Research has revealed that one of the most critical elements to preventing new converts from leaving the church is friendship. According to one study, “Each new person should be able to identify at least seven friends in the church within the first six months.” In other words, developing faith based friendships is critical to faith development.
Our teenagers live in a demanding world, and one of the greatest demands that are placed upon them comes in the form of homework.
A 2014 survey discovered that high school teachers, on average, assigned approximately 3.5 hours of homework each week. If a typical high school student has five classes with five different teachers, this could theoretically add up to 17.5 hours of homework every week! This would dwarf the amount of time that most teens spend in Bible study, prayer, or other spiritual activities, and would most likely compromise other important areas of life (family, friends, recreation, etc.).
William Arthur Ward once wrote, “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.” I believe that sentiment embodies the example of a man named Joseph who was integral to the growth of the church during its infancy.
As we wrap up this study on our response towards fear, let’s take a look at one final approach:
THE “FEAR OF GOD” APPROACH:
What does this approach towards fear look like? Imagine the following scenario:
Something happens in our life that causes us to be afraid, but instead of doing nothing or reacting to the cause/source of that fear, we remind ourselves of whom we fear most: God. As a result of this foundational “fear” of God, we make very different decisions in the midst of this scary situation. With this approach, we have a singular, overriding goal: to please Him above all else.