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Half the Old Testament is the word Remember. No, that’s not true. It’s 48%. I just rounded up. As Israel forgot, so do we. Today’s insert is a simple reminder of some of the standards we work to maintain as we sing for the Lord. My prayer is that you […]

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TOF Work Days

February 17th, 2011

Our teens have such a great spirit to serve the Lord already, and the last few Wednesday nights have been spent talking about service and working hard. Last night we introduced something we’ll be doing about once a month in order for our teens to be involved in simply doing… work! As you can see from the graphic, we’re calling them “Learn to Work Days.” I figure that the best way to learn how to work is to… you know… work!

Already we have been using a few teens to do labor around the church and hiring others for work outside of church, and every time we have any kind of a work day I’ll always try to evaluate how they did afterwards. If there’s some way that they could improve we’ll mention it, and any time my wife or I am working with a teen we always try to teach through example.

I challenged the Teens of Faith last night from Ephesians 6:5-9, and encouraged them in the following.

  1. Have a heart to work. All work should spring from a heart that is dedicated to God… a heart that realizes that all work should be done unto God. It begins with the heart, and Paul targeted the core of a person’s work ethic. We can clean up the outside and get teens to obey certain lists of rules, but until a biblical principle truly becomes a part of them as a result of a changed heart, no temporary change or simple outward conformity will be lasting.
  2. Work intensely. I hate to hear that people have a hard time finding a teen who will work hard. While some teens might excuse themselves by thinking they don’t have the skills necessary to work (“I’ve never done that before. I don’t know how to ____”), I believe it’s so much more than that. I would hire a teen based on his intensity over his skills any day. Frankly, if someone has a heart to work and is willing to pour himself/herself into a job, I’d say he/she can learn almost any skill necessary to complete the job. This intensity shows in the way they walk, how many breaks they take, how much they talk with the guy they’re next to, how much they attack at once, etc. Rather than considering it “showing off for the boss,” I always consider hard work like a contest… I will NOT be outdone by anyone I’m working with! 🙂
  3. Take initiative. Some people need to be reigned in and slowed down when it comes to initiative, but those people are rare. Most people have good work ethics and can work intensely, but it’s a learned and practiced behavior to take initiative when working. If you know the general job that needs to be done, figure out the specifics that will get you there rather than waiting to be told every little step. Every time we have a church event I appreciate when our teens ask if they can help, but it’s even better when they see the need and take the lead. Without being asked, sweep the gym floor, fold up tables, take the trash out, do the dishes, replace the trash can bags, fold up chairs… take initiative.
  4. Finish strong. Do one last pass over any work that you do and make sure nothing is left behind. Be sure there’s not just one person left doing all the final cleanup alone. If you’re done with a game or event, think from others’ perspective and bring in the cones, clean up the toys, put away the basketballs, roll up the cords, return the tools to the shed… finish the job (that was a Patch the Pirate song my mom would always sing to us when we didn’t clean up!)

Just think about your work ethic and grow in that area. I can’t wait to see how these Work Days turn out, and we’ll announce all the details for each one as they come up. Some thoughts behind the Work Days are:

  1. giving teens another chance to serve
  2. teaching teens to work hard
  3. being a blessing to others (if we help out church members every now and then)
  4. providing opportunities to work off sponsored trips (ie if a church member pays for a teen to go to camp we’ll require some Work Day time, some soul-winning time, etc. so the teen doesn’t get an expectant attitude)

Thank you, teens, for your great spirit to serve! If it’s done for God, He sees it and will bless it! (Eph. 5:8)

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