Keeping Teens Faithful (David Shannon)


It is good to be here at Deerfoot if you would be open your Bibles to second Timothy we’ll be looking at the first few verses in just a moment if you’re a guest tonight again we welcome you it’s always encouraging to have guests and as a guest I would say there’s a sweet spirit in this place I love the friendliness and the hospitality that you offer and we really are thankful to be here with you from freed-hardeman night there several of us we have students here with us and we have some from admissions here with us and also from advancement and so we’re just here of course to worship with you and enjoy and appreciate the time to praise our God and a study from his word but we’re also here enjoying the opportunity to connect with you as we have before services but even after services and after services we’ll have what we call the Mik setup m.i.c Mobile Information Center and we’ll have for every one of you will have a iced down glass bottle coca-cola the little ones and what we found what we found is that just puts a smile on your face just like it did just then and and so we just want to connect with you and and just visit with you and just enjoy the time together but I noticed that almost everybody smiled some are a little bit more crusted hearted and so for you we have mini moon pies to go with it and you can pick you can pick your flavor out and and you can enjoy that also but we do look forward to visiting with you I’ll mention just a few things and we’ll get right into the lesson I’ll just catch you up and in the last this year some things that has happened in freed-hardeman we were really thankful that in January out of twelve thousand applicants college student applicants across the nation we had four of our young people chosen to sing in Carnegie Hall at an honors course that’s put together students all across the nation and one of those students is with us here’s anyway you’ll sit there he is he just walked in Jacob right there and and he sang in Carnegie Hall in January and we have other students that have applied for next year in hopes that they’ll get picked for that great honor but it’s really amazing the the talented students that we have on campus also we were thankful this past year to enjoy a lot of successes with our athletics we had our basketball team our ladies basketball team to go all the way to the final game of the championship out west and won the championship and so we are the champions of the nation in the NAIA and then later on in the year last spring our men’s baseball team played in the final game of the collegiate world series they played a strong game and a team out of Florida actually won that game but it was really great so we ranked number two in the nation in baseball right now and at that very same time our girls softball team was also playing in the World Series tournament and they’re ranked number seven right now in the nation and so we’re thankful for those successes and then we started school this fall and we enjoyed several other first we we had a first-time freshmen fall to next fall retention rate that said an institution record for us of 82 percent and also all students enrolled institutional record of 86 percent also from last May we had an institutional record of the rate of graduation being set also as well as undergraduate enrollment at an all-time record of fifteen hundred and forty-eight we almost had that was the undergraduate enrollment we almost broke the record of all students enrolled and it was 2038 enrolled this fall and and it’s just just a few short of an all-time record-breaking enrollment so we’re thankful for all that and so many of our departments continue to excel and be considered some of the best in the nation you know it kind of is amazing to me how many people think that if you’re small or if you’re a Christian college you have to take a back seat athletic academically and it’s just not true at all we we every year when our graduates in accounting take the test that’s the final test that they take all accounting graduates across the nation take this test and our graduate students rank every year in the top 99 percentile in the nation and because of that our graduates are pursued across the nation I’ll just give you a quick story that just came in last week or two for several years a large assisted retirement living organism in corporation they own about 44 big complexes across Colorado Texas Oklahoma and and then there’s just a few scattered other places also they’ve been coming over for several years and hiring some of our best business graduates and taking them back to Dallas and and so one of the top 100 CPA firms matter of fact our Mannino is top 24 in the nation there number 24 in the nation they do they’re outside audits and and they’re headquartered out of California but they have an office in Dallas and so they come from their office in Dallas and and they’re auditing Stonegate that several of our graduates are at and they’re impressed you know when you’re doing audit you see the work they’re impressed with the work they see at this large company and so they see the ones there like 30 35 and under they also see something in common when they’re impressed with their work they ask them where’d you graduate from and so a graduate from a little school over in West Tennessee for Hardman University well they’d be impressed with another one they’d say where did you graduate from freedom where’d you graduate from so they called us up last year and they said we like the kind of students the kind of graduates you put out and we want at least two of them this year so they hired two of our best and they were there last year they called back this year and said we’ll be coming to visit you we want at least five this year and so you know it really is amazing you know we have the Clayton team where our students 