Perry Noble closed out the 2011 Orange Conference with a very powerful message to all who work with children, youth, and families within the church. He believes we all deal with fear on some level, even if you don’t want to admit it. One of the biggest fears we have, as children and youth workers, is that what we are doing is not going to matter. Often, we feel like we are wasting our time. Perry suggests that what we do is very important. In fact, he urges us that what we are doing today matters.
He used powerful stories, Biblical examples, and quite a bit of humor to prove his point. His main ideas came from the story of Jesus feeding the crowd in John 6. (If you are unfamiliar with this story, please take some time to read it before continuing.)
Perry asks who the hero is in the story. Of course it is Jesus. We do not want to take anything way from that. Other than Jesus, some people say the boy. Perry suggests it is the person that packed the boy’s lunch. When working with children and youth, he insists, “You can’t be concerned about your name. You’ve got to be concerned about His name in them.”
Parry suggest there are three things that we need to do in order to make a difference.
- Teach them to recognize Jesus. Too often, we do not teach kids who Jesus is. We teach them safe Bible stories. We teach them good moral behavior. We need to welcome them into the church and teach them to recognize Jesus. Someone taught this kid in the story to recognize the Christ. Then, he knew when he saw Him.
- Teach them to trust Jesus. The lie that they hear at school is that they are an accident, a product of evolution. Then, they come to church and hear the lie that they can be anything and anyone they want to be as long as they believe in themselves and try really hard. The truth is that there is a God in Heaven that crafted and custom-designed them. They need to surrender fully to Jesus, and you will discover why He placed them on this planet. Someone taught this boy to trust in Jesus. That is how he knew he could trust Jesus with his whole lunch.
- We need to release them to Jesus. It is not our job to reach the next generation. We need to teach them to recognize and trust Jesus, and then let them reach their own generation. In order for these kids to lead the greatest awakening the world has ever known, we have to get out of the way. The person who prepared that boy’s lunch was not not necessarily making the lunch for the little boy. He or she made that lunch for someone else, because that boy was released to Jesus.
In closing, Perry says that if we do these things, what we do today will matter! All we have to do is make a lunch.
Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church which has campuses in Anderson, Columbia, Florence, and Greenville, South Carolina. At ten years old, the church averages over 10,000 people across all campuses. Perry is a gifted communicator and teacher, convicted about speaking the truth as plainly as possible. God has given him a vision and a passion for helping people meet Jesus, and each week he shares God’s word and its practical application in our daily lives. Perry, his wife, Lucretia and their daughter, Charisse, live in Anderson, South Carolina.