THE DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING REVOLUTION!--By Maria--An Open Letter to All JETTs & Teens! Maria 142 DO 2677 2/91
1. We love you very much, JETTs & Teens, & have been praying for you! "The Revolutionary Rules" say that as a disciple of Jesus you can be sure of constant change. You probably like it very much when things change & when everything gets turned upside-down, don't you! Well, if that's the case, you'll be happy to hear that the Lord has recently shown us about some big & exciting changes that are very needed for the Family! In fact, the Lord not only wants us to change, but to have another big revolution! Praise the Lord!
2. As we go through life, the Lord is continually trying to show us ways in which we can improve. All of us have NWOs in our own lives, for example, that we daily try to work on. But did you know that even our Homes & Schools have weaknesses in organisation, administration, scheduling, etc. which need improvement? For several months now, Grandpa & I & the leaders of the Family have been praying about these needs in our Homes, & the Lord has led us to some wonderful solutions. But before we start putting any changes into effect, I want to explain a few things to you JETTs & Teens, so you can understand why these changes are needed & how they might affect you personally. We don't want you to feel like you're just getting swept along with this wave of change & you have no say about it. You are growing up & you are a very important part of our Family, & we want to hear what you have to say.
3. You see, even though Grandpa & I have a pretty good understanding about what needs to change overall in the Family, we realise that every situation is a little bit different. Every School, every Home & every Combo is different in some ways. For this reason, it's important that you JETTs & Teens have the opportunity to voice your personal opinions & views to your Shepherds, parents & teachers, so they will know how you're feeling & be able to better assess your individual situations & put any needed changes into effect more easily & efficiently.
4. Let me ask you JETTS & Teens a question to pray about. You don't have to answer this question or the ones following aloud right now, because you'll have a chance at the end of this Letter to think about them again & answer them in writing. When you answer them I want you to prayerfully consider each one & be very honest in your answers. My first question is this: If you could make any changes in the Family that you wanted to make, what would they be? Let's start by thinking about changes that would directly affect you. Now it might be a little difficult for you to put your feelings or thoughts about such a big topic into words, so how about if I first ask you a few more questions to help you get started. You can answer these later, just listen to the questions for now. Here we go: Are there things about the Family or about your Home that you think might not be right or which bother you, which you'd like to see changed? Are there any ways in which you've been discontented & dissatisfied? Have you been wishing things could be different? Maybe there are some things you've thought you really needed in your life, that you haven't been getting. Perhaps you've even been murmuring & complaining, if not to others, at least to the Lord. And maybe you've even gotten a little bit bitter against the Lord for not giving you a different situation, one that you would like better & be more fulfilled or challenged in & feel more inspired about.
5. Now why don't we get real specific about these things that you may have been feeling or thinking. I would like you to honestly think & pray about some further questions that I'll list for you. I understand that possibly it's not that easy for you to be honest, even in your heart, about some of these points. Maybe you're afraid that if you honestly answer these questions you might get in trouble, or you're worried that people will think you're being critical, or maybe you're afraid that you might hurt someone's feelings. Of course, we don't want to hurt anyone or make anyone feel bad. So what should we do? How about if we all really pray & ask the Lord to help us to be sweet & loving & mature in our consideration of the following questions?
6. (Mama Maria prays:) Lord Jesus, we ask that You will please unite our hearts together now. We ask for Your mind & an honest heart & for real peace & love & faith as we consider the following questions. Help us to see how we can be a part of the solution to any kind of problem or needed change in our Family. Lord, we pray now for wisdom & concentration. We just want to hear from You, Lord. Help us to see how things can be improved for the benefit of us all, & most of all for Thy Work. Help us to be willing to confront any problems that might exist & seek Your solutions together prayerfully.
7. Please help these young disciples who've grown up in Thy Spirit, Lord, to maturely & prayerfully think about these important topics. We pray that by the time we are finished with this little talk & any discussion that follows, they will have a fuller vision of what the need is in our Family today. Jesus, we pray that You will make them willing & full of faith about implementing any new changes that we need to make in our Family today. We're trying to find out not who is right or wrong, but what is right or best for Your Work & Family. We ask You for wisdom, faith & a mature spirit, Lord, in Jesus' name.
