5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. – 1 John 1:5-10
- Am I claiming to be in fellowship with the Lord; yet walking in darkness?
- Am I leading students to do the same?
My initial reaction is no; however, I’m also scared that the answer could be yes. The two questions I pose are important because if I answer yes to the first one, then the answer to the second is pretty much yes too. Now I’m not claiming that I’m evil or overwhelmingly full of sin; however, sometimes it’s hard for me to admit that I don’t have everything together. Again, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about not having everything together. I always seem to forget that even though I get in front of students week in and week out to preach truth, that if I don’t live out the truth, hypocrisy seeps through. It’s a little scary and can be a lot of pressure, but then again I think about this passage and verse 8. It reminds me that it’s we don’t have to have it all together, we just need to be honest with who we are and confess our sins because in the end Jesus who is just and faithful will not only forgive us but heal us as well. I think if we can pass this message on to the students, it’ll show them the importance of seeking out Christ. So how do we pass it on?
- I think it’s admitting to them that we are flawed…I’m not saying we tell them all of our sin in a way that could compromise our marriages or jobs, but we need to admit to them that we too are broken; however, we know that healing comes from our Lord Jesus.
- I think it’s also about accountability…We preach small groups in our student ministry; however, I know that I need a small group too. But sometimes I wonder, “Do they know that I’m in a small group?” If they see us getting accountability either from a spiritual director, a mentor, our pastor or a small group, then it’s going to say to them that we can’t do everything on our own, we do need iron to sharpen iron.
- I think it’s also about prayer…I don’t know about you but I need to do a better job of spontaneously praying with the teens at our church outside of our program and small group setting. When we see them outside of youth group they still see us a their youth pastor; however, we are a little more human. Praying with them outside the church walls is going to show them that we can go to Christ even when we aren’t in His “house”.
I’m guessing there are other ways to pass on this message, I think we need to encourage others (youth ministers, volunteers, etc.), so how do you plan on passing a message of walking in fellowship and staying in the light?