There are few books in Scripture that move me quite like Paul’s letter to the Colossians.
It really is a beautifully written letter. In its introduction to Colossians, the ESV Study Bible notes that “Paul writes with stylistic flair and aphoristic brilliance.” I have no idea what the word “aphoristic” means. Not a clue. But it sounds awesome. And it seems to support my contention that Colossians is a great, great book.
Over the last week or so, I have been listening to Colossians as I drive to work. (If I press play on the “Bible Experience” when I pull out of my daughter’s school, I can get the whole book by the time I arrive at work.) Over and over again, I was moved by the power of Colossians 1:9-10:
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
I believe the calling God has put on my life is to make His Word known. Pretty simple, huh? This call is fleshed out in a variety of ways. The primary way this manifests itself in my life is by working with teenagers. I am passionate about seeing them encounter God and growing in their faith. Whether through teaching youth at my church, speaking at retreats and Disciple Now weekends, or designing Bible Study curriculum through Student Life, the last ten years of my life have been given over to communicating the power and truth of Scripture to teenagers, and to equipping others to do the same.
Colossians 1:9-10 is an incredibly succinct way of summarizing the goal of my calling.
In fact, these verses may very well serve as a summary for ALL of our youth ministries in general.
If you are a youth minister, isn’t Colossians 1:9-10 the purpose of your ministry? Isn’t this your goal for your students?
I believe the desire of every youth minister should be to see his or her students “be filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (vs. 9).”
What purpose does this “knowledge” serve? The answer is in verse 10 . . . The goal is for your students to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
Oh, that we would all be so faithful in leading the students in our ministries, so that EACH of them lived lives pleasing to the Lord, walking according to His ways, bearing fruit in their lives, and GROWING in their love and knowledge of Him!
Andy Blanks is the co-founder of Youth Ministry 360, one of the sponsors of the Download Youth Ministry Webshow.