Often we feel as if all we ever do is sin, and so many times, we fall to the same temptations over and over. It’s a frustrating cycle – sin, repent, sin, repent, repeat….over and over and over. This agonizing déjà vu leads to giving up on change and giving in to sin, but our struggle with sin doesn’t have to end that way. There is hope. There is power to overcome. We really can be more and more conformed to the image of Christ. This elective will discuss the seriousness of sin, motivations to fight our sin, and tactics for overcoming the sin that seems to derail our relationship with God. If you want to learn to fight (sin, that is), this is the elective for you!
We are all idolators. You may not worship a little statue on your bookshelf every night (if you do, we need to talk), but chances are there's a goal, a person, a desire, or something else that has taken on god-like proportions in your life. Idols are good things or bad things that we turn into ultimate things; they're "counterfeit gods." We're very good at making them, and they're very good at ruining us. A Christian writer once said, "the secret to change is to identify and dismantle the counterfeit gods of your heart." Join us as we discover how true this is, and how the Gospel is good news for idolators.
These are the three questions that haunt the heart of every human – especially young ones. Teenagers long for an identity that gives them meaning, direction, and purpose. Culture pressures them to find that identity in the world – in sex, sports, fashion, school, possessions.
But there’s only one place that gives teenagers the identity they crave – Christ. And living “in Christ” means the teen years are radically transformed. Everything from going to church to posting on social media is changed because of who you are in Christ. And it’s this that will give you true happiness.
What happens one minute after you die? One minute after you slip behind the parted curtain, you will either be enjoying the personal welcome of the Son of God or catching your first glimpse of gloom as you have never known it. Either way, your future will be irrevocably fixed and eternally unchangeable. Those who find themselves in heaven will realize that every description of the wonder of heaven they have ever heard will pale in the light of eternity. Others will be shrouded in darkness and unending regret. For them, death will be far worse than they imagined. In this class, we will focus on the wonder of heaven & will glance at the horror of hell.
If you are reading this, you are probably wondering, “What seminar does God want me to take at RYM this year? Should I take the one on studying the Bible or on dating? Speaking of dating, does God want me to date or wait ‘til college, and who does He want me to date? Thinking of college, is it God’s will that I will go to State or the U? Ahhh! What is God’s will for my life, anyway? Does He have one? Am I in it or out of it? How do I make sure I am in God’s will?” Ok, you probably didn't think all that just from looking at these topics. But most of us have struggled with trying to find and know God’s will for our lives. Whether deciding on colleges, dating, summer plans, friends, class schedules or burrito toppings, in things big and small, we want to know what God has planned for us and wants us to do. So come to this seminar, it’s God’s will so that I will tell you God’s will for your life. Seriously. He told me.
At some point all of us have wondered what would life be like… if I had a lot of money, if I was more attractive, if I had more likes or followers, if I was the best athlete in school, if I dated him or her, if I was Taylor Swift or LeBron James. It’s our natural bent to think, "if I had this, was more like this or could just fix this about myself,” then we would be satisfied and our lives would make sense. The author of Ecclesiastes reminds us there are many routes the world offers in the search for satisfaction, but they will lead to further emptiness, brokenness, frustration, and pain if lived apart from the God who made us.
Over 5,000 teens attempt suicide every day in America. Are you considering it? According to research, 93% of boys have seen porn by the time they're 18. Are you one of them? 75% of all boys in the USA play on a sports team. Is that what you live for, or perhaps you live for the next Snapchat selfie?
Who are you, and what are you doing? We sometimes forget not only that Jesus was God, but also a genuine human guy, and Christian men following Jesus have a clear identity to confess, pursue, and fight for.
You may be addicted to many things (some sexual, some not), but Christ calls you to be holy. You may feel an itch you just have to scratch in the "next big thing", trophy, or TV show—or to be the big man on campus and get respect—but holiness is more vital. Guys often believe they need "this" or "that", but without holiness, no one will see the kingdom of God. You are more than your addiction, what you consume, and what you achieve. Join this class. Come hear the Scriptures, see Jesus, learn what holiness is, and how to have it. As men, nothing matters more.
