Category Archives: Easter

Perspectives From the Field: Communicating the HOPE of the Resurrection

I recently attended a seminar for Youth leaders that looked at why college students stray from the faith and how to reverse the trend.   One of the insights was that some youth were raised believing DO and DON’T and therefore were lost when they did something wrong and weren’t sure how to act so they walked away from the church in shame instead of feeling grace.  In our small group conversation afterwards, we talked about how to share about grace while not sounding like we’re giving blanket permission to go ahead and do all the things we say not to do.  The message we need to share is that the reason you avoid doing bad things isn’t out of fear of punishment but due to LOVE of God.   This message is reinforced by “To Know You” by Casting Crowns which includes the lyrics “To Know You is to Want to Know You More”. 
While Good Friday is a time of darkness, we live on THIS side of Easter so we know that no matter how bad things have gone for you, the message of Easter is one of HOPE.  Jesus died for our sins and we just need to accept this gift. 
So, whether a youth is having a down day or feel that they have done the seemingly unforgivable, they need to know that our God is an awesome God, a forgiving God, a loving God and a God of Grace and Hope.
by Mark Whitaker
Chair, youTheology Advisory Board
Youth & Young Adult Director @ Avondale United Methodist Church in KC North
Loving God, Loving Neighbor
Developing Faithful Leaders for a Diverse Church and World Now and in the Future

They did not know the end. We do: “But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead… Continue Reading

Mentor Bites: Five Things I wish I would have been told about Lent when I was a young person . . where were the adults?

Though some of the following on the list will be light-hearted and meant to make you laugh, I do want us to take seriously the next statement I share. I did not know how the Lenten season connected to Easter until I was in college. Yes, let that sink in for a minute. Put your… Continue Reading

Perspectives from the Field: the End of Lent or a New Beginning?

I’ve talked about Lent with my youth, explaining that it’s not just about giving something up. Instead, when they crave the thing they gave up, they should remember how Jesus Christ suffered for us. As an alternative, they might also consider adding a new habit as they commit to spending time with God. Throughout the… Continue Reading