Tonight we started a 4-part series on obedience with a message titled "It's Your Choice".  We walked through Deuteronomy 30:11-20 and learned 4 things about obedience.  Check out the passage and these things we can learn from it:

#1 (v.11-14) - Obedience is not complicated.
#2 (v.15-16) - Obedience has its rewards.
#3 (v.17-18) - DISObedience has consequences.
#4 (v.19-20) - Obedience is a choice.

You can check out the message under the media tab up above on Thursday morning!
Last night's message at Youth Group was called "Help Me Grow".  Here's some highlights:

- Growing in our faith is crucial!  Jesus set the example for us in this (Luke 2:52) and the Bible reinforces that we are to "crave" growth (1 Peter 2:2) and "grow up into... Christ" (Eph. 4:14)

- Christians grow in their faith by doing some basic things.  They spend time with God, spend time in the Word, spend time with other Christians, spend time serving others, and spend time sharing their faith.

- If you spend no time doing these things, you won't grow.  If you spend very little time doing these things, you'll grow very little.  If you spend a LOT of time doing these things, you'll see a lot of growth in your life.

- It's not unlike owning a goldfish.  They grow to the size of the bowl/tank they're in.  Little bowl/little time invested in your faith = little fish/little growth.  BIG HUGE BOWL/lots of time invested in your faith = BIG HUGE FISH/lots of growth in your walk!

Good times!
I thought a recent letter from Student Life president Randy Hall was pretty interesting.  The letter covers what Student Life is devoted to in youth ministry, but also talks about what devoted teenagers look like according to findings by the National Study of Youth and Religion.

Here is what a devoted teenager looks like according to them.  Devoted teens:

- Attend religious services weekly or more.
- Possess a high importance of faith in their everyday life.
- Feel very or extremely close to God.
- Currently involve themselves in a youth group.
- Pray a few times a week or more.
- Read Scripture once or twice a month or more.

According to the NSYR's findings, only a very small group of American teens fit into the category of devoted - around 8%.

Interestingly, these are the factors they found most influence the devoted teenagers:

- Committed Christian parents.
- Adults at their church to whom they can turn for support and advice.
- Personal prayer.
- Study of Scripture.
- High value of their faith.
- Firmly knowing what they believe.
- Many religious experiences.

I'm really intrigued by these findings.  Some of them are very affirming of my own beliefs and practices in ministering to students, some of them are eye-opening.  What is your reaction to this study?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!