Posts Tagged ‘ru dela torre’

Ru dela Torre was the cool guy who had everything – women, money, success. But one day, he lost everything. In this one-on-one interview, Ru dela Torre recalls his journey to true significance and how he found his greatest need in Jesus.

Q: What was life like before knowing Jesus?

Ru: I used to live life according to the world’s standards. I was consumed with what our culture dictated as the normal life. I used to believe that one’s goal in life was simply to:

  • Excel in school. Graduate with honors. Get good grades and have a better shot at landing a job in the future.
  • Have girlfriends in order to get “in” the boys’ club. The “more the merrier” meant me getting the thumbs up sign from my best buds.
  • Have a car. Have a house. Get a wife. Have kids. Have grandchildren. Then die.

And I was well on my way to becoming all these.  I thought I was the luckiest guy in the world because I had the following at age 24: 23 ex girlfriends, 1 hottie girlfriend, a cum laude medal from the University of Santo Tomas and a silver medal from Ateneo de Manila for my Master’s Degree in Business Administration, 1 super black sporty car, 1 fat bank account, 1 thriving business and a good paying job. And an ego as huge as the Titanic.

But all of these were not enough. I was constantly looking for the next high. I was unsatisfied . . . unfulfilled. I was bored.

 

Ru dela TorreQ: How did things change?

Ru: In January 2004, I lost my business, my job and my girlfriend in three consecutive weeks. I was shattered. I was lost . . . depressed. I didn’t know what to do. From lucky, I became a loser. Until I found Christ. When I saw what Christ did for me at the cross, I realized His great love for me. This love made me understand that Jesus is worth my all. He gave His best first. He loved first. And I wanted to give him my life too. So that day, I surrendered and gave my life to Him.

I found a new identity. From loser, I came to know that I am loved by God.

 

Q: How has knowing Christ altered your life?

Ru: From a self-centered, egocentric life, I prayed to God for a God-centered, purpose-driven life. I wanted to use my talents, my resources, my gifts and my life to serve and glorify him. That’s why I sought for a lot of grace to obey and honor Him.

In February 2004, just a-month-old Christian, God asked me to share to some 40 young people about my decision to seek God with all I’ve got that year. I opted to abstain from having a girlfriend and I signed a contract called the Manifesto with God. That day, 90% of the crowd signed too.

In 2006 it evolved into a movement, as churches and schools started inviting us to share with them this wonderful contract. In 2007, we were able to reach (by God’s grace) some 12,000 young people. This paved the way for us to be hailed as a national finalist to the 2007 TAYO (Ten Outstanding Youth Organizations).

Today, the movement lives on. And thousands more are making the commitment to stay pure and put God first in their lives. An estimated 500,000 young people all across the nation have heard about the movement, and a good percentage of them signed up for the covenant.

I became a youth pastor in 2005 and the Lord also used me to write books. I’ve written four books: A Date with The One, Road Trip, Back on Track and Refuel.

Now, I’m living my best life. Truly, I found life when I found Christ.

 

The Risen Lord changed history and He can also change your story. Join the life revised conversations this Lent on Facebook: omfliterature and Twitter: @omflit using #liferevised.

 

Has the Lord transformed your life? Share your life revised story with us at digital@omflit.com

 

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For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now.

Today is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:2-3 [NLT]

 

One Saturday afternoon, I went to the youth service bringing two big bags. Here are the contents of the bags:

Blue bag – All my clothes for the past week due for washing. One word: laundry. Some were seven days old. It should’ve been brought to the cleaners, but I opted to carry them that day.

Black bag – This one’s my sports bag. It had my clothes for the next day’s worship church service (jeans and long-sleeved polo) plus my basketball uniform and rubber shoes that I was to use in the Sunday afternoon’s ballgame.

While I carried both of them, I felt their weight. The crowd whom I was preaching to was probably thinking I was nuts. I was an eyesore. In their heads, they’re probably asking, “Why’s he bringing his laundry bag and sports bag in preaching?”

I then made my point: What usually gives us unnecessary stress and unwanted heaviness in the NOW are the unwanted baggage of the past and excess luggage of future.

