The Toppenish Church of God Youth Group is made up of young people ages 12 and older. The purpose of the Youth Group is to:
- Grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ and each other
- Serve others through outreach starting with our own family members and church family
- Build a stronger relationship with our family (parents and siblings) as we become more like Christ
- Support each other in our walk with Jesus
We typically meet during lunch on Sabbath afternoons. We also have been known to have youth and family outings during the week. Service is a big focus for our group and we are always looking for work that our young people can help out with. If you have something that you'd like help with, please let us know!!
2019 Meeting Topics
The New Testament
This year the Youth Group will be exploring the New Testament from beginning to end! We'll be reading through and discussing books of the NT each time we meet with the intent of deepening our understanding of God's Word and how it applies to our daily lives.
We will be using videos created by The Bible Project (www.thebibleproject.org) to help us in our understanding of the Books that we will be going through.
January/February - The Gospels
The Gospel of Matthew tells the story of Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection as a continuation and fulfillment of the whole Biblical story of God and Israel. Matthew begins with details of how Jesus descends from the line of David, making Him a king. It proceeds to share Jesus' teachings that prove He's an authoritative teacher like Moses.
Throughout the book, we see that Jesus is Emmanuel, or God with us, and welcomes everyone into the upside down kingdom where leaders serve. From the calling of the disciples to the parables to the Great Commission, this New Testament book shows readers how the promises and prophecies God made to His people in the Old Testament do come to pass through Jesus.
We will be reading mainly in the book of Matthew but will compare some of the similarities and differences in the other Gospel accounts (Mark, Luke and John).
March/April - Acts
Before Jesus was taken into heaven where He was enthroned to share God's rule over the world, He instructed His followers to be a witness for Him. The book of Acts details their witness.
Jesus' followers received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and became filled and equipped to spread the good news that would restore God's kingdom over the world. Through persecution, the believers were scattered. They continued to preach, and the church at Antioch was born.
It grew into the first multiethnic, international church from which missionaries were sent throughout the world to preach about Jesus, the messianic Messiah and risen king of all nations. Paul even continued to preach despite imprisonment and wrote important letters to the churches.
May/June/July/August - Romans thru Colossians
Starting in May, we will begin reading through the Epistles of the New Testament.
The word epistle comes from the Greek word epistole that means “letter” or “message.” Epistles were a primary form of written communication in the ancient world, especially during New Testament times. Since many of the New Testament books were originally written as letters to churches or individuals, they are referred to as the Epistles.
Epistles also generally followed a familiar format. Most of Paul’s letters begin with an introduction that identifies his name and those of any associates, mentions his audience, and gives a greeting. The introduction is followed by the main body of the letter, and the epistles often conclude with a general blessing and personal notes to individuals within the recipient church.
Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec - Thessalonians thru Jude
Paul's letter to the Thessalonians celebrates a flourishing Church. Despite persecution and suffering, believers stand strong in their commitment to Jesus. From the very beginning, following Jesus as King has produced a truly counter-cultural holy way of life that will sometimes generate suspicion and conflict among our neighbors.
The way Jesus' followers respond to such hostility should always be with love, and they should meet opposition with grace and generosity. This way of life is motivated by hope in the coming kingdom of Jesus that has already begun in His resurrection from the dead. Throughout 1 Thessalonians, we see how the Thessalonian Church embodies holiness, love and a future hope as they remain firm in their faith and commitment to Jesus their King.
Judah, one of Jesus' half brothers, wrote the book of Jude to Messianic believers who were familiar with Old Testament scriptures and Jewish literature. He uses these texts to refute corrupt teachers who lived immoral lives. Not only does he illustrate God's judgment on rebellion, but he warns against rebels corrupting other people.
He then challenges the church to contend for the faith and stay faithful to God. As God's new temple, believers must build their lives on the core message of Jesus and then pray, love and obey. Their lives must reflect their faith because God's grace through Jesus demands a whole-life response that includes moral living. The way they live is the most reliable indicator of what they actually believe.
We will be reading these two books as well as all of the epistles between them!!
January 2020 - James & Revelation
Written by Jesus' half brother Jacob, the book of James shares sage wisdom for all the churches and followers of Jesus. It's influenced by Proverbs and frequently quotes Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.
While James doesn't teach new theology, it does challenge believers on how they should live. Topics covered include words, favoritism, love, wealth and hardship. When believers listen to and obey God's word, they love Him and others. Their actions match their words, and their lives are made whole, complete and perfect.
The book of Revelation was written to seven churches as both encouragement and challenge. An apocalyptic letter, it relies on visions, symbols, and Old Testament references to reveal the ultimate fulfillment of God's promise given to Abraham in Genesis. The book is not a secret code that allows believers to decipher the timeline of Jesus's return.
Instead, it shows that every human kingdom eventually becomes Babylon and must be resisted. Jesus, the slain Lamb who died for the sins of the world, will return one day as King with His followers to prompt repentance. He will remove evil permanently and make all things anew.
That promise motivates every generation of God's people to remain faithful in the midst of persecution until their King returns.
We will be starting off the new year with some reading and discussion of these two books.