By: Mark Larson

I guess Jesus is an alright dude. The whole rags to riches thing of being born in a barn and ending up an influential teacher is impressive. I especially like what he has to say about loving others instead of being judgmental, which is why I don’t like the church. Politics and power have corrupted Jesus’ message of love which is why I don’t trust the church or the Bible……

I could keep going with this made up monologue, but I imagine you’ve heard some of these un-Biblical ideas from your non-Christian students. To put it mildly, overcoming these false ideas is a mountain of a task.

We work for Youth for Christ because we love God and love students! We want them to be good with God and living the healthiest life possible, and when we rub shoulders with the lost it’s tempting to try to address all these issues at once. I mean, they need to know that Jesus didn’t “start” 2,000 years ago on Christmas, but is the eternally existing Son of God who left Heaven for us. And His message of love isn’t a blank check of affirmation to do whatever we want, but His love is demonstrated by calling us out of our mess and into His life. And they need to know that….And they need to know….

It’s no question that we need to lead students into truth, but the most effective way probably won’t be a marathon session of correcting each un-Biblical idea they believe.  Dumping 2,000 years worth of church teaching on each idea will not leave your average teenager coming back to you for more!

The most effective pattern of ministry is pacing yourself to share a nugget of truth at a time. If a student tosses up an argument against Noah’s Ark, Jonah in the whale, and the truthfulness of Jesus being raised from the dead, I’m spending my time on the resurrection. I’m not going to ignore their other questions, but I’m not going to spend 30 minutes on Noah and Jonah and then try to squeeze in Jesus. No one is saved by believing that Jonah was actually in the whale! Don’t ignore objections to faith, but vomiting truth in response to every objection probably won’t keep that 3 Story interaction going very long.

My newborn daughter needs a lot of nutrients to grow. But the last thing I’m trying to feed her with is a fire hose, we’ll stick with the bottle thank you very much! A little milk here and a little milk there will go a long way over the first year of life. If I gave her 4 months worth of milk at one time her stomach couldn’t handle it! Many of our students are just starting this whole Jesus “thing,” and as much as they need truth, it may be better to stick with the pace of a bottle rather than a fire hose.

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