In his ministry Jesus is confronted by a rich young ruler who earnestly desires to inherit eternal life (Mark 10). He pleads with Jesus to tell him what he must do. Jesus answers him with a list that echoes the ten commandments and immediately the ruler declares, “All these I have kept from my youth!” In other words, “I have always done what I am told to do.” Then, having compassion on the man, Jesus asks the young man to sell all that he owns and to follow Him. In despair, the young man sheepishly retreats; the cost of eternal life had become too great for the rich man to afford.
I have a yearning to see our youth ministry full of teens passionately pursuing their inheritance of eternal life. I want teenagers to grow into leaders powerfully declaring the gospel before they even declare their majors. I want them to enter our ministry as kids growing in faith and leave as young adults maturing in Christ. But, for too long, youth ministry has done little more than raise up rich young rulers. Teens often graduate with all the “right” answers to none of the right questions leaving them with anemic hearts still thirsting for the blood of Christ. While my spirit aches at the thought that youth ministry is failing to reveal the greatness of Christ and impassion the hearts of students, statistics of young adults leaving the church are revealing the ugly truth.
The rich young man knew all the right answers and did all the right things, yet his heart was set on the things of this world. When Christ challenged the young man to sell his possessions and follow Him, Jesus was not merely challenging him to give up his riches. Jesus was challenging the man to admit that neither his money nor anything he did was sufficient to inherit eternal life; the only way to eternal life is through following Christ. With a grieved heart, the young man could not submit to Christ, and walked away.
It is my greatest desire for our ministry to be set apart; my greatest hope is not to lead teens to live good lives, but rather to live with hearts set on Christ.
- Pray that God would transform hearts and minds in Youth.
- Pray that our teens encounter Christ in such ways as to cement a foundation of love for the body of Christ.
- Pray that the Lord would awaken a zeal for Christ and His gospel that fuels a fulfillment of the Great Commission that echoes throughout our city.
- Pray that all in the Camelback family may experience the joy of hearts wholly submitted to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Written by AC Caswell - Website
A.C. is a member of that rare breed known as the native Phoenician. He joined the CBC ministry team in 2014 and is the Pastor of Student Ministries and Global Missions. "I especially long for God to use me in the transformational time that teenagers endure. I hope to be a light of wisdom and hope as they traverse the many obstacles in between childhood and adulthood." “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” – I Timothy 4:12