“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Ps 133:1)
The fellowship of the saints is an extremely important aspect in the life of the church. Our Heidelberg Catechism, in explaining this concept, teaches us that believers are members of Christ and common partakers of Him and of all His riches and gifts. Hence it is our duty, readily and cheerfully to employ our gifts for the advantage and salvation of other members (LD 21Q55). In Christ, God’s people nd their fellowship where there is great abundance of joy and peace.
How should we as young people view youth meetings organized by the church? How important are they amidst the hectic schedule of our school life? When we attend the meetings, how should we better prepare ourselves so that we can glorify God’s Name and be a source of blessing to our brethren?
It is first of all necessary to understand that God is at the center of our youth fellowship. He is pleased to dwell “where two or three are gathered together” in His Name (Matt 18:20). He is delighted to bless our fellowship and activities because He loves us as members of His covenant. God binds us together in love for Him and for each other. That is why the psalmist can proclaim with such joy that it is good and pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity (Ps 133:1).
When we see God working in our fellowship, we will be eager to attend the youth meetings because we desire to be part of that fellowship. Like the psalmist who longs after God and desires to seek him early (Ps 63:1), we will be eager to attend these meetings. Sometimes through weakness of the flesh we are not regular in our attendance or are late for meetings. Nevertheless, when accompanied by prayer, the heart that is eager to seek after God will be strengthened in faithfulness. We will desire to attend these youth meetings as much as possible because we know for certain that God will bless us richly.
The catechism makes an important point that it is our duty to promote the spiritual advantage of our brethren. It is important that we recognise this truth. Each of us has an important and unique part to play in the church because God has made us members of the body of Christ. It is our duty, therefore, to attend these meetings because they serve to promote our spiritual growth together as the body of Christ.
When we do not attend the youth meetings, it reflects the lack of desire for our brethren’s fellowship. We reveal that our individual pursuits in life are more important than the spiritual welfare of the church. If our studies are an excuse not to attend youth meetings, then we ought to admit that our academic achievements outweigh our spiritual growth. This is tragic because we ought to be setting our affections on things above, and not on things on the earth (Col 3:2).
Because God is at the centre of our youth fellowship, His Word is the means by which we grow spiritually. Like its effect on young Timothy, God’s Word will make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ (2 Tim 3:15). To profit from the Bible studies during the meetings, therefore, requires a spiritual preparation of the heart to learn the truths of God. This is accompanied by a deep consciousness of our limited knowledge of God and an eager desire to learn more through our godly peers and their instruction.
The Bible also demonstrates how we can be a source of blessing to our peers through the youth fellowship. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend (Prov 27:17).” When stirred by the love of God, our speech, actions and conduct will encourage our peers spiritually. We will provoke one another unto love and to good works (Heb 10:24) by our godly testimonies.
Youth meetings have played an extremely important role in my life as a teenager. They have shaped my character in tremendous ways and taught me invaluable spiritual lessons. I have always found the best and truest of friends in the church whom I know I shall spend an eternity with. An individual Christian is useless without the church. We need our spiritual companions along life’s dif cult pathway to heaven.
It is very grievous when covenant parents prevent their children from attending youth meetings. We rob them of their covenant privileges and the fellowship of the saints when we do this. Youth meetings are essential to their spiritual development and well-being as covenant young people. They are the future of the church and we ought to give our utmost support for their fellowship.
It is apt that the youth ministry of CERC is known as the Covenant Keepers. God is our covenant Friend who has called us into covenant friendship with Him through the cross of Jesus Christ. We keep this covenant friendship by faithfully walking in His ways and submitting to His will. We express our love for His covenant by being an active part of the youth fellowship. May the Lord help us to love this truth.
Written by: Aaron Lim | Issue 2