12 of them actually manage a alive a real $1,000,000 in the stock market every year and when they have that on their resume they always get the job I mean we’ve had 81 out of them to graduate to go through the Clayton team and you can talk to every one of them and because nobody that they’re competing with can compete with that they’re coming out of college literally managing a fund of 1 million dollars and they usually that this year we just closed out the fiscal year for that and their return this year was fourteen point two two percent this fund is equivalent to an index fund that Russell 1000 index fund and we outperformed the Russell index fund by two hundred points and usually our students will perform them at least by two hundred points we have individuals to call us and ask if we will invest their money for them without our students will and of course we’re not allowed to do that but law maybe we need to figure out how to get them to do that and and figure out to generate some revenue here but we just got our nursing you know nurses they to become our in you have to pass the NCLEX and we just graduated forty nurses and they’ve been taking their NCLEX over the summer and we just heard back from the last one and so we have a ninety seven point five pass rate on the NCLEX which is amazing we have a hospital in dickson tennessee we have a campus in dixon also we have a hospital in dixon that hires every nurse in them i sat down with that CEO the other day he said how many will you have out of dixon this next year I said web 30 and he said that’s great I want them all he said now how long is it gonna take you to be putting out 60 a year because I hire 70 nurses a year and I want at least 60 of them coming from freed-hardeman no connections that fellow has no connections with the church that company out in Dallas has no connections with the church they are seeing the caliber of of worker that’s coming out that knows their business but also as they always tell us they’re just a different kind of person and it’s because it freed-hardeman we grow the whole person and most other universities are seeking to only grow the mind and so we want to be committed to that we’re thankful that as we’re blessed with the opportunity to do that we’re blessed to work with some of the best students in the world some of the brightest minds I stopped yesterday at rush weird rush weekend we had about 1,500 high school students on campus this weekend and I stopped in visited with a young man had this big grin had a free Dartmouth shirt and he said I’m really looking forward to coming next year and I said I’m really looking forward to you being here next year too because I know we had several 34s on the AC t this year at three Hardeman but I don’t think we had a 35 and he has a 35 and he can’t wait to come to freed-hardeman and we’ll challenge him and we’ll grow him and he’ll go out and he’ll do amazing things and he’ll glorify the Lord and what he’s doing and so we’re thankful that as we’re able to have two pillars that are very important to us and we blend them together and it is academic excellence as well as our Christian faith every class is going to be taught from a biblical worldview every class is going to be taught from a faithful member of the Lord’s Church and the result of that is that they are able to grow and to develop not only in mind but also in heart and in service spiritually they increase I’ll give you one more very important retention and then we’ll go right into the lesson through sacs accreditation we have to survey every year students that have graduated and been away one year and in that we have to ask them like did you apply to professional schools so did you get accepted which by the way our rates in to accept into professional schools are out of the roof most of them are a hundred percent pharmaceutical school one hundred percent acceptance law optometry the ones that nobody has a hundred percent in like the national average for med students getting accepted into med school is about sixty-five percent ours is ninety one percent and so the way we come up with those numbers is you you you always have to do everybody has to do an evaluation a year after graduation well because we our mission is that we’re a Christian University we also have to prove that we succeed in that sacs accreditation makes us prove that so one of the basic questions we ask them is is we ask them do you go to church now when they come in as freshmen we know who is associated with the church of Christ they tell us and we have about an eighty three percent of our students are associated with Churches Christ their members and sharks cries so of that group we know who they are so then when we survey them a year after they’ve been out we know whether or not they came to us members of the church and this is what we found out this past year of the ones who came to us as members of the church ninety-eight percent said they still go to church most of the time ninety eight ninety percent said we go every time the doors are open now that’s success in the sense that their peers fall away during college at about a 65 to 70 percent rate and some time during their 20s about 10 to 15 percent of that come back to flatten out to about a 50 percent remain faithful during that time and so what we strive to do is to create an environment where the young person does not our goal is not we hope you survive our goal and what we say year after year is that they come in and they thrive spiritually we don’t expect them to stay where they are they come to us as as eighteen year olds and I wouldn’t say this in front of them to be they would be offended by this but they come to us as children they’re 18 years old they’re still teenagers they leave us as young adults and it would be a shame if they left us with an 18 year old faith but we are going to do everything we