Expecting More From Students   by JGorn                                                                      (A good reminder!)

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“If you desire to follow me, student–if you want to follow me, teenager–than you must deny yourself. Take up your cross and follow me.”

The last thing student ministry needs is another behavioral modification model. We don’t need to substitute “Don’t drink, smoke or have sex” with “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus.” All we are doing is trying to force obedience from a different angle. No matter how much we tell students to do these things, if they do not desire to follow Christ, they will not do them.

In other words, what students need are hearts radically transformed by gospel with the knowledge that this means to follow Christ means to die to self and live for Him. Students need the gospel.


If I’m honest with myself, and if you are too, part of you probably thinks this is the last thing a student or teenager wants to hear. The truth is, however, that those who truly want to follow Jesus will answer Jesus’ invitation. There will be students who are so radically gripped by the gospel that they will answer, willingly and joyfully, the call to die daily and follow Jesus.

How can we know students will respond? Well, why wouldn’t they? Do we think that the gospel cannot penetrate teenage hearts and minds? Do we think the gospel cannot grip a 14-year-old the same way it can grip a 35-year-old? For 2000 years people have been so gripped by gospel and in love with Jesus that they have followed the Lord’s commands. So what’s different about 2013?

Students will respond. Keep focused on calling students upward and showing them the worth of Jesus and they will answer.

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