Adulthood = Discipled

What does it mean to be an adult?
When does adulthood begin?

In many cultures there is a some sort of formal time when a child begins to be recognized as an adult.  Sometimes it is as formal as Jewish bar mitz vah. But that is not always so.  In the United States, what makes someone “adult-ish” is open to interpretation.

It’s been argued that if you can carry a gun for our military, that makes you an adult.  It’s been argued that if you are 18 years old or above, that makes you an adult.  It’s been argued that the day you start making more money than you spend, while also paying for your own basic needs, you are an adult.
The problem is that these are possible measuring sticks of maturity, but none tell the whole story.  I’ve known plenty of “adults” that were or are selfish, irresponsible, and way past 18 years old. But I consider them really old children because they haven’t grown in wisdom, knowledge or understanding of the Lord durin their time on earth.

My preferred definition of adult from the perspective of Christian Education in youth ministry, is one that involves several descriptions of what I believe a discipled person looks like.  This is not a perfect list, but if someone is reflecting these values in how they live, their maturity makes them more of an adult in their faith then many older, richer, men and women:

1. HEART TO REACH OTHERS

God called us all to reach the lost and students are almost everyday going into the largest mission field in the United States (their school). You donʼt have to be a missionary in another country to reach the world, students can reach those around them everyday.

Matthew 28:16-20

2. AFTER GODʼS OWN HEART (A HEART LIKE DAVID)

This is something that we all fail at everyday, but our relationship with God is a love story and we should continuously strive to win the heart of God. He doesnʼt need us, but He wants us to chase after is heart on a daily bases.
1 Samuel 13:14, Matthew 22:35-37

3. PRAYER WARRIOR (UNDERSTANDS THE POWER OF PRAYER)

Prayer is powerful. It is a tool that any disciple should have a desire and faith in. Developing a comfort, need, and passion in prayer will help a disciple in their walk with Christ.
1 Corinthians 7:5,

4. HANG TIME WITH GOD (MEDITATION)

This is not Bible study or prayer, but just the desire to be alone in the presence of God. To meditate on a prayer, a passage, a thought or dream from God. This time is for you and you alone to be with God in a way that no one or nothing can interfere with. This should not be done as a desire and not just a discipline of Christianity to follow. Philippians 4:8, Psalm 46:10

5. A LIFESTYLE THAT HONORS CHRIST

Understand that the actions we do everyday give an image of Christ whether we like it or not. We should have a desire to have a lifestyle that will not tarnish the name of Christ, but should be an example striving to follow the teachings of Godʼs Word. Understand that there is a worldly desire that wants to control our heart, but Godʼs Word can show us the way which honors Christ.

1 Timothy 4:12, Romans 7:15-17

6. OPEN TO ACCOUNTABILITY

Though accountability relationships are not the easiest to maintain, it is necessary that we be accountable to each other. Accountability keeps us sharp in our faith and supports us when we are falling.
Proverbs 27:17, Proverbs 18:24, Ecclesiastes 4:9

7. HEART FOR GODʼS WORD

Understanding that the Bible is the powerful Word of God that tells the truth of our faith. It is the instruction manual for life. A disciple of Christ should look to the Bible as their number one tool, it should be the first place we go to for guidance and wisdom.
Psalm 119:11, Psalm 19:7-8, Colossians 3:16, Psalm 119:105 (to many more, not enough room to write them all down)

8. INVOLVED WITH THE BODY

We should understand that we are called together as a body of Christ. We are to use the gifts that God gave us together. Christ shows us that we are one body that needs to work together. If we try to go out on our own, we will fail in our attempts to fulfill Christʼs commands.
John 15:5, Romans 8:15, Ephesians 4:15-16

9. AVAILABLE/USABLE WHEN CALLED

Many times we hear God calling us to follow Him in task, whether they are simple or hard. We should strive to have a heart this always available/usable for His calling. We should focus on His goals and strive to fulfill His desire whenever He calls us. Philippians 3:13-14

 

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