Dwell in the pains of the past, and you become a prisoner of depression. Just like my laundry bag, what’s in the painful past is usually smelly and dirty. And whenever we entrap ourselves in thinking about bad memories of offenses and bitterness, we are not able to nourish what God is doing in the present. God brings good news when He said in Isaiah 43:18-19a (GNT),

 

“Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already you can see it now!”

 

A similar principle holds true when we carry the worries of the future today. Just like the stuff in my sports bag, I did not need to bring all of it until tomorrow. And sometimes in life, what pushes us to anxiety are the worries we have about tomorrow. Lord Jesus says we have to learn to live in the NOW when He said,

 

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Matthew 6:34 [MSG]

 

Do you know that the word now appears more than 1,200 times in one translation of the Bible? It’s actually enough to remind us three times a day for an entire year that God wants us to enjoy what He is doing in the NOWs of our lives.

 

Jesus, when He taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer, said, “Give us today our daily bread …”# Notice that He didn’t tell us to ask for tomorrow’s bread or for yesterday’s bread. He instructed us to pray for today’s bread and needs.

There are a lot of things that God is doing in the present. Let go of the bad things of the past and the unnecessary worries of the future and focus on the NOW.

Cherish your relationships today. Seize the godly opportunities to do good that God allows for your life today. Feel at peace knowing that God has given you enough strength to overcome today’s hurdles and He will give you another bucket of strength to do the same for tomorrow’s challenges.

Get rid of the someday syndrome. Drop the laundry bag of the past. Drop the sports bag filled with tomorrows needs. Change for the better now. Start serving God today. Right now is the best time to start pleasing God.

 

ONE ON ONE WITH GOD


Dear Jesus, today I’m choosing to let go of my unwanted baggage. Help me to let go of the pains of the past. And help me, too, to free myself from worrying about what’s gonna happen tomorrow. Instead Lord, teach me to appreciate today and what You are doing now. Guide me so I won’t miss out on the beauty of the present. As I do this, I know You are relieving me from a lot of stress and anxiety. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

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First, you went on a road trip. Along the way, you got lost and had to steer your life back on track. Now your tank is running low on gas. You need a fresh infusion of wisdom and inspiration.

You need to REFUEL

In Ru dela Torre’s 3rd book with OMF Literature, he shares a mix of personal reflections and devotional entries or “reflectio-devos” to energize you while you’re spending quiet times with God

Making a u-turn involves more than just saying the words, “I’m sorry”. Genuine repentance is not apologizing and then swinging back to sin. It is a firm decision to turn away, and never go back to it again.

The following steps describe how making a U-turn is best done:

 

Admit that you’ve sinned

God knows it and you know it. You went the wrong way and you messed up. Confess it. There is nothing we can hide from God anyways. Be honest and come to Him as you are. There’s no room for pride.

Cry out to God for mercy

A desperate cry is more than lip-service. A heartless sorry does not count for anything. God always looks at the condition of the heart. Being sincerely sorry requires genuine regret. Pain gets into the picture, especially when you realize that you have broken the heart of God.

Accept responsibility for your actions

Facing the consequences of your actions today, no matter how difficult, can save you from facing bigger ones tomorrow if you opt to postpone. Repair damages in as much as you are able. If relationships have been strained, be quick to mend them.

Break free from the clutches of that sin

Whatever happens, decide to say no. Since it took time to form that bad habit, it may also take time to undo it. Temptations will come. When they do, be strong. Ask God for help, and He will lead you to a way out of it.

Put some feet to your faith

Action steps are required. Remember, we don’t want to do the same mistakes again. So the best step is to walk away from the sin, or from anything that causes us to sin. If your sin is engaging in a vice, or  having a relationship with someone who does not love God, or living with a bad habit, then quit it.

 

Say no to the sin and flee as far as you can, from temptation. The moment you do is when you’ve really repented. No shortcuts. It’s the only way.

But stop right here if you start thinking that these steps are needed for you to receive God’s grace. Again, God’s grace is not something we can earn for our good works. We can even read in Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The initiative to love comes from God. In 1 John 4:19 it is stated quite simply

We love because He first loved us

So male no mistake about it. Even the ability to make the U-turn comes from God.

 

*taken from Back on Track by Ru dela Torre

ipad_Back on TrackAfter getting on the road with God, what does a young person do when the excitement fizzles and he returns to his rebellious ways? This sequel of the bestselling Road Trip focuses on how grace and repentance can help the lost again find his way back to God.

