Friday, November 16, 2007

Josh McDowell Youth & Parent Seminars

On Monday the 12th, Josh McDowell was in our town and presented two seminars -- one for youth, and one for parents. I had the opportunity to take two teenagers from our church to listen to Josh for 3 hours Monday morning. Monday evening, Esther and I, as well as several parents from our church had another 3 hours of instruction. Below is a synopsis of what I learned:

Youth Seminar:
  • The first session was Josh's testimony. He had a rough childhood. His father was an alcoholic. He was abused by a man who helped around the house. Going to college, he did not believe in God. During his college days, he was challenged to study the claims of the Bible by a Christian professor. He planned to write a book exposing the hoax of Christianity. At the end of his study, he had to say "I Believe." He has been defending our faith ever since.
  • The second session answered the question, "How can I know the Bible is true?" He talked about the manuscript evidence, the eyewitness accounts of the writers of Scripture, and the fact that the disciples died for their statement in Acts 1:3. There's plenty of evidence to believe that the Bible has not been altered over the years, and that what was written down is actually true.
  • The third session was about moral purity. He said that 80% of young people think sex is sinful, mostly because of the emphasis we place of Bible passages about the mis-use of sex and apply it to sexuality in general. God created sex: 1) for procreation (Gen. 1:28); 2) for unity (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31); and 3) for recreation with your spouse (Prov. 15:18-19). Purity is living according to God's original design for sex. Thus abstinence before marriage is so beautiful that it's worth waiting for. He admonished the ladies to only marry Christian men who knew how to love themselves. Because (Eph. 5:28-29) if a man does not know how to love himself, he will never be able to love his wife and children appropriately. EXCELLENT session.
Parent Seminar:
  • Josh talked about the cultural shift taking place in our society. He says that we (as adults) are the first generation trying to impact youth in a society of 2 generations AND 2 cultures. Teens and children do not THINK the way adults do. He gave lots of statistics and examples to illustrate his premise. In order to connect with youth, we need to 1) develop a loving relationship with them; 2) model the truth and values you want to see them incorporate in their lives; 3) develop convictions (knowing what you believe, why we believe it, and experiencing it in your life). 78% of evangelical christian kids say that the only way to know if something is true is if it works. Convictions can't be only mental, they have to be experiential.
  • The second session was a repeat of why the Bible is true from the Youth session.
  • The final session was called "7 Steps To Build A Relationship"
    1. Affirmation -- gives youth a sense of authenticity (Rom. 12:15)
    2. Acceptance -- unconditionally accept your kids! (Rom. 15:7)
    3. Appreciation -- makes them feel that they have done or said something worthwhile.
    4. Availability -- communicates a sense of importance. (Mat. 19:13-14)
    5. Affection -- says "I am lovable" (John 15:12)
    6. Approach their world -- let them sense that you are interested in what interests them.
    7. Accountability -- give reasonable rules and hold them to it!


Kingdom Advancer said...

Hi Chris and Esther.

After finding your blog linked from Mike Huckabee's website and skimming it, I think you might be interested in a new blog I created entitled "We Want a Christian President..." I want as many people as possible to get involved in the effort. Please check it out to learn more. This is vitally important!

God bless.

Florida Bozone Bunch said...

I find Josh McDowell's information practical and "right to the point." I am so glad you got to go to this seminar. I would have counted it a privilege to hear him. Thanks for putting the outline on your blog.