The Birmingham Teen Devotional

Writing: Nicholas Ghalustians and Rebecca Budgett

Photos: Eleanor Frost

Early on Sunday 27th January 2013, the teens across London’s churches set out for Birmingham on a packed coach from Euston Rail Station, London. This was the second time in recent years that the London teen ministry had gone to visit the Midlands Church of Christ. The previous visit proved hugely successful at encouraging the teens from both churches and building friendships across the two cities. This year the trip gave the London teens a chance to revisit, and were inspired once again by the growth of the Birmingham church. The day included various activities as well as attending the Birmingham church service, to build not only friendships but all of the teens spiritually.

Activities

Once the teens arrived in Birmingham, everyone was warmly greeted by the teens, students and teen leaders of the Birmingham church. It was a well appreciated welcome after a 2 hour trip from London. It certainly lifted spirits and energy levels, as the London teens were arriving. All of the teens thoroughly enjoyed the welcome into Birmingham and were able to mingle comfortably. After everyone settled down Dave Mobbs and Sarah DeSouza of the Birmingham Church made an official welcome and laid down how the afternoons activities was going to go. The Birmingham teens, students and leaders had done a magnificent job of organising different stations that all the teens could take part in. Activities ranged from creating encouraging cards, singing songs of worship in teams and hearing about the great experience of students who had moved to Birmingham from London. The afternoon’s activities were certainly engaging, and it was easy to see the joy around the room that they created. The afternoon was a great credit to the effort put in by the Birmingham church, who managed to provide for all the London Teens. It was a fantastic afternoon that seemed to go so quickly – time flies when you’re having fun.

Testimony - Jonathan Bryden Communion - Senyo

After the activities we headed to the Birmingham church service. After a thought-provoking communion by Senyo which focused on John 12:42-47, the sermon was given by Dave Mobbs

Sermon – ‘Ordinary Heroes’

1 John 2:3-6

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

  • God uses ordinary people like us to be heroes!
  • We need to live as Jesus lived – if Jesus was a hero, we should be heroes too

Sermon - Dave Mobbs

Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

  • Heroes always have a great cause – we are called to make disciples of all nations. There is no greater cause than to change people’s eternity!

2 Timothy 3:12

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted

  • It is a dangerous mission as well as a great one

Luke 9:23-25

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?

  • It is also a sacrificial mission

1 Peter 5:8

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

  • All heroes have an enemy – we have Satan

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.

  • If we are living life to the full, we will be living an heroic life
  • What do we need to answer this heroic calling?
  1. Vision
  • We need to have goals/ambitions and work towards them. Nothing great happens by accident – if we don’t have ambitions we won’t achieve them.

1 Timothy 2:3-4

This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

  • What are your ambitions? What we talk about a lot often represents what we’re dreaming about. Do your dreams fit in with God’s dreams?

Matthew 6:19-21, 24

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also….No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

  • Where are you storing up your treasures?
  • People are the only things we can take with us to heaven – material things will be left behind.
  1. Strength

Proverbs 24:10

If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!

  • How easily do you falter? How often to you give into peer pressure? How often do you repeat sin you said you would never do again?
  • We need the strength to say ‘no’ and to live by what we say ‘no’ to
  • It is heroic to stand for what is right and this takes a lot of strength

Worship

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

  • Vision gives us the strength to say ‘no’ and ‘yes’ to righteousness
  • Giving in to sin can cause us to tangle like a rope which can be difficult to untangle!
  1. Perseverance

Galatians 6:9

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

  • We need to refuse to be beaten entirely – you cannot be beaten if you keep trying!

Hebrews 3:13

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

  • We need to inspire, motivate and give courage to one another. To get the strength to persevere we need friendships that we value as well as God. We cannot be heroic if we don’t have God!

Philippians 4:13

I can do all this through him who gives me strength

  • It is not about our strength, it is about God’s and letting him work in our lives.
  • No heroes’ story is easy – we need to give it our best all the time and lean on the strength that God provides.

The sermon was fantastic and Dave received a standing ovation as we all felt inspired to be Heroes for God.

Overall, the London teen ministry’s trip to Birmingham had been a huge success. All of the teens from London left Birmingham inspired by the amazing day of activities provided by the Birmingham Church and the powerful message given by Dave Mobbs during the church service. Many friendships were built and much spiritual growth took place throughout the day. This was only possible thanks to the Birmingham teens, students and teen leaders. Seeing the fantastic growth and development of the Birmingham church from previous years and this year has helped encourage the teens to see the power of God working not only in London, but in many other regions across the United Kingdom. The trip was extremely successful for the London teens and God willing there will be many more teen visits like this to the Birmingham church in the future.




Build Date: 17/05/2017