Set yourself on fire.
“John Wesley said when he preached he set himself on fire and people came to watch him burn. May that be the way we preach. May that be the way we teach. May that be the way we live.
If you want to see your teens on fire, it starts with you. Ask God daily to fill you with His Holy Spirit and empower you to set the pace for a full-on, on-fire life and ministry” .
In several texts (Matthew 11:25, Luke 10:21, John 13:33, John 21) Jesus calls his Disciples little children, or, uses other phrases that are similar, such as “little ones”, “Children”, and “ewe’s”. Often Jesus would give us the indication that the Disciples were inexperienced at fishing, social misfits, and even use parabolic language with them when He was alone with them. Having often to ask them “Do you not understand?”. This careful treatment would be a hint into the IQ and the EQ of the Disciples and certainly tells us that treating adults like this would be insulting.
Second, most of the Disciples were unmarried
Peter was the only Disciple that we know was married. Because Jesus healed his mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-15). According to 1st century tradition, a Jewish man most often than not received a wife after he turned 18. There was no mention of the other disciples’ wives. Now, of course, they could have been. But, given this information, it makes sense that most were unmarried and possibly under the age of 18.
Thirdly, the process of education in Israel
Ray Vanderlaan writes, according to the Avot 5 (from the Mishnah: rabbinical commentary that was added to the Old Testament), what we learn of the ancient Jewish education traditions. That scripture study begins at age 5; Mishnah study at age 10; Torah obligations at age 13; continued rabbinical study at age 15 if they were chosen to be tutored by a formal teacher or apprenticed to a trade; they would be married at age 18; and their formal teaching would begin about age 30.
If the Disciples didn’t find a rabbi that accepted them as a student, they would most likely enter the workforce by their mid teen years. The Disciples were already working at their trades when Jesus chose them to follow Him. No doubt the life of Christ was draw enough, but, each of them were ready to begin a life of learning under the Rabbi par excellence.
And because Rabbi’s were allowed to begin their instruction at 30, the fact that Jesus began teaching at the age of 30 is strong proof that He chose these young men as His first cohort.
Fourthly, look at the Temple Tax
Remember the discussion with Peter? When they were talking government and civil duties. We find the story in Matthew 17:24-27 where Jesus instructs Peter to get the tax from the mouth of the fish. Peter finds a shekel in the mouth of the fish that he catches and pays the tax. Not enough for all of the Disciples because maybe they were too young to pay this tax.
We see that in Exodus 30:14-15, Jewish law states that every male over the age of 20 is to pay a half-shekel as census offering when they visit the temple of God. A telling sign of their age?
Fifthly, look at the zeal and child-likeness of the Disciples
See how they were arguing like teens about who was first, or how they were so afraid of the storm that hit their boat (would a seasoned sailor do that?), were disturbed at children around them (does anyone want their little brother or sister playing around them?), or how often they were distracted or did not understand what Jesus was talking about.
And the fact that they were quick to admit their failures and be corrected at the same time. Or, when it was time to spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus, they were the voices sent to the entire region of the then-known world throughout Asia-Minor. Without asking why! Looking at these factors, it is easier to understand Jesus’ patience with them and His teaching style.
We seek to activate a generation.
Teenagers have played a significant part of world history and not just biblical history. I believe they will play a part in what we are trying to achieve in Africa and across the globe. .
We are focused on equipping and mobilizing teens. We do this through our Lead the cause events run across the country.
News from the Olding’s in ministry.
Lead the cause (Johannesburg)-We are a week out from our Lead the Cause event happening in Johannesburg, and are still waiting for youth pastors to sign up and get their teens excited. What is exciting is we have African leaders coming in from 3 African countries to our lead the cause event (Zambia, Kenya, Botswana). We are hoping that they would replicate this across their nation contextually. We are very excited for this. Please follow us on FB and Instagram to get the updates.
Discipleship month-We have 4 young people joining us for a month (May) as they seek to explore if missions is what God has called them to do.
Like Jesus Internship– We have 6 young people joining us for a month in (June) and we are seeking to ignite the passion for missions.
Lead the Cause (Durban, July)- pray with us for funding for this Lead the cause event. We have 2 churches joining us from Tabernacle youth Kenosha as well as Immanuel Baptist Kenosha they will be assisting us at LTC in Durban, we have Andy McGowan http://www.ibckenosha.com/staff he is a master speaker and trainer for Dare2Share as well as the lead pastor at his church.
July GGAMM (Global Gospel Advancing Ministry Movement) I am on the steering team and will be helping strategize with a global team as we seek to reach every teen everywhere. This takes place in Denver, Colorado in July. I will be joining guys from Italy, USA, Australia and Europe.
Lead the Cause in Cape Town -We have no funding for this event! Please pray with us as we seek to Activate a generation in the Cape.
Olding family news
Chantel has had a busy week this past week with Easter services. We really loved going through the passion week video series by Wayne Stiles, and really had a great sense of Awe and deep appreciation for Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. Our children are doing well, they began the 2nd term of school yesterday and are so enthused by life. We are very grateful that we have happy children with a love for life. We encourage our children to tell everyone about Jesus and to show God’s kindness to their peers at school.
- Prayer requests, pray with us.
For the Munien family as they join us in June and as they transition out of their organisation.
- For the Lead the Cause event in Johannesburg we are aiming at have 200 teens attend, with their pastors, and hoping 18 churches will be in attendance.
- Funding for our Lead the cause events, we subsidise the event so we can have teens across the spectrum join us.
- We have 2 families praying about joining us in 2018 on full time staff, as well as some young people hoping to intern with us. Pray that as we grow, God will bring the wisdom and team synergy needed as well as the resources needed.
- Pray with us for the interns coming in May and June to serve alongside us.
- Ongoing financial support for the movement and for us as a family.
We appreciate everything you do for us, and seek only to please our king in what He has called us to do. We are thankful that God is using you in your capacity as a resource on mission with us. You are a critical piece of God’s puzzle.
Don & Chantel Olding