in the coming year as we strive to serve Him, and as we cultivate a deep relationship with Him through the truths that He has revealed to us in His Word.
Lord, keep us grounded to your Word in 2013!
In His service,
Welcome to the new website for Youth E.D.G.E. Indy, the youth ministry of Colonial Hills Baptist Church. My name is Pastor Chad, and I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to minister to the teens in and around the Indianapolis area. The goal of Youth E.D.G.E. Indy, as our slogan states, is to "Prepare Teens for Life and Eternity" through Evangelism, Discipleship, Growth, and Encouragement. This critical task is accomplished through a gospel-centered, Christ-focused philosophy of ministry that seeks to equip teens with a vision for Great-Commission living. There are at least three important pillars that we will rely upon in order to accomplish this goal.
1. Intentionally and fervently worshiping Jesus: We believe that as redeemed sinners, every area of our lives should be committed to worship. Romans 12:1 explains that as a result of our adoption into the family of Christ, we must present our lives as a living sacrifice, which is our "spiritual worship." This means that every area of our lives should glorify God, and that we must continuously worship Him with every fiber of our being. Specific to Youth E.D.G.E. Indy, we will commit to worship when we gather together on Sundays and Wednesdays by singing songs that are doctrinally-sound, and that bring our attention to that sacrifice that Christ made for us, which is the ultimate motivation for worship. Simply put, we worship Jesus because we must!
2. Accurately teaching and applying the Word of God: II Timothy 3:16 teaches us that all of Scripture is literally "God-breathed," and that it is useful for "doctrine (teaching), reproof (rebuking), correction, instruction (or training) in righteousness." This means that the Word of God is sufficient to inform every area of our lives. In fact, Scripture is God's direct communication to us! Since the Word of God is all that we have in order to inform us how to live our Christian lives, we must spend significant amounts of time studying its' truths and learning how it teaches us to live. We will do this by studying the Bible every Sunday Morning in an expositional (verse by verse) manner, and applying it to our lives so that we can learn to grow to be more like Jesus Christ. When we meet on Wednesday nights, we'll take a more topical approach to the Scriptures by studying practical areas of teenage living where we can learn to better glorify God.
3. Joyfully living in community with each other: When we talk about living in "community," we are referring to the responsibility that every Christian has to love each other (John 13:34-35), and to be unified by sharing in Christian experiencing with each other (Phil. 2:4; Rom: 10:9-10). Whether we like it or not, we're stuck with each other! Youth E.D.G.E. Indy seeks to unify the body of Christ (specifically the teenagers in Indianapolis), by providing activities that are fun, exciting chances for Christ-focused social interaction. It's not all serious around here. We want to have a blast when we get together on Sundays, Wednesdays, and for activities, and we want you to join us! You can check out our Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail me by selecting the "Connect with Us" tab above.