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It was our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal himself who said that “the youth is the hope of our future”. And we need to feed the minds of our young people with books that will bring them inspiration, instruction and insight.

So whether you’re a parent with teenagers, a youth pastor, a church youth leader, or an actual teenager, here are some OMF Lit books that can help shape the future of our churches and our nation.

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris

Society already expects not so good things from young people as soon as they step into the “terrible teens” phase. But Alex and Brett, twin brothers of best-selling author Joshua Harris, actually challenge teenagers to start a “Rebelution” and defy these expectations by choosing to do hard things for the glory of God. This book is full of humorous personal anecdotes, practical examples and stories of real-life rebelutionaries in action.

Other books by Alex and Brett Harris

Start Here

Refuel by Ru Dela Torre

In Ru dela Torre’s 3rd book with OMF Literature, he shares a mix of personal reflections and devotional entries or “reflectio-devos” to energize you while you’re spending quiet times with God. Spend time in prayer and personally worship God Read the Bible and meditate on what it says. Cap it off by reflecting on the week’s entry from this book

Other books by Ru dela Torre:

Road Trip

Back on Track

It’s Not About Me Teen Edition by Max Lucado

The best-selling book by popular author Max Lucado is re-written specifically for teenagers. Through amazing real life stories of young people who re-directed their lives from me-centered to Jesus-centered, the youth will discover God’s plan for their lives.

Other books by Max Lucado:

It’s Not About Me

On the Anvil

Grace for the Moment Vol 1 and 2

Pass or Fail by Ronald Molmisa

Lagi ka bang may kaba tuwing mag-eexam, magpapasa ng requirements o kapag may graded recitation? Ano ba ang kelangan gawin para hindi naman laging 50/50 ang buhay mo sa school? The book includes chapters on Reading, Memorizing and Note-Taking, To Cheat or Not to Cheat, Time Out! Stressed Ako, Terror Ba Teacher Mo, and lots of other useful tidbits, written in a language that young people can relate to.

Other books by Ronald Molmisa:

Lovestruck

I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

This groundbreaking book has been on the best-seller for years and is always included in the list of highly-recommended books for young people. Joshua Harris challenges both boys and girls to rethink the way they approach dating and relationships and reorder their love lives in light of God’s Word.

Other books by Joshua Harris

Boy Meets Girl

Not Even A Hint

Dug Down Deep

Add Mo Ko As Friend by Marlene Legaspi-Munar

In this simple and practical book, learn how to make the most out of this social networking phenomenon and what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to creating and maintaining online and offline friends.

Features:
Added New Friends Lately?
Offline friendship
Exploring the FB (Friendship Busters)
Make Room in Your Heart for Unlikely Friends
Meet the Perfect Friend

Saving My First Kiss by Lisa Velthouse

Waiting for the one can be fun, fabulous, and fulfilling!  Find out why this single lady author is unpuckering her lips and collecting party supplies inside her closet, waiting for the day she can present her lips to Mr. Right. Discover why she chose to date sparingly and purposely holding back the gift of her first kiss.

 

 

 

 

What Matters Most for Teens

What Matters Most is an exquisitely designed devotional set that addresses crucial life issues and reveals what is important in life. The teen edition tackles fifty of the crucial life issues that young people deal with including coping with anxiety, dating, accepting yourself, nurturing friendships, dealing with hurts.

A few days ago, we asked for your favorite quotes from your recent OMF Lit book reads. Here are some of our favorites from your submissions. May they also bring Inspiration, Instruction and Insight to you 🙂

“Sinful people create sinful structures, which may then take on a life of their own. Human rebellion has spread across the planet so that every human institution- government, family, church- has been soiled. In some ways a structure or group of people is more inclined to evil than an individual and less inclined to love.

~Philip Yancey, Rumors of Another World

“The secret of loving is to be a loving person and being a loving person comes from being loved by Christ.”

– Nelson T. Dy, How to Mend a Broken Heart

“The people of God are not merely to mark time, waiting for God to step in and set right all that is wrong. Rather, they are to model the new heaven and new earth, and by so doing awaken longings for what God will someday bring to pass.”

~Philip Yancey, Disappointment with God

“Love is not an attainment or an acquisition. It moves outward. It shares. It takes thought for the interest of others. It builds up the faith of others than the ego of a lover.”

