Life and Hope and Home

Joy to the World…there’s more to enjoy than the world. Let earth receive her King. 

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God alone makes things grow!

Summer camps and activities can be a great time of seeing fruit from our labours and yet discouragement can come when things don’t turn out as we’d hoped or when growth isn’t seen. At every stage it’s worth reminding ourselves of the division of labour and responsibility shown in scripture. One plants. Another waters. Only God can make the seed grow. 

1 Corinthians 3:5-8

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labour.

This scripture comes with some helpful reminders:

  • The one who sows and the one who waters have the same purpose – that the life-giving seed of God’s word might have every opportunity to take root and flourish.
  • All who sow and water are servants, not the Master, and our tasks are assigned by him.
  • Making seed grow is not within the capability of either the sower nor the waterer. Only God can do that.
  • Those who sow and water will be rewarded for sowing and watering.

“Father, as we continue to faithfully sow and water the seed of your word, may we trust you for the growth – encouraged and thankful when we see that growth; persistent in prayer and in sowing and watering when we don’t.”


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FREE Training and On-going Support

FREE training and on-going support for local churches.

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Headlong towards sacrifice!

Headlong towards sacrifice!

The celebratory scene of Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem, to the applause of cheering crowds, captivates imaginations and inspires artists and songwriters. 

Yet to Jesus it was anything but celebratory. Jesus knew better than to entrust himself to human fickleness.

For Jesus this journey was a commitment to sacrifice. What the crowd saw as a humble hero entering their capital city was the Saviour of the world riding headlong towards sacrifice.

Deep within we know that people-pleasing rarely delivers what it promises though it’s more appealing than sacrifice. Following Jesus means serving sacrificially in preference to being swayed by the crowds.

“But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.”

John 2:24

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Little reward for a lot of effort?

Little reward for a lot of effort?

Serving others can sometimes seem like a lot of effort for little reward. The preparation you put into serving teens every week is unseen and often unappreciated. As you work away, behind the scenes, perhaps you wonder if it’s worth it or how long you can keep going. And yet Jesus’s words remind us that our heavenly Father sees it all and he will reward us. And knowing God’s generosity, it will seem like a lot of reward for little effort.

“Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”     Matthew 6:4

“Father, thank you that you are fully aware of the unseen, sacrificial effort put into serving young people each week. Please continue to motivate us by your love and remind us that your promised reward will be no small thing.”

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Not Christian Teens but Christian Adults

Long Term Goal …not Christian teens but Christian adults!

If our long term goal is Christian adults – people who continue to live and mature as followers of Jesus long after their teenage years – we will build a ministry to young people that proclaims Jesus, trains and teaches the way of Jesus, relying on the wisdom of Jesus.

YMD provides tips and training in how to develop this type of youth ministry and we do this free of charge. Give us a shout via our webform (link in bio). We’d be delighted to talk with you.

“Jesus is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.”

Colossians 1:28

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Invited by Jesus

Invited by Jesus to come to him for rest. 

As we care for some of the young people that Jesus cares for we may find ourselves feeling the weight of the burden. Jesus invites to come to him for rest as we take on the shared yoke of his burden. 

‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ 

Matthew 11:28-30

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Let’s consider one another

“Let’s consider one another.” 

YMD HUBS meet again this week for support and encouragement, tips and training. Various HUBS are meeting together online on Monday lunchtime from 1-2pm. The new evening HUB meets for supper on Tuesday from 8-9pm. The Dublin HUB is due to meet in-person on Thursday from 1-2pm. Send us a message or use the form on our website for more details. 

These gatherings are a great way to get to know each other, to give and find support and hear what others are doing. We want to encourage each other towards clear Bible teaching in our youth ministry settings, receiving some tips and training along the way, with encouragement for us all to keep going. 

“Let’s consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.” 

Hebrews 10:24-25

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Great patience and careful instruction.

Great patience and careful instruction.

Highlighting these two essential qualities in Bible teaching, Paul infers that the opposites are possible. With another weekend (or weekday) of serving young people behind us, and next week fast approaching, we may find ourselves with lower levels of these qualities than we might like. May God help us to rely on his Spirit to improve our levels of both.

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.”

2 Timothy 4:2

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Welcoming young people reflects our welcome of God.

Welcoming young people reflects our welcome of God.

Let’s thank God for those who are welcoming young people to their churches and youth groups across Ireland this weekend, navigating the remaining restrictions to give a warm welcome to the young people under their care.

‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.’

Mark 9:37

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