can do to offer every opportunity for their faith to grow much deeper their knowledge of Scripture is going to increase tremendously their experiences is going to increase means many of the young people are actually going to lead their own mission trips they’re going to go on mission trips and many of them are going to be the leaders that set up the mission trip in every aspect and carry it out and so the opportunities to grow and serve and develop faith are absolutely amazing and so we don’t expect them to survive we expect them to thrive and come out much closer to God a greater love and devotion to God during that time take a tender plant and you put a tender plant in a greenhouse where everything that they need is provided and that plant will you can take that tender plant and you can put it in a dry place where it does not have everything it needs and most of the time it doesn’t survive what we strive to be is we strive to be that place that is the place and when we tell I met with every freshman when they when they came in and and I you know I tell them this we can’t make you grow we can’t make you learn we can’t make you excel in your studies we can’t make you grow spiritually but what we can guarantee you is we can give you an environment where if you choose that you want to pursue high excellent success academically we can get you there and if you want to grow spiritually we can get you there and we’ve had a thousand in that we can accomplish that every time all the student has to do is bring that willingness to grow into Excel and we’re thankful that God brings us so many students most of our activities on campus are student-led that’s why we produce so many leaders and and it’s amazing student has over 600 opportunities a year to leave we have over 600 opportunities on campus here they’re student-led and and we’re thankful for that and we hope that that God continues how to be the center of all that we do and that that mission will be alive and real and that we will stay dedicated that mission and so I asked you pray for us that we never lose sight of the real mission of what this is all about when I was in freed-hardeman I went and did an internship out of state and while I was there I lived with a couple that they still had a few boys at home and already a few boys had left home and one particular morning two of the boys it was 13 and 17 was at the breakfast table and they were eating as you can they were big tall strapping young men even at 13 and 17 both of them was well over six foot tall both of them played collegiate football when one went on to play NFL football so we’re talking big strong boys and they’re just they’re just wolfing down breakfast the mother is still in the kitchen still preparing breakfast as people through the house pass through she always had something there I just happen to be at the moment in the in the fridge rater getting something out in the phone rings I hear her answer the phone and you can tell nothing about the conversation from what she’s saying because she only says words and phrases that like now who’s this when where well where is he now and it was that kind of conversation but she was stunned she hung up the phone she looked into the direction of her son’s and she said your brother is dead now they had already had one teenage brother to die and so one literally dropped his utensil out of his mouth both of them begin to chime in and say mom mom what happened what happened to him and she said he’s dead no mom what happened she said your brother died spiritually oh they were angry they begin to practically yell at their mother and say you shouldn’t do that to us you scared us we thought you meant that he’d really died and she looked her son’s in the eyes and said your brother did really die your brother is dead spiritually I knew this family very well later in a conversation that we were having I just asked her I said you’ve lost a son who was very faithful Christian and died physically and now you have a son who is well physically and dead spiritually which one’s harder and she didn’t bat an eye she said it’s so hard to see your children die spiritually she said I know where my son is that died physically and he already has a great reward you know when you think about Jesus sermons to our knowledge we only have one sermon that Jesus preached that you might say he’s kind of full-length and isn’t it interesting even in that one sermon before he closes he starts thinking or urging the audience by his teachings to thinking about where are you living which path are you on and he made it very clear he says there’s this one path that’s really wide and the gate it too is really wide and he says many will go there in but he spoke he spoke about this other path that that was a it was a narrow path but he didn’t call it in there he called the gate aneri but remember what he called the path he called the path difficult there’s this really difficult path because if you ever start doing things based on your own wisdom based on your own knowledge based on your own fleshly desires if you ever started doing things the way you want to do it you’ve left this path this path is difficult you have to give up self if any man will come after me let him deny himself take up his cross and follow me so this path is full of self-denial every day Lord not my will be done but your will be done and the gate is narrow and Jesus said few there be that find it now what is interesting is there and nowhere and anywhere else in the scripture we never read of another option were either spiritually alive or we’re spiritually dead like in this room right now there’s there’s nowhere in between right now you are one or the other and it’s a serious matter and so when we say well what what’s probably the toughest problem that we deal with in the Lord’s Church in North America and the toughest problem is