– John Piper, Think

“The message of Christian orthodoxy isn’t that I’m right and someone else is wrong. It’s that I am wrong and yet God is filled with grace.”

– Joshua Harris, Dug Down Deep

“Look at your sufferings in the light of eternity. Even the most intense loneliness is temporary. Suffering is redemptive. It is one of God’s means to perfect your character.”

~William B. Girao, I Don’t Want to Feel This Way

“Whatever you do from this point forward is Worship. It is your answer to His, “Am I not worth of your love?” question. Worship is a response to your experience of God’s love. Whether you give your best or worst, is your response to that most important question.”

– Ru dela Torre, Road Trip

“Every relationship for a Christian is an opportunity to love another person like God has loved us. To lay down our desires and do what’s in his or her best interest. To care for him or her even when there’s nothing in it for us. To want that person’s purity and holiness because it pleases God and protects him or her.”

-Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye

‎”But even when you hurt the most, GOd has not abandoned you.He still loves you and He still cares about you.”

– Ed Hindson, God Is There in The Tough Times

‎”If you want your lovelife to be truly good and worry-free, you must find yourself LOVESTRUCK with the Lord. Siya dapat ang FIRST and ENDLESS LOVE mo.”

– Ronald Molmisa, Lovestruck

‎”The greater and higher the calling, the more intense the adversity.”

– Os Hillman, Upside of Adversity

‎”The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.”

– Zig Ziglar, The One Year Daily Insights 

 

 

First, you went on a road trip. Along the way, you got lost and had to steer your life back on track. Now your tank is running low on gas. You need a fresh infusion of wisdom and inspiration.

You need to REFUEL

In Ru dela Torre’s 3rd book with OMF Literature, he shares a mix of personal reflections and devotional entries or “reflectio-devos” to energize you while you’re spending quiet times with God. Here’s how you can fine-tune your spirit with the help of this book:

  • Spend time in prayer and personally worship God
  • Read the Bible and meditate on what it says
  • Cap it off by reflecting on the week’s entry from this book

Some of the “reflectio-devo” titles in the book are

  • Better Than Plastic
  • Book without words
  • Bitten by the love bug
  • Everything except the music
  • Unforgettable night at the movie house
  • Get rid of the mess
  • When God says no

Intrigued yet? We’re giving you the chance to read the first 3 entries of Refuel! All you have to do is follow the simple instructions by clicking here

Here are just some of the great, inspirational quotes which you can get from Refuel:

 

 

 

“Just in case you find yourself in need of a miracle today – healing, provision or a way out – know that God is able to produce something out of nothing. Remember that when He created everything, He started with nothing. Out of the emptiness, He spoke the universe into existence. He turned things around at His command. And He hasn’t lost a bit of that power.”

 

“If you crave to live the right way, seek for what the Word says and not what the world says. And as you encounter the truth, you’ll have all the reasons in the world to shift from an old way to a new way of thinking and doing, one that is consistent with what God says.”

 

“The more we opt for love, the more we are able to become like Christ. Just like Jesus, we ought to hate the sin, but not the sinner. Forgive people. Help those who hurt you. Overcome evil by doing good. Destroy hatred with love. And as we do this, we become more and more like Jesus…”

Refuel will be available soon at all OMF Lit Bookshops, National Bookstore and PCBS nationwide for only P195.

Pastor Ru dela Torres serves as the director of Wildfire, the youth ministry of His Life City Church in San Fernando, Pampanga. He founded the Manifesto Movement, a finalist in the 2007 nationwide search for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations. He is currently taking up Theology at the Asian Theological Seminary. You can like his fanpage on Facebook or follow him on Twitter, @rudelatorre

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“God can turn your mess into a message. And He can transform your stumbling block into a stepping stone. Learn from your mistakes and don’t make the same ones again. As you do this, your greatest test will become your greatest testimony.”

After getting on the road with God, what does a young person do when the excitement fizzles and he returns to his rebellious ways?

In this sequel to the bestselling book Road Trip , Back on Track by Ru dela Torre, focuses on how grace and repentance can help the lost again find his way back to God.

Being impulsive and carefree is part of the DNA of young people, and sadly, along the way, it is inevitable that they will make mistakes. The message of this book is that it is never too late to pick yourself up from those failures and slip-ups and to get “back on track” towards making something out of your young life.

