The eternal, life-giving, confronting, illuminating, truthful, valuable, powerful and instructive Word of God was embodied by Jesus Himself as an example to follow and is now revealed to us by the working of the Holy Spirit.
If the Bible is all that and more, and if these truths come to us by the lives of teenagers and young adults, then it’s important for us to put one and one together. We make it our mission to bring God’s Word as close as possible. Conservative in interpretation but contemporary in presentation, we can use all means necessary to make the world of the Bible come alive with story, music, movie and audio! It is our prayer that God’s Word would be honoured and esteemed above all else and that our youth look to it for answers and wisdom. It would be a tremendous blessing if our youth learn how God speaks to them through His Word through the illuminating work of His Holy Spirit. The overall design is that the Father wrote a book about the Son using human writers inspired by the Holy Spirit.
And so we embark on a journey together to read and apply God’s Word in our lives, to see it come alive in our hearts so as to cultivate a relationship with our Heavenly Father. We are ready to gird ourselves with the Sword of the Spirit!
1: Begin with the end in mind…
From Genesis to Revelation! It will most likely take us two years, but it seems that now is the time to do it. Most teenagers are between 12 – 15 so we know we’ll have them for at least a couple more years before they go to university or college. If by that time they can own up on their spiritual life by installing spiritual habits like a Bible reading plan, that would be a great fruit of this youth ministry. Ecclesiastes 12:1 says to “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…”. We want to help the youth to do exactly that during their teenage years, and be transformed in the renewing of their minds as they interact with God’s Word. This is a powerful vision and we hope it will set the hearts of our youth on fire because it gives them an objective to achieve, a mission to accomplish!
2: First things first…
It is ambitious, but it can be done: we are inviting all the youth to join us in a two-year Bible reading plan!
Starting from September we commence reading. We will use this reading plan as a framework to build our messages around and even games an activities could be inspired by the book we’re reading at a certain time. And so we continue daily, chapter-by-chapter, making our way through the world of the Bible and zooming in on the majors on Friday evening and Sunday morning.
New Look Youth Room
If we’re all in this together, we can encourage each other to not give up and continue to give God’s Word the rightful (and daily!) place in our lives! If someone falls behind, we can motivate him or her to go through with it and catch up some chapters during the upcoming week. Some people need a bit of accountability to create a habit. But we want to make it an IBC-Youth thing, so that everyone is motivated to see this to completion! What a wonderful thing it is for a teenager to have read the Bible cover to cover before he or she turns 18! And even better if that could be done with friends who are going through it at the same time!
4: Social media
Another motivator could be through posting about our Bible reading on the Facebook page. Not all our teenagers have a Facebook account, but most do. We can use this as a forum to interact with each other but also as a platform for questions, suggestions, revelations, … By doing this, we’re making it a daily thing and not just a weekly thing. We can emphasize certain things or highlight important parts and everyone can share what they are learning! This also gives us an opportunity to answer apologetic issues.
Culture of IBC Youth:
FUN, FRIENDSHIP, FAITH AND FRUITFULNESS
IBC Youth is a place of much joy and energy. On Fridays, between 19h30 and 22h30 the building is filled with noise and laughter and you can tell from the faces everyone is having a wonderful time. Some define fun as talking, jokes and catching up, others as games and sports and some competition. We try to do both and balance them with the other parts of the evening.
IBC Youth is a place where real friendships are enjoyed every week. Connecting in this way is hugely important for teenagers as they look more and more to their peer group for a sense of identity and belonging. At IBC, we encourage these friendships and want to provide a safe place where heart-to-heart conversations can happen. But we also display the importance of friendship with God, parents, siblings, … and help them acquire tools to cultivate these important relationships!
If fun and friendship are the wheels of the car, faith is the engine! It defines our culture more than anything and sets us apart from other youth movements. With every week that passes, we pray that “He would become more, and we would become less” (John 3:30). IBC Youth is a place where God is loved, worshipped and obeyed! We’ve seen so many youth make healthy and conscious decisions to follow Jesus and we hope to see much more of that in the future!
It is both our observation and conviction that fun, friendship and faith inevitably lead to fruitfulness. It is a rare thing at IBC Youth to have a Friday evening without visitors. It is also in this area that we have a lot of growth margin. We already try to design our evenings to make feel visitors welcome and are actively pursuing outreach opportunities. As God influences the lives of IBC Youth, we know He uses them also to influence the lives of other teenagers in their neighbourhoods and schools.
For all your questions and suggestions, please contact the IBC Youth Pastor in the form below.