8. Remember, you'll have a chance to go over the questions again later & write out your answers, after you finish reading this Letter, so you don't have to worry about what you're going to say right now. Just prayerfully think about the following questions as we go.
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My Questions for You Teens & JETTs!
1) How is your Word time? a) Do you get enough? b) Is there something that could be done to improve it?
2) What about the content of your Word time & your Word studies & classes? a) Do you like it? b) Does it interest you? c) Do you feel changed by it? d) If not, why not?
3) What about your memory work? a) Are you motivated to memorise? b) Is there anything that discourages you about memory work? c) Are you able to retain the verses? d) Do you find yourself able to apply them to your everyday life?
4) What about your school time? a) Do you feel you need more time to spend on school work? b) Do you sometimes feel that academically you aren't up to the level you should be? c) Or do you feel you don't have the scholastic skills you need for your work for the Lord? d) Maybe you feel you need to increase your vocabulary or improve your reading & writing or work on your spelling & math--do you have the opportunity to do that? e) Why do you feel that learning scholastics is important?
5) What about your sleep time? Do you feel you get enough sleep & rest in order to grow & maintain good health?
6) Now what about your work for the Lord & finding a ministry? a) Do you feel you are receiving the training you need? b) Do you sometimes feel you are stuck in a job & you will never have the chance to do anything else? Maybe you feel you'll always be with the babies or in the kitchen etc. Or maybe you feel you could do much more than you are presently doing, & you'd like the opportunity to grow or step out by faith & try something new or take on more responsibility. Some of you JETTs or younger Teens may not even know yet what ministry you would like to do for the Lord, so please don't feel pressured that this is expected of you right now.
7) Do you often have questions about things, or are there things you don't understand (about the Family, the System, the Word, etc.) that often go unanswered?
8) Do you feel the videos you watch are sufficiently pow-wowed, or are you left with questions, doubts or curiosity about the System?
9) And what about your communications with others? a) Do you wish they could be better? b) Do you think people don't understand you or the things you are going through? c) If you don't have it already, would you like to have good open communication with an adult who would understand you & help you? d) Do you think you personally could improve by being more open & learning to express yourself better?
10) And what about the correction you receive? a) In your opinion, is it handled well, or would you like to see a change? b) Do you think you receive enough?--Or do you receive too much? c) Could your attitude about correction also improve? d) What correction do you feel would bring about the best results in your life & the most improvement in your behaviour?
11) And how about Family devotions, what do you think about those? a) Are they inspiring you & feeding you? b) If not, do you feel this is your fault or is it because devotion time itself is dull & routine? c) Do you have any suggestions for how it could be done better? d) Do you Senior Teens feel like you would like to get in there & show them how to have more inspiring devotions?
12) a) Do you think Family meetings are boring sometimes? b) If so, how would you like to see them change? c) Would your suggested changes be practical?
13) What about personal witnessing? a) Do you ever get a chance to go witnessing where you can really pour out your heart to a hungry soul? b) Do you find that you're in a rut in your outreach? c) Do you feel you're just selling Tapes or Videos, but without really having the effect on people's lives that you think you could? d) Do you go out witnessing or provisioning or on follow-up, but you personally hardly get to say anything? e) Do you sometimes wish you could put to use all the good lessons you've learned & the wonderful Word you've memorised? f) Would you like to experience the same excitement that you are always hearing about from the adults when they tell you their stories of how they have led souls to the Lord & won new disciples? g) Are you afraid you won't be able to feed a person spiritually in personal witnessing because you haven't had much experience? h) What kind of changes would you suggest in your Home's witnessing schedule or approach?
14) You've probably at one time or another looked at the adults in your Home with a critical eye & complained about them in your heart for one reason or another. Well, we all know that the spirit of criticism is wrong, even though the facts of the criticism may be accurate. So now we're going to see if you can maturely look at problems & make some observations about circumstances & people in a loving way, just stating the way you see things without being critical or condemning or ugly about it. If you're ever going to be wise leaders & if you're going to work together with the adults to bring about the needed changes in the Family, you'll have to learn to look at problems fairly, lovingly & prayerfully.--Not for the purpose of condemning, but of trying to correct & remedy the situation, following the example of Jesus, Who said, "Neither do I condemn thee, go & sin no more."--Jn.8:11.
