A famous college professor starts his first day of class the same way each year. According to former students, getting into this course limited to 300 requires planning and a quick trigger to sign up as soon as possible. For those able to get in the door, students are asked a series of questions about the Bible. The professor encourages class participation, urging students to raise their hands if in agreement. The first question asks, “how many of you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God?” After a majority of the class raises their hand, the next follows, “do you believe the Bible is applicable and relevant today, useful for everyday living?” Again, students proudly raise their hands in agreement. One final question shakes up the classroom, “how many of you have read the Bible from cover to cover?” Year after year, less and less students raise their hands causing this prof to reply, “wouldn’t you want to see what God has to say?”
For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite., Isaiah 57:15.
I began teaching at a Christian High School the semester following the events of September 11th, 2001. In the weeks after this terrorist attack on America, church attendance hit an all time high as souls to began seek a higher power for answers to the meaning of life. Thus, as I began teaching, I expected to see a certain level of faith. However, as I listened to my homeroom talk about the movies they regularly watch, the overall content of conversations spoken and weekend video gaming marathons, I felt like a teacher in a public school. Minus a few godly individuals who daily lived out their faith, the majority of the students I taught lacked a spiritual hunger and zeal for God. When you expect to encounter a certain type of character and go an extended period time without interacting with Christ minded students, I had a similar reaction like the college professor mentioned above.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9.
This spiritual climate gnawed at my soul, inspiring me to begin creating a series of life application Bible classes. Over the summer, a couple of students attended one of the first Acquire the Fire conferences. This core group of upperclassmen ignited a movement throughout Red Lion. Several of these students enrolled in my Biblical Leadership class, based upon the concepts and principles from a youth ministry trade school called Tentmakers Leadership Training. While the Bible urges readers against having favorites, I couldn’t wait for this class to begin daily. Nearly every class was a slice of heaven as the Holy Spirit moved within the hearts of these young men and women. Some classes were like a reenactment of the Great Awakening as students publicly confessed their sins. Others were highlighted by visionaries confidently revealing what God wanted them to do with their lives. While there are plenty examples of young people failing to live out their beliefs, God always rises up a remnant of believers who can’t wait to hear and see what God has to say daily.
by Jay Mankus