by William Davis
Romans 16:1-6 – I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.
The members of the early church had to be emotionally close to each other because they were often ostracized from their families and society. Just as many today who leave cultish religions, the early church only had each other as family. It was important for the health of the church that the members of the early church family were close. The Apostle Paul showed the health of the church in his closing salutations as he referenced many people and what they did for him and the church. If a church is to be healthy, they will embrace and emulate all of these characteristics that the Apostle Paul pointed out about these Christians. Let me share the traits that a church, or more directly, a group within the church (like the youth group) needs to be healthy.
A spiritual youth group serves people.
…servant of the church… (verse 1)
A selfish youth group is not a spiritual youth group. When the youth department is filled with self-interest, it will not be long until it is filled with strife. Young people should be taught to serve others and then should practice doing so. (Philippians 2:1-5) Teens who come to youth group gatherings not thinking about what the youth group can do for them, but rather, what they can do for the youth group, make up a spiritual youth group.
A spiritual youth group helps people.
…succourer of many,… (verse 2)
…helpers… (verse 3)
A youth group should exist to help other teenagers. Every member of the youth group should have a vision for helping other people. Teens should be trained to help the hurting, the wounded, the backslidden, the carnal, and the struggling. The goal of EVERY ministry of the church should be to help people. A spiritual youth group also helps those leading. It is quick to help those who are helping them. The young people are “helpers” in the youth group, in church ministries, and in the church to those who are leading.
A spiritual youth group sacrifices for people.
…in their house… (verse 5)
A spiritual youth group is one that sacrifices of themselves for people. Paul mentioned here some who had opened their homes for the church. They gave of their time, talent, and treasures for others. Convenience is outweighed by a conviction to help others in a spiritual youth group.
A spiritual youth group loves people.
…Salute my well-beloved… (verse 5)
The amount of love that we have for each other is a direct display of our love for Christ. (John 13:35) One of the best ways to be Christ-like is in our love. A spiritual youth group loves each other. Through good times and bad, …love covereth all sins. (Proverbs 10:12) It is a carnal youth group that loves only a select few. Cliques, criticism, and carnality have no place in a spiritual youth group. In the right kind of youth group, love dominates the spirit and is spread to ALL involved.