So I want you to be honest now, & ask the Lord to help you as you think about the following questions: a) Do you sincerely believe that some of the adults in your Home are doing many things that they ask you not to do, or are they not doing many things that they say you must do? b) Do you feel that they have one standard for you & another for themselves? c) If so, has that caused you to be confused & to wonder why you should have to live up to the rules when they don't? d) Have you felt that this is unfair & has it caused you to feel upset or rebellious?
15) Now as you think about this, be careful. Remember, nobody's perfect & we're all going to make mistakes sometimes! None of us can keep all the rules all the time, we're going to slip sometimes, & so you need to be careful to not make a blanket judgement of people & condemn them or criticise them because they aren't as perfect as you think they should be. But, on the other hand, maybe you see adults do things regularly that you are quite sure are not right. For example, maybe you see adults who are consistently late for meals, but who expect you to be on time. Or maybe they murmur & complain to each other or even argue with each other, but tell you that that kind of behaviour in you is wrong & unacceptable. Or perhaps some adults waste time, but tell you that you should be redeeming the time. Or they vain babble in worldly, shallow conversations while expecting you to bring your thoughts into subjection & talk only about edifying things. If you've seen this type of double standard, it may have made you feel disappointed in those adults or the Family. a) Would you like to see the adults change & do better? If so, in what ways? b) How would their changing for the better make you feel? c) How does it affect your behaviour when you see the adults really trying to make progress in overcoming their weaknesses or NWOs?
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9. Okay, with the points I've listed here & any other things you might have thought of on your own, we've probably got quite a list of things that you JETTs & Teens think may need to be changed in our Family. Though we've only just now brought these things out in the open, I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that some of these things may have been in your heart for quite a while. Am I right? Maybe you just tried to push them aside & not dwell on them, not complain or murmur about them. If that's the case, then good for you! You're to be commended for not murmuring & complaining & criticising & getting bitter.
10. It's good to remember that nothing is ever perfect, no situation is ever exactly the way we want it, but it's a Heaven of a lot better than anything outside our Family! Remember also that it is from trying & testing experiences & situations that we learn & grow the most. It's from lessons, through difficulties, that we change & grow for the better. No matter how rough things get, we always have Jesus, & we can always look to Him for our comfort & our help, & He always pulls us through. PTL!
The First Step, Pray for Changes!
11. Now that you've thought about your answers to my first questions about what things you would like changed, or better yet, what things that relate to you personally you think need to be changed, here's another question for you to think about: When there is a need, what should you do about it? What have you been taught to do when you have a need? Haven't you been taught to pray that the Lord would supply it? "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."--Phil. 4:19. So let me ask you, how much praying have you done for these things that you wished could be changed? Have you prayed about them? Let's be honest. Have you complained & murmured in your heart, or have you just tried to ignore or forget these things, or have you really prayed with faith that Jesus would eventually make things all better?
12. If you have not prayed specifically about these things, maybe that's why you haven't seen any change in your situation, your schedule, your ministry, your lack of Word time, your not being able to go personal witnessing, not having enough free time, or all the things the adults do that you think they shouldn't do. After all, you have grown up with the Word & you know that prayer changes things. "If ye know these things (that prayer works!), happy are ye if ye do them."--Jn.13:17. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; & He shall bring it to pass. Ask, & it shall be given you; seek, & ye shall find; knock, & it shall be opened unto you."--Psa.37:5, Mat.7:7.
13. Well, now that we've come to that important conclusion, I want to propose to you that if you want a change, why don't you pray for it? It's never too late & the Lord is always willing to fulfil our need. If you're sure that you have a real need, then the thing to do is to ask Him to supply it. He's always happy to hear you, & He answers the prayers of us, His children, whom He loves. "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His Will, He heareth us. And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him." (1John 5:14,15)
14. But remember, sometimes He doesn't answer in exactly the way we expect! Sometimes His answers aren't as quick or as easy or as "comfortable" as we think they should be, & sometimes His answers require changes in our own hearts. We have to be willing to accept the Lord's answers when we pray, & not put conditions on Him or expect Him to answer in exactly the way we want Him to or in exactly the way we think He should.
