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暑假是少年人的季節，也是少年人新開始的前哨站，因為假期過後他們便要升上新的年級，學習新的知識，嘗試新的事物，認識新的朋友。羅馬書十二章 2 節所說的「心意更新而變化」，正是給少年人的一生良言。少年人處身於世，面對各種新事，叛逆真理的流行文化與思維每天都在招惹著他們，他們確實需要學懂如何在「追逐世界」和「效法基督」之間的戰場上保護自己，抵抗不敬虔。
A New Page for Youth Ministry
Rev Maggie Tang
Recently, as I browsed through the social media as usual, I noted that many citizens have uploaded their photos of clouds. The clouds in the pictures appear in many interesting forms – dolphins, Godzilla, a boat tossed in the waves, leaves in the blue sky…. I lifted my head and marveled at how artistic our Heavenly Father is. It also told me that the summertime had quietly arrived.
The summer vacation belongs to adolescents. It is also the prelude to their new start. After the summer vacation, teenagers are promoted to the next grade. They will learn new things, try new approaches, meet new friends. It is said in Romans 12:2: "…be transformed by the renewing of your mind." This is good advice for the adolescents for their whole life. Adolescents face all sorts of new things in the world. They are exposed to thoughts and a popular culture against the truth. They need to learn how to protect themselves when struggling between "pursuits of the world" and "imitating Christ." They need to combat worldliness.
Some of you may ask: What can we do as spiritual mentors? How can we help to safeguard this new generation according to the will of God? First, we need to do away with worldly trends. Do not just talk to adolescents about exams, choice of school subjects, or further education. Instead, faith and Jesus should be a daily topic. If the youth ask what to do if they do not want to conform to the pattern of this world and desire transformation, we will need to find the answer together with them, discuss related biblical truths with them as well as what God says.
In pursuing their life goals, teenagers really need mentors and shepherds to walk with them. They need to be advised not to stay too close to the world. While they are still young, they should test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. Specifically, to help youngsters live out the teaching in Romans 12:2, we should exhort them:
· To remember the abundance and grace of God – He is unchanging and faithful to us since our childhood to our adolescence and through the rest of our lives;
· To make worship an attitude of life – Surrender all to God every moment and leave nothing of the self behind;
· To reject thoughts and actions for fulfilling the flesh and body; and
· To Take heed of God’s truth and closely follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We need to encourage our adolescents to hold on to these teachings and run life’s race with their utmost in accordance with the will of God.
Dear young people, seize the days of your youth. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. These are our Heavenly Father's words of wisdom to the youth of our NPAC family. They tell us how we can and how we need to minister to our youth in the sunny days and the rainy days that so often alternate. It is our conviction that as we turn a new page in the youth ministry, God will always be with us.