Monday, November 15, 2010

The Girl-Effect

Last weekend I took a girl from the youth group and her friend to a girls retreat called "Girl Effect". I am posting my notes from the main conference teacher specifically for all the other girls in the youth group who couldn't go, but also for anyone else who would like to read it. It's called the girl effect because it was a teen girls retreat, but the truths apply for anyone; boy, girl, old, or young.

1. The Christ Effect – According to John 1 and Colossians 1, we were created by Jesus, who is The Word. We were created for His glory. Before we can begin the “girl-effect” we must first make sure that we have be affected by Christ for salvation and then for sanctification. Have you come to a point in your life when you have turned from your sin, confessed that sin to God, and trusted in the shed blood of Jesus, and that alone, to save you from your sin? If you have accepted His gift of salvation, are you allowing Him priority in your life? God is in the business of changing lives, and if you let Him, He will change you and shape you into exactly who He wants you to be. When God wants to get ahold of your life He will. If you are serving the Lord actively, my question to you is who are you doing it for? Are you serving Him to look like a good Christian, or are you serving Him in following His leading in your life in order to give all the glory to God? Ephesians 6:5-9 tells us that the things we do should not be in order to please men, but they should be done from the heart to do the will of God. This passage is talking to the “bondservant/master” relationship, such as an employee to a boss, but I believe that the principle also applies to anything we do. Make sure that your service to the Lord is of the Lord and for the Lord.

2. The Word Effect – It is 100% necessary for you to allow the Word of God and your prayer life (both together make up our communication with our Lord) to take root in your everyday life. The Word of God is profitable to us. It is in our life for doctrine (belief system), reproof, correction, instruction. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Verse 17 tells us that the Word of God COMPLETES US! Have you been saved for a long time but you still feel empty? Do you wonder why you still feel like there’s a hole there, something missing? If so, the first thing I would ask you is how often do you read you’re Bible? How often do you pray? You must cling to the Word of God as if your life depends on it. Read it constantly, memorize it, and keep it in front of you everywhere you go. The Word of God lasts forever, we need to know it, and it will equip us for life. Without it, we are incomplete, ignorant, and ill-equipped to do ANY good for the Lord. Outside of the Word of God and Prayer our works are only for ourselves. Let the Word of God engulf you! (Hebrews 4:11-16; Psalm 19:7-11)

3. The Greenhouse Effect – 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 is just one passage of scripture that shows us the calling of people within a church. A church is supposed to nurture and take care of each other the way a greenhouse nurtures plants through any season. The outside may have storms, freezing hail, or intense heat but the inside should be constant, nurturing, and caring. I would not be where I am today were it not for the vast number of people in the church who took the time to invest into my life. We HAVE to do life together and share our lives with others in order to follow God’s call of making disciples. Just as you must not neglect the Word of God and your prayer life, you must also not forsake assembling with other Christians. (Hebrews 10:25) Get plugged into a church and start sharing your life with people.

4. The Soul Saving Effect – God commands every Christian to go out and make disciples. (Matthew 28:18-20) God has given all of us special gifts and talents that He expects us to use to bring others to Him. We have been given the best gift of all in our salvation, and we should be sharing that with every single person God allows us to. If you allow the first 3 effects to take root in your life, then this one will come very naturally to you. When you eat, sleep, and breathe the Word of God it will seep out of you along with the love of God that is essential in reaching a lost and dying world. God may be calling you to go to the other side of the world to bring people to Jesus, or He may be calling you to the other side of your cafeteria at school to talk to a fellow student. This is the effect, that we would reach one person at a time and help equip them to reach one person at a time. It doesn’t matter what age you are either. I Timothy 4:12-16 says don’t let anyone despise your youth, but be an example to the believers. God LOVES using teenagers (or younger) to start revolutions. I firmly believe that teenagers hold the required amount of tenacity and boldness to get things done. Take a stand in your youth group to start a revolution. Get in the Word of God as if your life depends on it. Pray with boldness. Let other Christians in the church into your life and invest your life into other people. Then take a stand! If you can’t stand in your own youth group or church among other Christians, then you will never be able to stand under pressure out in the World. When you feel God leading you to talk to somebody, just do it. Let God worry about the results, you just stand up and do what He’s called you to do. One girl, reaching one girl, reaching one girl all over the world. This is the girl effect!