Keeping Teens Faithful After Baptism

by Friday, 17 July 2009 18:22

Lots of training and teaching, lots of time invested, lots of prayers -- and that's all BEFORE a teenager decides to get baptized.  Once our teens hit the water and become Christians, how do we "teach them to obey" and stay faithful to Jesus for the rest of their lives? 

Earlier this year, Youth and Family Minister Kevin Hoecke tackled this very important question at the International Conference of Youth and Family Ministry in Chicago, Illinois.  To listen to Kevin's lesson entitled, "Baptism...Just the Beginning" please   Click Here

Having become a disciple as a freshman in high school, Kevin has always had a heart for Youth Ministry.  He has served in the ministry for 10 years throughout the Midwest and Canada.  Kevin currently serves as the Youth and Family Minister for the church in Toronto, where he resides with his wife Clarissa and children Gabrielle and Carson.  

Is the Bible the inspired Word of God?  Fort Lauderdale (FL) teenagers took this critical question to a (mock) court of law earlier this year for a lesson in Christian Apologetics.   The teen ministry from the South Broward Region of the South Florida Church of Christ challenged the teen ministry from the North Broward Region to legally defend the Bible and its claims of divinity.

Charmaine has been going to church with her parents from a very young age and attended Kid’s Kingdom. At age 13 she initiated to study the bible and a youth worker, Seh Yen, started studying with her.  Initially she didn’t enjoy or feel excited about the bible study because she was distracted by her commitment in the school band. The band was a priority in her life at that time. She admittedly had to force herself to study the bible and eventually gave it up.
Passing the baton is crucial in every relay race. In that one moment, the race could be won or lost. As many of our high school seniors prepare to graduate and enter adulthood, we must do everything we can to spiritually prepare them for this transition.  The following is a lesson to share with teenagers getting ready to leave the nest and move into the campus ministry.

Hi. My name is Kiara Yeatman and I am 15 years old. I was born in Milan, Italy and I have lived in Boston, Virginia, and currently New Delhi, India. I am the oldest of four daughters and my parents are Andrew and Staci Yeatman. Some of you may know my grandparents, Al and Gloria Baird.

One of the convictions I have developed as a disciple is that the Word of God is a “reality book”.  It’s not just a book of laws, rules and commands; it’s a book of realities and truths. Even though I have grown up reading and hearing the Bible my entire life, it wasn’t until my late teens that I could understand and appreciate this truth. 
I started to go to church when I was around 12 years old. My family comes from a Buddhism background. My mum was a Buddhist herself until she started going to church after being invited by my uncle, Henry. That is how my mum started to get to know God. There were lots of challenges when my mum took a stand to be committed to church every Sunday, including persecution from family members.

I was naïve at that time and I remember I begged my mum to give up going church as her Christianity was threatening my parents’ marriage. There was much quarreling. My mum, sister and I were devastated. It was very hard for my sister and I at that point in time. My mum prayed very hard during that period of time. God answers prayers - my dad started to change and allowed my mum to go to church.

The Boston Campus Ministry has long been a home to "Kingdom Kids," the children of disciples from within the Boston Church of Christ and from around the country.

Over the last few years, the ministry has become a place where these students take root and flourish. Calling upon the faith that they have seen from childhood, many kingdom kids are challenged to deepen their convictions about God and his Word, and the need for others to know Him.

They are capturing a simple but powerful belief that God can use them to bring his message to thousands of college students around them. Here are some inspiring stories of how God has used these students in the past year.

Poonam is seventeen years old. She comes from a very poor part of Nepal. Her family went through a lot of trauma. Poonam watched her parents break up and her mum’s new husband’s abusive behavior. Women have very few rights in that part of the world. Generally they are not respected very much.

At the tender age of fourteen Poonam came to Delhi. She found a job and taught herself English. At such a young age she showed tremendous fortitude and courage. Her older sister was invited to church a few months ago and Poonam came along. Her sister did not have the faith to stand up to her husband and embrace a new faith but Poonam did.

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