the year that begins at graduation night from high school in the following 12 months we have well over 50% of our young people to die in that one year that’s staggering and it’s heartbreaking you know being in ministry for so many years I can’t tell you the hours I’ve spent studying and trying to do things to help this problem we can line up your senior class right now and you would have accomplished something that very few churches have ever accomplished if when they graduate this year if 50% of them are spiritually alive then next year that’s our serious problem faith after high school do you realize how big the kingdom would be today if we didn’t lose 50 percent of our young people do you realize that you probably do not know of a Church of Christ congregation that would not have a church built in two and three times the size it is and Attendance two and three times its size if we didn’t lose 50 percent of our young people so what do we do about it what we tend to go to extremes with things don’t we it’s kind of our human nature and so there’s there’s one extreme that says let’s sweep it under the rug and let’s just not admit it let’s not talk about it and let’s pretend that we don’t know that it happens and so we see that in our day to day life like for example the last time that you ran into a 19 and 20 year old from this congregation and you started visiting with them was there anything you intentionally intentionally did not ask them oh where are you now okay you’re in college you know I went there I know where you’re talking about yeah Jana but did you ask them anything about their spiritual life oh you’re in the military great where you stationed right was Church you worship at there I know that area did you how many times do we ask them about what they’re doing we ask about activities we asked how they’re doing and we intentionally do not bring up anything spiritual because we know the odds are they’re dead and perhaps we say to ourselves I just don’t know exactly what to say at that point if it was physical death at risk would we do more wouldn’t it be a horrible mess up of priorities if we would do more to preserve our young people’s physical life then we would their spiritual life but some don’t go to that extreme some congregations go to the other extreme and that is to say well let’s make everything about that generation you know right now this generation is Generation Z let’s make everything about Generation Z let’s let’s study on how they think what could we say to speak to their language what could we say to connect with their heart what do they like let’s just start doing everything they’d like so that we can become all about them well there’s problems with that one is any church that marries one generation becomes a widow to every other generation and also the big problem to that is God never intended for his church to be connected to just one generation God always intended for his church to be open to all generations and that they would all be one church and so what that brings us to is this realization that that really is beautiful in other words when you say okay here are the extremes we want to avoid but what’s in the middle that we want to become and what I want to study with you for just a few moments I want to study with you the idea of what if we became exactly what God expects us to become and that is family in it beautiful that in the very beginning God’s the one who designed family we didn’t come up with this it’s so beautiful it’s so wonderful and I realized that none of us are from a perfect physical family but think with me for just a moment of how beautiful the physical family is if it’s a healthy family if it is a healthy family there are those that are that are like grandfather or even great-grandfather and great-grandmother age right there there are those that are older and you know what they love and know love and know everybody in their family and then there’s those that are more like the grandparent or parent age and and then there’s those that are the young parent age and then there are those that are the young adult age and then there are those that are like the the teenager age and the children age and the the baby age and you know what they all mesh together so well in healthy families they know each other they interact each other and the young ones learned so much from the older ones and you know what I’ve learned in life the older I get I learned so much from the younger ones and and the older ones really spark on the younger ones and on the older I get the more I realize the younger ones really spark on the older ones and you realize in God’s plan it’s just beautiful the way everybody every generation is seamlessly interwove in’ into each other’s lives imagine going up to a grandparent and saying well i’m sure since there’s so many decades between you and your grandchild you probably don’t know their name right you have hours I’ll tell you more than you want to know about my grandchildren and not only did I have to I have to on the way so I can talk to you a long time about grandchildren I told somebody just today I said let me tell you that grand parenting thing is not overrated at all it really is grand now you imagine and even though there are many decades separating me and my grandchildren I have no problem connecting with them and I have no problem being engaged in their life and I have no problem having a mindset that I’m going to walk through life with them I’m gonna help them and when I get older they’re going to help me if we are a healthy family that’s the answer when congregations do that spiritually when everybody here recognizes that there’s a very real responsibility to the generations above and below you and that if you ever form your identity and your existence in the Lord’s Church based upon your peer group that’s only in your generation you have