15. Jesus is the Great Changer. By that we don't mean that He changes. He does not change! He says, "I am the Lord, I change not"!--Mal.3:6. But He changes things & He changes people. He's in the business of change. He's in the business of revolution! The more change He sees, the happier He is. He wants to see things remedied, He wants to see things improved, He wants to see things revolute! He loves shake-ups, He loves upheavals, He loves everything that will get us out of our ruts & on the attack for Him!
The Story of Some Changed People: The JETT & Teen Victors!
16. Let me tell you about some people whom the Lord has changed, some of your own brothers & sisters, some of our own JETTs & Teens. Right now I'm thinking of a specific example & specific people. This specific example took place in Japan, but chances are you may have heard of similar situations in your country. By now you have probably read about the Victor Program. I have a few more questions for you to think about--you don't need to state your feelings or reactions aloud, but please honestly think about what your answers would be. What is your impression of the Victor Program? What kind of pictures come to mind when you hear the words, "Victor Program"? Does it scare you? Embarrass you? Make you feel superior? Inferior? Make you sad? What kind of emotions does it stir in your heart when you think about what it would be like if you had to go to the Victor Program?
17. The Victor Program was started to try to help some JETTs & Teens who had some pretty big problems that they weren't able to get the victory over, & which the adults in their Home couldn't seem to help them with. A lot of these JETTs & Teens were having serious problems with such things as rebelliousness, worldliness, pride & lack of hunger for or understanding of the Word. The Victor Program was a last resort. When they heard that they were going to go to the Victor Program they had lots of different reactions. While some were very receptive to the idea & appreciative of the help they were going to receive, others felt fearful, angry, bitter, rebellious or defiant. Most of them felt a little humiliated & some got very discouraged. They really knew they needed help, & deep in their hearts they wanted it, but they didn't know if it was possible for them to get the victory. They'd pretty much lost hope that they could change. Some of them weren't praying very much for change. But some of them were desperately crying out to the Lord for help. They didn't have much faith that He would help them, but they were so desperate they were willing to try.
18. Well, the Lord comes along & answers their prayers--but maybe in a way they don't like. They're probably hoping for some kind of easy victory, some kind of quick solution to get them on the road to happiness & fulfillment. But instead, they have to leave their Home, leave their parents, & go off to the Victor Program! The first week or two is terrible! They miss their familiar surroundings, they miss their loved ones, they hate the strict supervision & the many rules. They feel threatened by being expected to open their hearts & pour out all their deepest secrets. They don't like the mandatory classes & the silence restriction & the demerits when they break the rules! All they want to do is hurry up & get this over with so they can get back to their Homes & everything can get back to normal. So they decide that they're going to have to endure it & try to be good & behave themselves & do the best they can, so they can get out of there quick. Some of them start to work very hard & be very cooperative--but they don't really make the progress they're hoping to because their efforts are in the arm of the flesh, they're trying to be "good" so they can earn their promotion or graduation out of there!
19. But you know what happens next?--A very unexpected thing. Perhaps even by the end of the first week in the Victor Program they begin to realise little-by-little that a change is taking place in them. The Lord is working in their hearts & the change that takes place is a work of the Spirit in their attitudes & their commitment & dedication to the Lord. The Word they are reading daily is beginning to come alive. The detailed personal OHRs they are having to do each day are suddenly becoming less of a drudgery. Strangely enough, they are beginning to look forward to the personal talks they are having with their Shepherds, & the rules are becoming easier to keep. Getting up in the morning is becoming more enjoyable, & even the silence restrictions at different times of the day are helping them to hear from Jesus & actually get things from Him. The desperate prayers that they're having all together to ask the Lord to supply their needs are bearing the desired fruit, & they're seeing the Lord supply miraculously.
20. Wow, now they're seeing that this is what they wanted all along! Amazing! What had seemed like a terrible last straw, a horrible turn of events that was heaping insult on their injury, was actually turning out to be a wonderful answer to their problems! And through the discipline, close shepherding & high standard of the Victor Program, they were getting a wonderful insight into how life for Jesus should be all the time!
