Hey, my name is Dana Dill. I’m the youth pastor of South Shores Church in Dana Point, and I’d love to give a few words on how Scripture as our authority has affected me in the ministry God’s entrusted to me.
Scripture Gives Confidence
There are three specific ways that Scripture as our authority has affected me in my church. One is it’s affected me personally. Knowing that Scripture is my authority and our church’s authority has given me confidence.
There are a lot of gifted speakers and authors and writers out there, and oftentimes I find myself comparing myself to them. My gifts just don’t match up to the amazingly gifted people.
But knowing Scripture as my authority gives me confidence that I don’t need to be the next rock star, guru, author, or breakout conference speaker. Instead, my job as a youth pastor is to bring my students God’s Word because God’s Word is the authority.
Scripture Provides Peace
Secondly, Scripture as authority has affected me personally by giving me peace. I do not trust in my abilities to really affect life change in our students or heart change in our students, but I know God’s Word can. And so Scripture as authority has given me confidence and peace in the ministry that God has given to me here at South Shores.
Secondly, Scripture as our authority has really shaped our youth ministry and how we do it. Our youth ministry has games and things like other ministries have, but there is a real tangible atmosphere of God’s Word being the centerpiece of all of our gatherings.
It is the centerpiece of our midweek meetings and our Sunday schools, but even in our praying and in our singing and in our small groups, God’s Word takes center stage because we believe God’s Word is our authority. Scripture is our authority, and that shows up even in how we shape the things we do on a week-to-week basis.
Scripture Transforms Lives
And thirdly, not only has Scripture as our authority affected me personally and shaped our ministry, but it has also transformed the lives of our students. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a handful of students actually commit entire books to memory because they realize these aren’t mere books written by men, but it’s God’s very Word—God breathed words. And so I’ve seen young men and women memorize the Book of Colossians and the Book of Philippians and entire passages or chapters.
I’ve also seen camp speakers bless our students with teaching on a weekend winter camp or a few day-long summer camps. Often times they’ve encouraged me by saying they haven’t seen students who so readily receive God’s Word, who are so attentive and ready with their Bibles open and their pens out and taking notes, receiving what’s being said. And I’m so thankful because those are students who have been transformed by the truth knowing Scripture is our authority.
And I’ve also seen our students transformed and ready, so when they graduate from being seniors and going into college, they’re ready to face college and the challenges, the unique challenges and obstacles that it has for them.
Scripture Bears Fruit
I love to see our students graduate not only knowing what they believe but why they believe it. They know that the Bible is God’s very Word, and it’s the authority of their lives. And though they meet professors or other students who may disagree with what they believe about Jesus, our students haven’t been shaken because they understand who God is, and they understand that He is not a silent God and that He has spoken. And they’ve taken His Word and put their faith in His Word, and it is bearing much fruit in their lives. Not only in the middle school and high school years but even way beyond into the college years.
And so Scripture as authority has affected me personally. It’s shaped our ministry, and it has really born immense fruit in the lives of our students and our families. And I praise God that He has so loved us to give us His very Word written down in the old and new testaments.