started messing up the family you’re going to create problems in the family I want to encourage you when you think about fellowship you think about ways you can reach and help those that are older and younger and especially when you think about ministry the next time you go out to do something in ministry are you always going to ask somebody that’s your age or are you gonna start regularly asking someone who’s 15 and 16 ask someone who’s 12 and 13 and what if you then not only ask them but what if you started walking through life with them you know here’s a perfect example of this Paul and his relationship with Timothy it’s probably the best example that we have in Scripture this I want you to read along with me and we’re gonna read setting it Timothy the first chapter and notice he identifies himself as the Apostle in verse 1 and verse 2 identify who he’s writing to and it’s 2 Timothy a beloved son that’s interesting that he calls him a son because there’s no blood relationship that they have and it’s interesting that he says beloved because that means loved much loved well so this is someone who has become like a son to him that he loves well look at verse 3 what he says this son I think God whom I served with a pure conscience as my forefathers did as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day greatly desiring to see you being mindful of your tears that I may be filled with joy what do you say there here’s a man there’s a good generation or two above this young man not related by blood and yet he writes a letter to him to say hey I want you to know I’ve been thinking about you as a matter of fact because I’ve been thinking about you I’ve been praying for you every day all the time night and day I pray for you I greatly desire to see you can’t wait to the next time we see each other oh and by the way I’m mindful of what has caused you tears I wonder if there’s any of us in this room then the last week or even the last month we have prayed for someone 15 25 35 45 55 years younger than us that’s not related to us by name every day and we especially have been taking in prayer to God things that we know that’s bringing tears to their cheeks and we’ve also reached out to them to let them know that we’re praying for them and we can’t wait to the next time we see them I know that there may be someone that says oh wait a minute I see it and I hear you but how in the world do you expect me to know what causes a teenager to cry and say the points made isn’t it that’s how disconnected we are what if it was our physical family and we were healthy odds are we would know what is causing pain I want you to see that what we’re talking about in this passage is a genuine relationship I understand the importance for congregations to have programs because it organizes us and it helps us to accomplish more in the end and so I’m not against organized programs but I want you to realize what we’re looking at right here is not an organized program you don’t have the time to do what we’re studying tonight with 10 truthfully you might only have the time to do this with one or two because you’re going to do this for years you might be doing this with the same one or two that relationship may go like with Timothy well beyond their childhood you realize when Paul started this relationship with Timothy Timothy would have been a young person like we have right here and so so what we see here is the opportunity to say what if you invested in one or two and what if you reached out just to let them know I’m praying for you what if you reached out and shared in ministry with them what if you constantly reached out just to let them know that whatever was on their mind and their heart you were praying and what if a genuine relationship was sparked I realized the first time that you make that phone call the first time a 15 year old receives a phone call that says hey you know I prepare the Lord’s Supper every week and I would just love to have some help would you mind coming once a month just to help me I’d like to get to know you better I’d you’d have the opportunity to do some good work and the Lord’s Kingdom would you like to do that I realize that first phone call you know the young people probably said about that first phone call they said that was awkward this this old person I don’t even really know it Church just called me and you know what I say the young people embrace the awkwardness embrace it because what’s gonna spark out of that is this beautiful relationship somebody has to take that first awkward step and embrace it I love back in Acts where Paul first came in to Timothy’s hometown and it was the people in the congregation that were so impressed with Timothy as a young man that they started bragging on Timothy to this missionary that was passing through and the scripture says talking about Paul looking over at him he says he wanted him to join him and that’s powerful because he just came off a mission trip where another young man John Mark kind of botched it up he abandoned them and he made such a mess even the relationship between Paul and Barnabas that right before he came on this missionary journey Paul and Barnabas split ways because of friction that a young man had started that would have been the perfect opportunity for Paul hey we want to tell you about this young man we have right here Paul lower his voice and say let me tell you I’m sick of those young people you wouldn’t believe how that guy messed up my mission team they had together we had such a great first missionary trip Barney so nah now we’re not even together anymore just because some young whippersnapper messed it up for us no no no Paul instead of saying let me find someone that’s my age and has my maturity and we’re going to think about things exactly the same he says you know what if that’s an impressive young man and he wants to go out and win souls