We handle products on day to day bases that have tethered, rubbed and beaten stickers on its side. These products can be from anywhere to the packaging on a baby’s bottle, all the way up to an enormous chainsaw. We typically never really pay close attention to what it actually says because our eyes have been trained to notice these labels but never really pay close attention to the details within. These WARNING labels are always there but are never really considered.
Warning labels serve a very strong purpose. They are there to WARN!! (I know…I know…DEEP!) Warning labels are there to warn us but not to detour us from handling! It’s important that we understand that point. We need to continue to handle the issues at hand, but it’s important that we pay close attention to what the Warning labels read!
I am looking closely at the leadership of tomorrow’s generation. The more I focus, the more my eye catches a faded and abused warning label. This warning label sits in plane site, but has been weathered and tattered from constant use. If you look closely, it’s a warning to the Student Pastor and Youth Leaders of today’s student body. I believe it reads:
I have noticed a reoccurring trend with our Student Pastors/Youth Leaders as they adopt student culture into their walk with God, only to help bridge communication between the Student and Student Pastor/Youth Leader. I believe we tell ourselves that if I participate in this certain style of fashion, if I purchase this particular artist’s work, if I align their goals and my goals, if I…if I…then maybe I’ll be able to win them over “And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.” (1 Cor 9:23)
I am not saying that we need to be staunch Amish, non-electric using, Student Pastors/Youth Leaders!! I am just pointing out the warning label on the thing we must handle! Paul said “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Cor 9:22) This is something we all need to participate and handle but yet we need to look closely to the warning labels! Paul later applies this warning label when he writes “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate , saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Cor 6:17) The warning label clearly states that if we are not separate, we will not be received by Him!
I’ll be the first to tell you that I enjoy wearing my TOM’s! I love tweeting and occasionally playing a XBOX/PS3 game from time to time! But I cannot allow my students to dictate the spiritual temperature for me nor the entire group! It’s up to you, the leadership, to be that “constant” in your student’s “inconsistent” spiritual relationship with God. I thank God for my youth pastor who didn’t waiver on key scripture holiness standards! I thank God for a Pastor in my life who didn’t adopt my teenage sinful culture into their walk, just to reach me! David said it best, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Ps 61:2) Thank God for the leadership that acted as a “rock” that was spiritually higher than I, that I could run and hold onto!
The thing that students need more than anything today, is not another friend who mimics’s and adopts their culture, but a mentor who mimic’s and adopts Godly instructions! We need to be relevant but not related to this world! We need to identify and understand the snares of this world, but keep our distance from being trapped! We must continue to handle communication with our students, but it’s imperative we heed to the warning labels and handle with care!