Youth Sunday sermon by youth group member Emily Johnson and FBC Intern for Youth Spiritual Formation LaMoine Tatum.
Baptism (Verse 41)
● I remember being so excited to go through the baptism class. I always heard other kids who I looked up to talk about how much fun and meaningful it was. Going through the class was fun because not only did I get a better understanding of why baptism was important, I also got closer with the leaders who taught the class and with the
students who took it at the same time as me. On the day I got baptized, even my extended family came to support me. This meant a lot to me because of course being baptized was important to me but having them there solidified how important this day was for my walk of faith. While I was being baptized, hearing the whole church reassure me while I was up there made me feel accepted. I always knew that I had a family at FBC but I didn’t realize just how much I
was truly loved here.
Sunday School (Verse 42)
● Growing up in the church, I was always involved in some kind of Sunday school class. I really enjoyed being around all of my church friends and hearing the stories from the Bible. My absolute favorite part from the younger classes was when we would get to play with the chimes. The chimes were color coded to help us learn the right notes to play in time with the music. We would of course argue over who got the chimes that got to be played the most.
● I loved being around all of my friends and playing music to worship God. This kind of worship has always been my favorite. I learned that I really enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by people using music to praise God as an amazing way to worship. During Sunday school, I also really enjoyed just sitting quietly and listening to the teacher tell us about a story. I’m sure i didn’t always sit as quietly as I remember but I truly enjoyed listening to the stories and imagining how things were at that time.
Youth Group (Verse 44)
● Another thing that was important to me was joining the youth group. At the time, I wanted to join because I looked up to the people who were in youth group. But reflecting on it now, I realize it was an important part of my faith walk. As a child, I remember being so excited when I was finally old enough to be in the group that always met in the cool room above the kitchen! (I was only allowed to go up there during the New Years Eve party). I looked up to the kids that got to be in there before me. I thought it was so cool that they got to be part of fundraisers like the talent show or making breakfasts or lunches for the rest of the church. They also all seemed to be so close.
Being part of the youth group was very exciting for me. I got to spend time with the big kids and be part of a family within the church. One of the biggest lessons that I learned while being in ABY is that we can’t take time or each other for granted. I’ve grown up with these people, they’ve always been here to tease me and chase me around or talk to me when I’m sad or listen to me when I’m excited about something. Of course I will always feel close to the people that I’ve grown up with in ABY but I won’t be able to spend every Sunday with them. As years go by, we all get so busy and don’t make time to get together as much. The time that I have had in youth group has been incredibly important to me and I am so grateful for the people and the memories I have made. Because we are connected by the spirit I know I’ll always have a family here.
Thank you for connecting us all as a spiritual family. Help us to grow in love for you and each other.
This scripture text shows us that we have something and someone that connects us as believers together; that is, the Holy Spirit. Having a spiritual family or community surrounding us, especially as young people (whether by age or spiritual immaturity) is paramount for our spiritual growth. The text outlines various aspects of an intimate and effective spiritual community.
These believers were consistently diligent in four areas:
1. Teaching of the Apostles
3. Breaking of Bread
Teaching allows for the practical application of what is spiritual. This allows us to be diligent in our faith and not just inspired or motivated for a few hours. This is guidance that provides knowledge and wisdom to the people to whom it is given to help with the journey.
Fellowship with other believers is a kind of relationship that deals with spiritual fellowship, and the byproduct of this spiritual connection is that it manifests itself outwardly by the people’s willingness and desire to share in meeting the physical needs of the believers—this is the exact relationship that is expressed within the church. Because the spirit of Christ, which is the Law of Love, is active here, it is evident in how you treat each other, and that is what makes friends and family. Fellowship involves intimacy.
They were diligent in the Breaking of Bread. This aspect shows us that there is time committed to each other. In some cases, that meant taking communion, and other times it refers to participating in “common union” through food (and apparently for Baptists that means egg casseroles and other food items where the secret ingredient is mayonnaise).
The fourth aspect the people were diligent in was prayer. I believe that one of the most powerful tools in the Kingdom of God is the ability to pray and to pray for one another.
Because of these aspects of an effective spiritual community, the result is reverence and love for God and love for one another. Then, as in the text, others believe and join the faith because of the love demonstrated by the believers.