John Piper kicked-off a five-part sermon series on a “vision for the rising generation of young people.” When I was still at Bethlehem, I had the pleasure of hearing this vision in seed form, and participating in several productive meetings on this topic. Piper’s introductory message was taken from I Timothy 4:11-16:
“Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
The sermon series will continue in the coming weeks with messages being brought by David Michael, Sam Crabtree, Kempton Turner, and Gregg Harris. Gregg is the father of Alex and Brett Harris, authors of the recent book Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. Piper begins his kick-off sermon with some comments on this new, provocative book. The entire series should be very profitable.
Along this same theme, I was honored to accept a gracious invitation by Steve Wright and Mike Hall to live-blog the ReThink conference on May 16 in Raleigh, NC. The conference is named after a great book by Steve Wright that examines the traditional youth ministry model employed by many North American churches and calls for a deeper partnership between parents and churches for training children in the gospel. The conference is absolutely free and promises to be well worth attending. Speakers include Randy Stinson, Leon Tucker, David Horner, Dave Owen, and Steve Wright.