During Sunday afternoon bible study, which featured a message about The Parables of Heaven, Minister Ford realized that God has been using him as a minister for the youth. The message was taught to various recurring visitors to the church, along with one newcomer, a local univerity freshmen, who has been consistently coming to group bible study taught by the minister.
In the midst of teaching the message, Michael realized that 3 of the 6 listeners were all under aged college students. Also in attendance in, another bible study, was a 19 year old college student, making 4 of them under 20 years old.
Michael shared on his realization of God’s usage of him, “God has really confirmed the Lord Jesus’ words in Mark 10:29-30, ‘Truly I tell you, Jesus replied, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel, will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields-along with persecutions-and in the age to come eternal life.’
One of the things that played catalyst in me pursuing God was the fact that I always felt that I failed as a role model to my younger siblings. When I started to learn the Word, slowly, I became some sort of light in their lives, but I worried about them a lot, and had to isolate myself away from them to truly grow. God has fulfilled this passage of scripture in my life firstly by giving me the family I have (the church community), and secondly, he’s given me new younger siblings to shepherd in the form of the children I get to teach in Sunday School and now, these very young church attendees. I never knew how much I loved kids until I got to work in the kids ministry last year.
God really healed many things inside me, and showed me how much he loves kids through the children I’ve met in the kids ministry. Now I get to teach each week in Atlanta. I’ll be honest about this, it’s a challenge, a real challenge. The kid’s understanding levels are so different (from each other and from adults), and at times, I lose heart in helping them, focusing more on college ministry. But just the other day, I found old teaching material that I worked hard on with God alone. This reminded me that God is there with me, and if I just believe, even if I’m no expert, he will water the seeds I plant, and he will provide the spiritual bread that they need for the journey of life.
This Sunday, I got to see a glimpse at my past through seeing these college students who are thirsty for truth, and direction. I can see that they really want a role model- the thing I once beat myself up for not having and not being for others. One minister commented on how they favor and enjoy my teaching . One student she reflected about wanting to be baptized and how she had a lot of fears about matters such as this because of lack of understanding. Another, she’s got a heavy burden on her shoulders in the form of her school work, so it will take time for her to see that those things are not her god.
All of these students, the children, the teens, all of them, they are who I once was- young, and in need of a leader, a loving guide that will grasp their hand and take them through the darkness. Ultimately, that’s Christ, but the Lord uses men and women like me to do that today.”
The minister concluded by saying “I reflect that, I get to intercept these lambs from the dark empty path I went through as a child, and a teen. This is the greatest time in their lives, andI get to watch them grow from their foundation up.”
The Church has many young and growing teens and young adults in it these days. Please keep the Atlanta Sunday School kids in your prayers, as well as the many current and many future young Christians that the ministers hope and pray become fruitful believers seeking God’s kingdom.