My favorite gospel is Mark’s because it is so fast-paced. Jesus is always on the move, healing people, freeing people, withdrawing, advancing, preaching, and eating. Remember the time Jesus came home and the house was so crowded with people that four guys ripped off part of the roof to lower a paralyzed man to him? (Mark 2) They ripped off the roof!
Carried by the faith of “some men” the paralyzed man is forgiven by Jesus, healed, and promptly takes his mat and walks out. It’s twelve jam-packed verses and then Mark is on to the next snapshot. Who was the guy? Who were the men? How did the guy walk out when they couldn’t walk in? I want to know more!
Kids’ stories are like that too. Sit with us at a staff gathering and you’ll get rapid-fire snapshots of the gospel at work. Here are just a few:
- Junior just turned 14, and is the smallest in his group and gets picked on a lot. This last month he asked to read scripture so Mario shared about the cost of discipleship. The next week Junior had questions about sex and marriage (who doesn’t!?) and Mario got to share again. This time he asks how to hear God’s voice and Mario guided him into prayer.
- At Nathan’s Campus Life Club, the student leader shared his testimony in front of his peers. He shared the pain of his home and the loss of a parent. He shared his own struggle with substance abuse and how he left that behind to follow Jesus.
- Every Friday Grayson goes to Juvenile Hall to meet with the 3-4 kids who are preparing for release. As they prepare to go home they meet with school counselors, probation officers, and Youth For Christ (that makes me chuckle every time). More than half of the kids express interest in connecting with YFC outside of the hall and Grayson connects them in one-on-one mentorship.
- Lizzie has been completely changed by knowing Christ. She has gone from sadness and anxiousness to feeling confident, safe, and loved. Lizzie and a few girls are going to a theme park with YFC for their first time. For Lizzie, it’s a sign that God cares for her even in the details of her hopes and dreams. It’s faith she needs for her future as she nears the end of her program.
- It’s a tradition for YFC to host an annual Super Bowl party. This time though we partnered up with Saint Rest Baptist Church and had an amazing event with over 200 people in a fun, safe, inviting space for relationships to deepen. This was a building time for young people to experience the community God is calling them into.
What strikes me most about the healing of the paralyzed man isn’t the demolition of the roof but the fact that Jesus forgave the sins of the man after seeing the faith of the men. These guys just knew to the marrow of their bones that all they needed to do was get this man to Jesus.
It takes faith to share Christ, doesn’t it? It takes courage and boldness that comes from my own irrefutable experience of meeting Jesus. Maybe the man took his mat and walked out because there were more people to grab and bring back!
There is always more to the story than we see in the snapshot but scripture gives us exactly what we need to know about faith and God’s power, Jesus’ compassion, and the kingdom in action. I read this story and I want to be like those four guys.
Let’s go to Lizzie, Junior, our peers, and kids everywhere so that there would be a moment for them to encounter Jesus. We may need to carry them through a hole in the proverbial roof, but what happens next will surely change everything. Sadness will turn to joy, incarceration to employment, struggle to victory, and death to life. They’ll walk in the midst of the gathered as a testimony to God’s goodness, mercy, and salvation.
Go make a hole in a roof,
Golf for youth!
P.S. The YFC Golf Classic is back on April 13th at Sunnyside Country Club. Sponsorships and registrations are available! Come on out and enjoy a day in support of the ministry.