As I left the church after the Teaching Day at St Bart's, I looked into the church to see several of our youth sitting on the floor engaging in conversation with Graham Stanton. As one of the founders of Youthworks about 15 years ago, Graham knows a few things about youth ministry and has been engaged in mentoring our Youth Minister Peter Dutton. Today (Saturday) he was doing something a little different. His subject at the St Bart’s Teaching Day was “Defeating the Enemies of Faith and Faithfulness”. That may sound a bit long-winded but if fact Graham delivered a simple message really. The day was divided into 3 sessions.
The first on Defeating Despair started with Graham outlining some differences in the way we live as followers. Instead of a life of achievement and reward, a life with Jesus is one of relationship and response. He demonstrated this through scripture using the examples from 1 Samuel 4 through to 1 Samuel 5: 9-12. Firstly we see how the Philistines defeated the Israelites because it was man who made the decisions. The next Chapter sees Yahweh defeat Dagon by a KO and then has a victory lap. The message is simple. Put our faith in Jesus and God will have the final victory.
The other sessions also used the books of Samuel to demonstrate firstly defeating disobedience and then defeating self-assurance. As we come into relationship with Jesus we recognise the beauty and the trust that follows. We learn obedience and submit to his authority just as many of the characters of the Bible like David have done before. It’s great that the congregation gets to hear from Graham again at the Sunday services.
Along the way we had the youth providing the music – Katelyn, Holly, Sam and Jack, with Jesse at the sound desk. Dennis Gamble also provided a testimony on a chapter in his life, when he was sustained by God through the Psalms. It was a great day.