I want him to go on the trip with me do you realize I mean none of us can really realize but can you just think for a moment how different was Timothy’s life because Paul invested in it I realized he had a good mother and a good grandmother and had a good home congregation so I’m not saying Timothy would not have been a Christian if you’ve not been from I’m not saying that at all but I’m saying do you have you ever thought about how advanced the opportunities that Timothy had in his life that he likely would have never had in other words he would not have developed because in life what do we have to have to develop we have to have knowledge and experience and role models don’t ever forget those three things we have to have knowledge and experience and role models and Timothy was able to come in Paul’s life Paul was able to come into Timothy’s life at a time that Timothy needed probably more knowledge and he needed more experience and he needed a role model like Paul and Paul was able to bring that so that this young man flourished and this young man became one of the active pillars if you will a first century mission work it was because somebody decided to do the unconventional thing and instead of always asking people my age and why’d he do it I have no doubt in my mind that the only reason Paul continually did that was because his love for the kingdom made him aware of the fact that the church is in the future is never going to be stronger than what we invest in the young generation you want the church here to thrive 10:23 forty years from now you better go all out to spiritually develop the teenagers and the 20-somethings because you give that 20-something 10 to 15 years down the road and that’s your deacons you give them another 10 to 15 years down the road and that’s your future elders that’s your Bible class teachers that’s the young women that you can rely on to be active and faithful in the work of the church and so Paul got it and he walked through life with this young man to such an extent that when things were getting hard which by the way that in verse 8 we get an insight that things were getting harder for Timothy Timothy is looking up to his mentor what position is mentoring remember we’re reading second Timothy here his mentor is waiting in a prison or dungeon waiting to be executed why for being a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ it doesn’t take long for the younger man to put two and two together when a wait a minute I don’t know if I’m as excited about being a missionary and and one that spreads the gospel of Jesus Christ if the one that I look up to is now waiting to be killed for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and so what we see here by the time we get to they thirst is here the mentor is looking down to the mentee that he has invested so much in this relationship that is so genuine that he’s able over the next few verses to say some things to pull him along to get him through this difficult time in life in other words there’s something in America about being 18 and 19 years old that’s very difficult on faith we just have to admit it now you can say it shouldn’t be that way but it is the statistics prove it and so what are we going to do to already have that strong relationship form you said I’m saying you can’t wait to 18 and say now let’s all start that relationship with an 18 year old so we can help them through this difficult time because most of them don’t make it alone we have to start back at 14 and 15 years old and build that genuine relationship so that when it comes time to cross some really tough bridges in life that relationship is genuine enough the things can be said and done that need to be said and done I believe in one sense that’s what he’s doing in the very next verse notice what he says in verse five to Timothy he says when I call to remember it’s the genuine faith that is in you which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and I am persuaded it is in you also for years I read that verse and I thought it’s kind of silly say this out loud but I just thought that was kind of like Paul giving some kind of report to Timothy about his spiritual well-being hey let me tell you you really have a genuine faith son I know your mother I know your grandmother they have genuine faith everything is good but then I started reading it in context and seeing that really what he’s doing is he’s working down to the seventh and eighth verse and even the sixth verse to really start addressing some things when verse six he’s saying it’s obvious you’re not using the gifts God’s giving you exactly as they ought to be used it’s obvious in verse seven that fear is starting to dominate your life what’s fear do it paralyzes and he says God didn’t give you that spirit of fear God gave you the spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind and then in verse eight when he says I know you’re starting to have fear over the change that you see in me and I’m urging you not to have fear over that I’m urging you to be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ but to do that you have to be brave courageous you have to be willing to use your gifts in spite of the fact that you may be persecuted for using them and so now what I did is I just took you down those verses and I brought you right back up so now as we come back up what is he saying now about the genuine faith you know the beauty of having those that are older than you invest in you is once that relationship becomes trustworthy they realize that they have an advantage in a relationship with you that they don’t have with their peers it’s wonderful when you have peers they encourage you but there’s an advantage of having those older than you because they’ve already walked through this season of life and they can see what you can’t see and so in essence I believe what Paul is