What Are We Teaching Our Students?

I had an opportunity to visit my sister in law’s church. I got to witness 23 young people, college students, get baptized and I heard their stories via video on why they are getting baptized and what Jesus has done in their life. A startling number of them started with this statement:

“I grew up in church”

They were disconnected from the gospel of Jesus and they grew up in church. Not only that but around the same number shared that they had never heard the gospel before… I was shocked. Literally shocked. So many thoughts racing through my head

Where did they grow up?

What kind of church did they attend?

What kind of gospel was shared if Jesus wasn’t?

How in the world could someone not have taught them the gospel?

What did their parents model to them?

What about my students?

Do my students know the gospel?

I’ve had a great opportunity to think on my life over the past few weeks. What exactly are we doing with our students? Do our students know the gospel? Do they know of the cost to commit their life to Christ? Are they having it modeled somewhere in front of them?

I’m sure that some of these students used the church as a scapegoat for their sin and lack of response to the gospel… However, that many of them…

It was a shot in the arm for what we are doing with our Preteen Ministry at Brookwood. A challenge for my tweens not to be able to say we never heard the gospel. A challenge for me not only to speak the gospel but find men and women who live it everyday. To present an environment where students can ask questions and be heard and yet also find answers from God’s word and the lives of those living it. A challenge to invest in students and create disciples more than the challenge to create “just cool” environments.

I pray that in the next year we would take it upon ourselves as the Church of the Living, Resurrected God to live out the Gospel and present it fiercely to our students. Don’t allow students to be robbed of the opportunity to respond to the single most important call in the world. The call to follow after Christ in response to His sacrificial death.

Let’s make Easter last more than a weekend. Let’s make it the number one thing in our lives.

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J.C. Thompson
J.C. Thompson is the 5th & 6th Grade Director at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville, SC, one of Outreach magazine’s Top 100 Largest Churches in America.