Believe it or not, they allow old people like me on Facebook. As I was browsing through some posts before I left the office recently, I came across one by a junior high Sunday school teacher. He made the following comment:
“Christian students are missionaries to public schools. Our expectations are far too low when we pray only that they survive.”
Have you ever had anyone pray for your survival in your school system? I remember countless times in countless services when I have requested to pray for your survival. And while I think it is a good thing to pray for your safety and protection as you live out your day to day lives, I have to agree that our expectations are too low if we pray only that you survive.
Yes, public (and private) schools can be difficult to navigate as a Christian, but I think we adults do you an injustice if we pray only that you survive. The kingdom of God is not about survival—it is about advancement.
Allow me to apologize on behalf of all the old people. I fear that in our desire to keep you safe, we have forgotten a key component of the Christian life.
God and His Spirit were never meant to be something that merely helped us to survive. His spirit was designed to give us power to tread on serpents and advance the Kingdom of God. Our job as followers of God is not to merely “make it,” but to make a difference in every situation in which we find ourselves.
Recently an experiment was done with two math classes. A new teacher was put into the class and told her class was gifted and advanced. Another teacher was put in a separate class and told her class was a little bit slower. After a month in the class, the students were given the exact same test with very different results. The “advanced” student’s average grade was an A, while the “slower” student’s average grade was a C-.
What’s interesting is that nether class was more advanced than the other. The only difference was the expectations of their teacher. We, as students, generally rise to the expectations others have for us. If others think we can, we will. If others think we can’t, we won’t.
It frustrates me, but let’s be honest. Not many people in society view your generation as being able to accomplish much. How the media and culture portray your generation is not favorable. People don’t expect much out of your generation. But I disagree.
I have high hopes for your generation. I believe your generation will do more to advance the kingdom of God than my generation ever dreamed possible. I believe the greatest singers, songwriters, soul winners, preachers, ministers, pastors, student pastors, missionaries, and world changers will come from your generation.
I believe this year will be a year of life change for your unchurched friends. I believe this year you will see promises God has given you come to pass. I believe this year you won’t feel held back by your age or intellect. I believe this year your college will experience revival through you. I believe this year you will lay hands on the sick and watch them recover. I believe this is the year when prayer meetings will break out in the hallways of your school. I believe this is the year you refuse to back down from living a separated life. I believe this is the year your student pastor gets calls in the middle of the night to baptize the people that you have been sharing the gospel with.
I believe in you, and I believe this is the year you will step with all boldness into the power of God that His Spirit brings. Allow me to do you the favor of releasing you from low expectations.
You will change your world. You will see the miraculous. You will lead people to Jesus. You will step on foreign soil. You will impact a generation for eternity. You will change your schools, communities, jobs, and churches.
I believe God has big things in store for your life this year. And because of that, I refuse to pray only that you survive. It is my prayer that you step with boldness and confidence into the power of God and become the revolutionary God has called you to be.
Don’t wait anymore. Go change your world!
Feature Youth Week Writer Noah and his wife Bethany serve as the Student Pastors of Axis Student Ministries in Richmond, VA. Noah is not so great at Call of Duty, hates tomatoes, loves tennis and wears a size 12 shoe. Noah is writing on eof the 2013 Youth Week lessons.