doing here when he speaks to this genuine faith he knows that Timothy’s faith right now is really being shaken but he also knows that himself being a young man at one time he knows that he can come through this and optimistically he’s saying I know the genuine faith you’re capable of how do you know that Paul because I know the foundation that this young man has had his mother and grandmother taught him the scriptures since he was a young boy I know what he’s been in the past because I’ve been on mission trips with him I know what you’re capable of doing and I believe that that genuine faith that I’ve seen in you in the past I believe that genuine faith I’ve seen your mother and your grandmother no Leslie says here I am persuaded I have convinced myself that it’s in you and you can get through this difficult time too and can you imagine how that would have made Timothy feel at this point wait a minute I’m starting to doubt me I’m starting to doubt my faith you’re telling me you think I can make it through this absolutely Timothy I think you can make it through this what difference would that make if when our young people at 18 and 19 years old are struggling there’s several that hard not even their flesh and blood that’s engaged and it’s been engaged for years in their life and they can tell them you can make this I’m praying for you I know what you’re going through let’s keep the dialogue in the conversation open I know the potential you have you know the power of a mentor is amazing I can illustrate this and just it’s a lighter sense because it deals financially and spiritually but you know how we’re all by nature were kind of you there spenders or savers and by nature I’ve just been a saver God just made me that way so anything I’ve done he just made me that way and and so Tracy and I we got married right out of freed-hardeman and then we started having babies and and you know sometime a little bank said well that was a difficult path to choose it was really tough financially us first few years and then I also look back and say I wouldn’t change a thing I’d do it the same way a thousand times over but being a saver it was hard going through a few years and just barely paying the bills and and realizing I can’t save anything and and I were it was getting me down and and number one time I’ve always looked up to my father and I remember one time kind of like having the courage just to state that to him and I was like dad the time I buy diapers for a week formula for a week and we just do the basics I was like dad we don’t need out we don’t buy clothes for ourselves what we’re just trying to pay the bills and I said dad but time I pay all the bills I don’t have a dime to save he kind of smile I was feeling heavy he smile he said son if you got two babies and you’re paying the bills you’re doing really well there’ll be another season not too long from now that you’ll be able to start saving something but right now be thankful that you can pay the bills I can’t tell you the burden that was lifted off my shoulders my mentor the one I looked up to I knew he was wise financially and for him to say that just put just put that enthusiasm in my heart to say well let’s get up and do it then and you know what else it was awesome about that it wasn’t an empty cheerleader speech you know he was right the one that long before we got some raises and we didn’t have to buy as much formula or diapers and you know what we were able to do exactly what he said and start saving again but you see he knew that I didn’t know that and my friends that were my age didn’t know that because we never been through that season of life that’s what our children miss out on when all they know is to look to their peers for spiritual guys and as I want to emphasize how important this have Christians friends that’s beautiful and we need that but when you’re dealing with heavy things and the only thing you’re asking is people your age you’re missing you’re missing the important ingredient that you need of being able to talk to those who have been through season ahead of you so how do we change this I’m convinced after a couple of decades of studying this topic we will never I hope I hope you can prove me wrong on this I mean this genuinely but I’m convinced we will never create a program that solves this problem but every one of us can form genuine relationships with the heavy priority that we want to help our young people build genuine faith and we want them to be about genuine service as he said there in verse six store that gift up and we want them to have genuine courage you better believe you’re gonna go through some tough times at 18 19 20 and 21 but I know that God will give you everything you need and I’m gonna be there praying for you night and day and the next time you come home on a military leave I can’t wait to see you the next time you come home from college let’s get together for some coffee I can’t wait to see you I’m praying for you every day and I look forward to spending time with you again tonight we’re about seeing a song of invitation and it’s to encourage us we’re singing to encourage each other to walk with the Lord walk with the Lord we all know is the best way but there’s a lot of distractions sometimes we just are on the wrong side of things and so tonight if you evaluate your life and you need to come back do it we would be honored to pray with you in four years you repent and confess soon maybe you’ve never become a Christian wouldn’t deny be the right time to become a child of God when you do that not only are you gonna be saved but you’re gonna become a part of the most wonderful family that’s ever existed God is the father Christ is the older brother and we’re all trying to be better brothers and sisters every day if we can help you in any way comes we stand as we sing

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