21. And you know, these young people got to the point where they didn't want to go home!--They felt so happy & fulfilled in the Victor Program, & they knew they were making progress. They were afraid to go home. They wanted to stay in the Victor Program where they had received such wonderful help & such great blessings & where they were well on the road to recovery. But some of them had to go home in order to make room so others could have their turn to visit the Victor Program. And unfortunately, the story for these homegoing Victors takes a downward turn here.--Because many of these young people who left the Victor Program had a big problem when they went back home. They weren't required to uphold the same standard in their Home, & as a result, they fell back into their NWOs, backslid in their spiritual victories, & began to have some of the same serious problems that they'd had before, which of course was very disappointing & discouraging for them.
22. This was a sad situation, because most of these JETTs & Teens sincerely wanted to do their best for the Lord, but they were running into some serious difficulties. Something just didn't seem to be exactly right, something seemed to be missing in the JETT & Teen training programs in our Homes. And you know, this got us seriously thinking & desperately praying. We thought, "If the close shepherding, on-fire Word classes, thrilling times of inspiration & high standard of discipline of the Victor Program have been such a success & so valued by our JETTs & Teens who had the privilege of going through it, if they loved it that much & benefitted that much by it, why shouldn't we bring this wonderful training to their Homes on the field--in fact, to all our Homes? If our Victors admitted that the Victor Program was such a blessing & brought forth such a wonderful change in their lives & was such a privilege, why shouldn't we be even more interested in rewarding all our JETTs & Teens with the benefits of this same kind of wonderful training? If it could do that much for those with serious problems, think how much more greatly it could benefit our JETTs & Teens who don't have serious problems!"
A Revolution!--To Make Us All More Dedicated Soldiers!
23. You see, we really started praying about this & asking the Lord for some direction, because we love each one of you very much & are very concerned about you. We want to see you all have the changes in your life that you need. We want to do all we can to help you learn & grow & progress & be challenged & become strong soldiers for the Lord. We want you to be happy & fulfilled, so you can do your best for Jesus!
24. Improving the care of all our JETTs & Teens is a big project to tackle, & we began to see that in order to do that, we'd have to make a lot of changes in our Homes' schedules & priorities & ways of operating. This was a pretty important & complicated matter, which required a lot of prayer & discussion, so the leaders of the Family got together to have some meetings. They discussed what we could do to give each one of you JETTs & Teens the benefit of this wonderful Victor Program so you could each be "more than a conqueror through Him Who loves you."--Rom. 8:37.
25. The Lord showed us that it wasn't going to be enough to just have a few Victor Programs here & there that some of you JETTs & Teens would visit. It became clear that the only way you could all partake of this important discipleship training was if we brought a special JETT & Teen Training Program into each Home & made it a part of all our individual Homes. Wow, that was a shock! What a change! What a revolution!--For all of you to be able to participate in such wonderful training that will help you get closer to Jesus, get more into the Word & get more out of the Word, help you with your NWOs, give you closer supervision with more time with your Shepherds & more personal attention, & help you learn to witness more deeply & effectively. What a victory! This is a big revolution!
26. Now any revolution takes work, & any revolution is a little scary at first, because it's a big step of faith & sometimes it's a big shake-up! It takes sacrifice, it takes looking at the goal ahead, it takes all working together in teamwork & unity. It takes faith, because everything changes, & as it changes, we can't start looking at the waves & fretting, we have to see the goal ahead. While things are getting turned topsy-turvy & upside-down in order to make all the needed changes, things get a little rough & uncomfortable & insecure; but anything that is bringing us closer to our goal of being more dedicated soldiers for Jesus & learning to live the wonderful life that He has ordained for us, is worth it!
27. If we're going to be in this Family, if we're going to be part of it, then we should try to be the best Family Members we can be! Why be a part of something & just be lukewarm? Why be a part of something & just do it half-heartedly? Think how much better it will make us feel, as well as make others feel & make the Lord feel, if we put our whole hearts into this revolution, & "whatever we do, do it all to the glory of God," & "whatsoever our hand finds to do, do it with our might"! (1Cor.10:31; Ecc. 9:10) If we're going to be a soldier, why not be the very best soldier we can be? If we're going to be a Prince or Princess of the King of kings, why not be the very best Prince or Princess we can be? If we're going to be a representative of the Family, let's try to be the very best representative possible!
