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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kiev Update - 1/22/2008




1/22/2008

• Today I taught the second session in the Youth Culture class. We covered the importance of understanding who we are trying to reach before designing programs to reach them. We looked at various components that serve to make up a culture…things like… symbols, language, economy, education, fads, fashion, and entertainment etc. We talked about some pretty technical things that one could start to get lost in, and potentially miss the point in all of the terms and definitions…SO… I began the class from a different angle.

I played the video clip above (Natasha translated the text as it played, they knew the song already and sang it to themselves in Russian), and asked them to write down the following statements and expand upon them as they watched the video…

o God knows me
o God loves me
o God called me
o God needs me

I encourage you to do the same thing, and as you see all that God has created, and is in charge of ask yourself the question that I ask myself all the time, and I asked the students as well “why me?”

I mean, my problem has never been thinking that God is not big enough to handle my problems, issues and junk. For me it’s always been God is too big, and busy taking care of everything else He’s got to do to know about and care for me…Who am I?

So we did this opening exercise to help the students begin to grasp the enormity of God and the unbelievable truth that He wants us to reach His people with His message…So, we need to understand who is people are and what makes them tick before we try the latest greatest technique to reach them. It was a very moving time, the students were really tracking with it, and when the video was over we shared our thoughts, and it was awesome to hear the passion in their voices (translated through Natasha).

These youth leaders are driven, they were identifying individual students that they want so desperately to reach, and at the end of the sharing time, I closed with reminding them to let the fact that the “Creator of the universe loves them, knows them, called them and needs them to reach His people always be in the forefront of their minds & hearts, especially when things get tough…Like the definitions and terms that were going to talk about for the next 4 hours”…They laughed and laughed and it served as a good jumping off point into the material, and I think really connected with them today.

I’m continually amazed with the passion that I see in the youth leaders I’ve come to know internationally…I’m not saying that youth leaders in the US don’t have passion, because they certainly do…I guess I’ve been around youth leaders in the US so much that the international perspective is just so incredible to me!

The bottom line is youth today whether in the US or Internationally are looking for solutions, and I believe that youth leaders who know who they are in Christ, know who He wants them to reach, and are driven by God given Holy passion to reach them, are going to serve as Real life solution givers to help their young people know the REAL LIFE SOLUTION GIVER personally and begin to live John 10:10 style…Life to the Fullest!

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