PASTORAL LETTER 70

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					                              PASTORAL LETTER 70

One of the buzz words of our era is transformation. This transformation cannot
happen without the discipline of study. Study replaces the old destructive habits of
thought with new life-giving habits. We are transformed through the renewing of our
minds (Rom 12:2). The mind is renewed by applying it to those things that will
transform it. I agree with Richard Foster (1985:55), that “Good feelings will not free
us. Ecstatic experiences will not free us. Getting „high on Jesus‟ will not free us.
Without knowledge of the truth, we will not be free”. I have learned that the discipline
of study helps us in our walk with God:
    1. It removes legalism. The unlearned person embraces legalistic structures,
        policies and procedures. Legalism blocks the mind of God. It is only through
        disciplined study that we can receive the mind of God. Study helps us to see
        everything from the perspective of God‟s grace, not of judgment and control
        (1 Cor 4:5).
    2. It removes condemnation: The unlearned person is vulnerable to
        condemnation. He is open to Satan‟s lies that God cannot restore her
        because of failures in life. Study is the process of gaining knowledge of who
        and what God can do for you. Studying God‟s Word reveals our sinfulness;
        and allows the Holy Spirit to convict us so that we repent and become
        accepted by our loving Father again.
    3. It removes judgementalism: The unlearned person is quick to condemn
        others as a way of masking her ignorance. If we condemn others we will be
        condemned. Christians are not to sit in judgment (Psalm 1:1-2). I agree with
        Pierce & Sytsema (1999:50) that “Judgementalism has serious spiritual
        ramifications and has the power to keep us from entering into restoration.”
    4. It reveals our hearts: It molds our innermost being. Our character is
        confronted and shaped during and through study. Our words, deeds, and
        conduct reveal the inner conversations we have with ourselves during our
        studies. The study that changes hearts is the one that takes effect in the
        student‟s life.
    5. It imparts spiritual power: The most learned writer of the New Testament is
        Paul. His writings reveal skills of communication, eloquence, and organisation
        of thoughts. There is however, no doubt that he was imbued with God‟s
        power in his personal life. His spiritual barometer could not match that of his
        critics.

In the organisation such as YFC, study plays a critical role in our effectiveness. No
youth worker can be effective unless he is determined to study the youth culture and
trends. No youth worker can be on the cutting edge of youth ministry unless he
knows how to apply theology to youth ministry. If YFC people are committed to study,
they will:
    - Care in simplifying the complex details of ministry relevance.
    - Have enthusiastic interest in the people involved in the organisation (youth,
        parents, boards, volunteers, sponsors, supporters etc).
    - Commit to being close to youth (target) and sponsors.
    - Have genuine concern for excellent service and quality.
    - Embrace and recognize the importance of growth and profits.

Leaders engaged with study are always creative, innovative, and progressive. They
are known for their integrity, devotion, effectiveness, and teachability. What about
you?

                       K THOMAS RESANE/YFCI AFRICA TRAINING DEPT

				
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Description: PASTORAL LETTER 70