28. Many of you attended TTCs or YESs or JETT Camps, & there you dedicated your lives to Jesus!--You determined to give your all, 100%, to give it all you've got & make Him proud of you, & to do all that you can to win others to His cause. Now is your chance to re-dedicate your lives, to bring the best of your TTC training, the best of your Family training, the best of your Teen Combo training, the best of the Victor training, & the best of our new disciple babes training into our Homes! Let's put it all together, the best of everything, & make our Homes the very best Homes they can possibly be! And let's not call this training program the Victor Program or the TTC Program or the Babes Program, but the Discipleship Training Revolution (the DTR), so we can all be the best disciples for Jesus, so we can all be 100% disciples for Jesus!
The Discipleship Training Revolution Is for Everyone!
29. Now you say, "Well, we're not going to be able to have this revolution without the adults." You're right, you're not! You need the adults, & the adults need you. In fact, this revolution is for everyone! As is obvious by some of the things that we discussed earlier, the adults need a revolution as much as you JETTs & Teens need a revolution! We all need a revolution, we all need changes, & none of us can effectively have a revolution in our Homes without the others. It's going to take teamwork. You JETTs & Teens can't have a revolution without the adults, but neither can the adults try to bring about a revolution for you without your full cooperation & participation.
30. So now is the time for us all to work together to make this revolution a reality in our Homes! Let's get in there & work on our weak spots & attack them! Lord help us to change whatever needs to be changed, including ourselves! Let's not be critical of each other's problems & weaknesses! Instead, let's lay aside the criticism & the condemnation, & be willing to forgive each other for past mistakes, & overlook each other's weaknesses & problems. As I said before, we've all made mistakes, & we will continue to make some mistakes, but if we stick together & fight together in love & unity, the Lord will help us grow & make progress, & our lives will be happier & more fruitful than ever! So let's get rid of our self-righteousness, & let's resist the temptation to murmur & complain! Let's all be obedient to the same standard & the same rules, & instead of seeing each others' faults & fighting each other, we'll see that we're all fighting the Enemy!--And we'll win the battle!
31. We all need each other, & most of all we need the Lord, because no matter how much teamwork we have & no matter how much we work together, if the Lord doesn't make the revolution, if He's not in it in every respect, then we are bound to fail. By the same token, neither can the Lord do it Himself. No matter how powerful He is & how much He would like to help us, if we don't cooperate with Him & put ourselves in partnership with Him, He cannot do it.
32. But with Jesus doing the miracle that only He can do, & with you JETTs & Teens doing what you can do, & with the adults doing what they can do, we can have a wonderful revolution that will be absolutely unbeatable! A three-fold cord is not easily broken, & all together we will be invincible! The Devil's forces & his army will not be able to stop us! We will change & grow & prosper & successfully conquer the Enemy's territory & win many battles for Jesus, until we have won the war & obtained the rewards! PTL! So how about it, JETTs, Teens & adults?--Let's have a Discipleship Training Revolution!--Amen?
1) What are the major points Mama Maria is trying to get across to you in this Letter?
2) Give in one sentence your overall reaction to this Letter from Mama Maria.
My Questions for You Teens & JETTs (8-10)
3) Now go back to Mama Maria's questions beginning at paragraph #8 of this Letter. In order to make it easier for you to be honest & share what's on your heart, rather than discussing her questions in an open pow-wow, we'd like to ask each one of you to write down your feelings as you review questions 1 through 15 one by one. (See Pgs.2-4.) Please give your written answers to your Shepherds, who will read them & pray about your comments in private. Then continue with the following points to pow-wow. (Dear JETTs & Teens, please do not discuss with your friends or brothers or sisters what you wrote in answer to Mama Maria's questions. Thanks!)
4) You've probably just spent some time thinking & writing about how things could improve in the Family or what things you think need to change. Maybe you think things haven't been going as well as they should have & you might feel a little bit sad or disappointed about that. Mama Maria says: "It's good to remember that nothing is ever perfect, no situation is ever exactly like we want it, but it's a Heaven of a lot better than anything outside our Family!" (Para.10)
Well, how about if we play the "Count Your Blessings Game" a little bit? Why don't you now go back over some of the things you just wrote about & compare how it's been for you in the Family to how it is for the preteens & Teens in the System? For example, you may not feel completely satisfied with your school time, your ministry & the work you have to do, your communication with others, the correction you receive, or the conduct of your parents or the other adults in your Home--but now let's spend a little time talking about how much better you have it than the poor preteens & Teens in the System.
