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1 Cor. 13: 1 -13 “If I Take Donors Seriously (TDS) and operate on the budget of Microsoft, but have not contact work, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If a Youth Center is donated by a YL Area committee member, equipped with and espresso bar and a gymnasium that is not only fully functional but comes with carpet that no one cares if I ruin; and I run crazy games that are the envy of many but have no contact work, I am nothing. If I surround myself with competent leaders, and surrender the whole ministry to their giftedness, and if I build the most incredible Area Committee but have not modeled relational youth ministry, I gain nothing. If I take kids to the most unbelievable camps – giving them “the best week of their lives!” but don’t realize what “contact work” and follow up is all about I fall short. Now these are attractive: budget, facility, leaders, committee, camps…but, greater than these is contact work. ”
I. Theology of Incarnation Witness A. Start with God the Father
1 Kings 8 : 27. Solomon's Prayer of Dedication 22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven 23 and said: "O LORD , God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below-you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 24 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it-as it is today.
• 1 Kings 8 : 27. Solomon's Prayer of Dedication 25 "Now LORD , God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, 'You shall never fail to have a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me as you have done. ' 26 And now, O God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true. 27 "But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!
II. The Story of the Bible/ A God who "comes down". B. It hasn't changed. From the beginning people haven't comprehended this god who wanted to dwell with them • • Adam & eve in the garden. Gen 2: 5 they wanted to reach up and be just like god Tower of Babel. Gen. 11. They wanted to reach up to god Moses went up to be with god at MT Sinai and the people said he's not coming back The judges condemned the peoples worship on the "high places". Every cultic form of religion has high places as holy. I. E. Pyramids, trees etc.
C. But God came down • Adam - in the cool of the day god came down for a walk (Gen. 3: 8) • Tower of Babel - Gen 11: 5 "Let us go down. . " • The Cloud and the Pillar of fire - God dwelt with and lead His people. (Exodus 13: 21). • Moses - the archetype of Jesus. He went up the Mt. And came down with the word of God. (Exodus 32) • The Temple - Solomon couldn't understand "Will God dwell here with us"? **This is the whole point of the Bible, God coming down. **It is not in our reaching up but in His coming down!
III. Jesus The Incarnation God didn’t just show up in all his glory and pound out the realities of who He was. No! Rather he met us where we were. He gently threw us the ball and showed us the true heart of the Father.
Conclusion: A. Phil. 2: 5 -8 • 1. Vs. 6. “Did not consider equality with God something to hang on to” • Jesus was in his element, a comfortable place. 12. Vs. 7. “He emptied himself” ekenosen –
3. This is the model Jesus left us with a. John 20: 21 "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. " · We are the new incarnation. · It is more than just preaching. · It means living out the Christlike life in front of others. But it does include words! (Preach the • • • word at all times and only when necessary use words)?
Question: “Why are you going into youth Ministry? ” • It’s for you! YM is the place where God wants you to grow closer to Him! Sadly, many times YL leaders aren’t leading kids to Christ in their contact work…but they’re leading kids to themselves, their ego, their, humor, their personality!
How do we come to kids? If we get too comfortable I wonder if we then haven’t bought in. If we “fit in” too tightly then I wonder if we haven’t ceased to be salt! Jesus was dangerous to be around. And that danger zone should make you nervous every time your with kids.
V. Why Incarnational Witness? A. There’s safety in a program. We can rely on: 1. 1. technique • 2. music • 3. food • 4. atmosphere • 5. media,
A. Incarnational Witness : Puts you at the mercy of the Holy Spirit to guide, direct, and move. Makes us dependent and prayerful. We know that if anything is going to happen God is going to have to work!
1. Incarnational Witness OR… Incarnational “Withness”?
VI. The Danger of Incarnational Withness. (Contact Work) A. The potential for Burn out B. With kids 24/7? Ø Is it youth ministry or egocentrism. Question: Can Teenagers become an idol in ones life?
• A. Who’s following who? Remember as we train for “contact work” that at a certain point leaders need to spend less time following kids around, and invite certain ones to follow them around. !
II. Developmental Issues in Relational Ministry Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Figure 1. Emerging society and “At Risk” kids
Fig. 2. Post Modern Society. There is no central truth anymore. The only thing that brings meaning is my relationships.
When YL got started this is how it viewed its target group. • Fig. 3. The 40’s- 70’s. White, upper-class, suburban kids?