My wife and I live in central Alberta, but both our families live in southern Manitoba. When we visit our families we spend about 26 hours on the road each trip. This results in listening to many audiobooks and sermons.
One of our favourite preachers is John Piper, Pastor of Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During one of our road trips, I was listening to a sermon by Piper titled, “Help the Children Love the Different People.” The sermon was really helpful in understanding how to battle discrimination among children. There was one particular point that got my attention and it just so happened to come at a time when we were thinking about our family conference:
“Teach the children that because Jesus died for them and rose again, he becomes for them an all-satisfying Friend and Treasure”
That statement stuck in my head for many weeks. I ended up doing some more research on this topic and decided this would be the focus of our ministry: to encourage families to make Jesus their all-satisfying Friend and Treasure. The point is that because our identity is found in Jesus, we have no need to put others down to make ourselves feel good. To take the point even further, when Jesus is our highest treasure, we do not need to look to anything in this world to bring fulfillment.
I have served in youth ministry, children’s ministry and now college ministry. I have observed many young people seeking this world to establish some sort of identity. It is our goal to help parents first to realize their identity is in Jesus Christ, and then to pass that knowledge on to their children.