From Jim’s heart: A New Year focus for teens…Training at “Camp Home”

Who do you think was the greatest leader who ever lived? Most people would probably name some famous general or a great statesman. But I’m sure you, like me, would accurately name Jesus Christ as the greatest leader who ever lived… and still lives today.

Why? Not only because He is the Savior of all who put their faith in Him, but also because He inspired—and is still inspiring—young and old, men and women, black and white, rich and poor, to follow Him. Do you recall what Jesus said was the most important characteristic of anyone who wants to be a great leader? A quality that Jesus Himself possessed and liberally demonstrated throughout His life? The answer is a servant’s heart. Jesus said be a servant and you will be great. And where better can you be trained as a servant than in your own home?

If you’re a young man, ask your parents and your brothers and sisters the four little words of a servant—”How can I help?” Develop the sincere habit of using these four words at home, and one day you will be great—you will be a great servant-leader. And you will be a man after God’s own heart.  Here’s what one leader of a large church writes about being a servant—about the humility that it fosters and the strength that results:

If you want to be great according to Jesus Christ, be a servant. Humility shifts our focus outward, on others and off of ourselves. Humility calls us to serve God, our ultimate CEO, by serving others… Humility will enhance your leadership at every level.

And friend, it all begins at Camp Home. How’s your combat training going so far? Camp Home is a little tough; isn’t it? Well, I’m sure you know what the coach always says: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” And besides, no one said it would be easy. In fact, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).

Preparing to turn your life into an extreme adventure by living for God, whether at home or away from home, is a challenging task. But it’s one that must be mastered if you are going to be successful in life, if you are going to be a man after God’s own heart. God has provided the perfect place in Camp Home for you to get the basic training you need.

Consider yourself as one of God’s “special forces” soldiers, as being on assignment from God. And major on following this advice that the apostle Paul gave to another young soldier: “Endure hardship… like a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3). I urge you… be willing to pay the price that is required of you at your home:

  • Obey your parents.
  • Follow their leadership.
  • Learn from their wisdom.
  • Seek their advice.

By developing your character at Camp Home, you will grow into exhibiting the kind of conduct in life that honors God… and your parents.

Question: If you’re a teenage guy or the parent of a teenage son, what are some character development examples that are modeled in your home?

Find more encouragement for your teen in our books, A Young Man After God’s Own Heart and A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart.

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