5) Shall we also discuss criticism & how not to get critical about things? Since we just spent time writing about things we think are problems & discussing things that need changing, the Enemy might try to come in & tempt us with criticism. If we are tempted to feel critical, we should try to do as Mama said in paragraph 5 & be sweet & loving & mature in our consideration of these questions. Mama Maria explains that "the spirit of criticism is wrong, even though the facts of the criticism may be accurate." Who wants to explain what this means? Now let's discuss what kind of bad fruit criticism can bear, even though the facts might be accurate.
6) In "Prayer Jewels" Part 2, Mama Maria explains how we can turn critical thoughts into prayers. She says, "You may critically think about someone, `Why is he always late?'--Or `Why does he eat so much?' Instead of just being critical, turn those thoughts into a prayer for the person--if they actually have a problem along those lines. However, perhaps the problem is you, in which case you should rebuke the critical thoughts & ask the Lord to help you be more loving & merciful." (ML #2624:91) Give some examples of how you too could practice this wise counsel when you're tempted to be critical of others.
7) Discuss specific examples in your own life of how your problems have been handled fairly, lovingly & prayerfully by your parents or Shepherds, & explain how this helped you to correct or remedy your erring behaviour. How do you think you would have reacted if they would have been critical or condemning when they pointed out your shortcomings or mistakes?
8) Some of you JETTs & Teens might have noticed cases of a double standard in the Family. You may feel that in some instances the adults require a higher level of obedience from you than they are willing to deliver themselves. Well, why don't you turn the spotlight on yourself now & think about the ways you might be living a double standard, such as when you care for younger children or in your relationships with or thoughts about others. Are you also guilty of expecting more from others than you are willing to give yourself? Who wants to volunteer to tell some of your problems along this line? What should you do about it? How does seeing your own weaknesses in this area make you feel less self-righteous & critical toward the adults?
9) Just as you JETTs & Teens look to the adults to receive training & to benefit from their sample, so will our upcoming generation of younger children look to you. Therefore you JETTs & Teens have a big responsibility towards our younger children. Do you think you're being faithful in this responsibility & doing all you can to lead them in the way they should go? How could you improve in this area?
The First Step, Pray for Changes! (11-15)
10) Talk about instances when the Lord has answered your prayers in a different way than you expected. In these cases, how did the Lord's answers turn out to be better than what you expected? In what ways were His answers not always easy?
11) Talk about some of the big changes you've had in your life. Discuss how these changes got you out of your rut & more on the attack for Jesus.
The Story of Some Changed People: The JETT & Teen Victors! (16-22)
12) Think about this for a minute: Do you feel in your heart like you need the same kind of help that those who went to the Victor Program received? Why do you feel that way?
13) How did hearing Mama Maria's description of the Victor Program & the effect it had on the JETTs & Teens who participated in it change your feelings or attitude about that kind of intense JETT/Teen training?
14) Mama Maria says that if we have genuine needs, we should pray & the Lord will answer, right? Now read Matthew 7:7-11, & think about the following quote: "Sometimes you're praying for bread & you get what looks to you like a stone, but afterwards you realise that it really is bread! Maybe you don't realise it when you get it, but later you'll realise that what the Lord gave you was the best thing for you." (DB3, Pg.427) How did this principle prove to be true in the case of those who went to the Victor Program? Have you ever received a "stone" in the form of some disappointment or trial that turned out later to be "bread" of greater fruitfulness or victory? Please discuss your experiences & what you learned from them.
A Revolution!--To Make Us All More Dedicated Soldiers! (23-28)
15) Read paragraph 26 & talk about what things you can expect to happen when you have a revolution. What's the goal of such a revolution?
16) In what ways do you personally feel you need to change in order to be the best disciple for Jesus you can possibly be?
The Discipleship Training Revolution Is for Everyone! (29-32)
17) Why does the Discipleship Training Revolution have to be for everyone if it's going to work?
18) What are some tricks the Enemy might try to throw at us to hinder the success of this Discipleship Training Revolution? What should we do to be on guard against & defeat these devices of the Devil?
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family