It’s there when you look in the mirror. You’ll find it roaming the halls of your school. It’s on the athletic field and the stage in your school auditorium. It’s there when you take the ACT or SAT. You’ll see it sitting in the classroom when you give that oral report. It tucks you in at night and greets you as you roll out of bed. You’ll read it in text messages & tweets. See it on Snapchat and Instagram. It’s in our conversations and is always rattling around in our minds.
What is it? Insecurity.
Insecurity is something all humans struggle with. Young and old, male and female, across the globe – insecurity has no boundaries. While it is a commonality among humanity, it doesn’t mean it’s something you have to live with. Insecurity is painful for many, but there is a greater fear to drown out this lesser one. Scripture tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is in this greater fear, that we learn how to grow, live, and, possibly defeat, our insecurity.
Is prayer hard for you? Do you struggle to find the words to pray? Is there never any time to pray? Do you feel like you don't know how? Many Christians feel this tension that they really think prayer is important and they should be praying, but it's just a missing component of their Christian walk or they just don't really like doing it. There is incredible power in prayer and great joy to be found in the practice of prayer! Let's spend a few days looking at some really practical ways to grow in prayer using the Lord's Prayer, Psalms and some other prayers of Scriptures as a guide for us!
What should we believe about the Bible? In a world where the Bible is increasingly put down, ignored, mocked and scorned what do we do with the Bible? What do we do with so many scientist who say the bible is not true? What do we and what does the Church believe about the Bible? Is it even reasonable to belive in the Bible any more. Come to this class and learn what the Bible believes about itself and what Jesus believes about the Bible. Come see how Jesus shows us to be the word and shows us the truth of the word.
Do you feel like you never measure up spiritually? Do you feel like your day is shot if you neglected to have your devotional that morning? Do you constantly live under a load of guilt and shame? Do you feel like you don’t belong in the presence of God? Do you see God more as a harsh Drill Sergeant rather than your loving, compassionate Father? If so, then this class is for you. We’ll take a look at who God is, and what he has actually accomplished for every one of His children in the act of His free grace called: Justification. Then we’ll see how that changes our lives forever especially in regard to our struggle with sin. This is a class for strugglers…like me. Has He called you into a life of guilt and bondage, or to a life of freedom? Come and join us as we seek together to make sense of the struggle.
While there is certainly a lot to learn in the great outdoors, this class isn't primarily concerned with finding your way home if you get lost in the woods! While some of us have known the wilderness as a real place with various challenges and difficulties, we all experience “the wilderness” in the challenging and difficult seasons of our lives. When we are “in the wilderness” we find ourselves feeling out of control (I can’t seem to do anything to change things! I can’t fix this!), without clarity (Why is this even happening? How did I get here?), and also feeling a lack of consequence (Where is this going? What’s going to happen next?). Come to this class and hear how God meets His people “in the wilderness” and fills them with Himself...offering peace under His control, comfort amidst tons of questions, and courage to press on knowing He is with you. Life is hard y’all...God wants you to know that He get’s it and to experience Him right in the middle of all of it.
Let's get awkward. Jesus wasn't afraid to get a little awkward. What can we learn from him about how to treat others...especially people who we don't understand or those that make us uncomfortable? Let's find out together.
Have you ever asked God "why did you give me all these feelings and desires and I can't do anything about them?" You are not alone! Since the very good beginning God made us "male" and "female". Sin promptly brought corruption, confusion, distress and distortion of sex and our sexuality. But God in Christ is renewing all things including sex and our sexuality!
So come join us for biblical, honest, and frank discussion of what the Bible teaches us about fighting sexual temptation and struggling well. This is a co-ed class taught by a married couple who "get it".
Whether you know it or not, if you are ministering to and/or parenting children and teens, you are a cross-cultural missionary. We live in a rapidly changing world. Their youth culture is not the youth culture that shaped you. The pressures, problems, challenges, choices, and expectations have changed. Your efforts to lead students to a life-changing and fully-integrated faith in Jesus Christ must be steeped in both a growing knowledge of The Word, and a growing knowledge of the mission-field of the world. Over the course of this week, Walt will walk you through a host of youth culture issues, along with offering practical and hope-filled ministry responses.
© Reformed Youth Ministries