Ru definitely knows what he’s talking about. In his first book, Road Trip, he shares his journey from lucky to loser before he realized his true identity: loved by God. And it is this realization that has led him to dedicate his life towards helping young people come to grips with the concept of salvation and grace.

“One thing I admire about the youth today is their passion. If there’s one dominant characteristic about this “up and coming” generation, it is their fire. When they set their minds onto something, they just go all-out for it. The challenge, though, is how to get them from being apathetic to being involved.” Ru shares.

And Back on Track is his contribution towards harnessing the fire of this generation.

Here is a short excerpt from the book

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Are you lost, in the middle of nowhere in your life, and can’t seem to find your way back to the track that will lead you to God? You feel sorry for a sin but can’t seem to overcome it. As a result, your heart has gotten stone-cold. You lost the fire.

Or are you in the middle of a big mess because you’ve made wrong choices and are now struggling to pick yourself up? Guilt has struck. Consequences left and right hit hard and knocked you down. There seems to be no way out.

Or are you in the middle of the catastrophe? Your grades flunked because you partied instead of studied? Or you just broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend and it’s your fault. Your life has just reached rock-bottom.

The end seems near for you.

Don’t give up just yet. Hold on for just a moment. Just as God said to Paul, so is He telling you right now: His grace is all you need.  His grace is enough, it is sufficient.

No sin, no failure, no mistake is ever too big to crowd out the grace of God. “For there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.” No problem is ever too big for God to fix. And nothing is ever too difficult for Him.

God is not giving up on you. So don’t give up on Him. Through God’s grace, a clean slate is up for grabs. A fresh start is yours for the taking. Get up and get moving. Begin again now.

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Back on Track is available at all OMF Lit Bookshops, National Bookstore and PCBS nationwide for only P150

Life is not meant to be lived fast-forward.

Pause for a moment…

Read books that are good for your soul…

Reflect  on your life…

This is one of a series of articles written by our home-grown OMF Lit authors to help you reflect on the things that are essential, in the midst of a world that is constantly on the go. May you be inspired to

Pause. Read. Reflect

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Hit the Pause Button

by Ru dela Torre

In the first three months of this year, our planet has been shocked by a record breaking 900 plus quakes already—the strongest being the one that killed more than 13,000 people in Japan, with more than that number is till missing. The political turmoil in the Middle East has been a cause for global concern. The unprecedented increase in the price of oil has pushed economies to grapple for investments and capital infusion. Death tolls, political unrest, economic uncertainties—all these and more add up to what is now fast becoming a worldwide scare.

But amidst the panic, the fear and seeming absence of peace, one divine alternative stands out. In a time where everything seems to be stuck in furious-fast-forward, what we really need to do is push the pause button.

The key is an intentional shift of focus from all the craziness that’s rocked our planet to the “Rock.” And while many people are scheduling their out-of-town trips and summer outings, why don’t we get down to the real deal? So just in case you get tempted to think that lent is all about white sand beaches and getting a tan, I plea that you reconsider. Lent is about Jesus, His great love for us, and our response to it. There are three things you may want to contemplate on doing as you go solo with God:

Revisit the Cross

Return to Jerusalem 2,000 years back and listen again to the echoes of the booming sound of the angry mob, “Crucify Him…crucify Him!” Mull over the crown of thorns that they forced on Jesus’ head. Ponder on the cross. Remember that He carried this heavy cross, literally and figuratively. Reflect on the three nails—that spiked through His hands and feet. Hear the sound of His voice when He said, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

The soldiers lifted the cross. Jesus was the centerpiece. With His arms stretched and His body lifeless, He tells us all, “This is how much I love you.”

Reflect on our lives as Christians—our obedience and love

As we meditate on Jesus’ love for us, what’s next is a heart check. Search deep into your own life. Is Jesus still number one in your life? Is He still your top-most priority? Have we grown in our love? Or have we grown cold in our relationship with Him? Are you still excited about Him?

For some of us, God might be asking us to go back to our first love! And the reason why we’ve been feeling a bit lost is because we’ve lost focus. The best starting point is always the cross. He might be saying: “It’s time to get back on track.”

Restore broken relationships

One of the signs of a genuine encounter with God is a decision to patch up damaged relationships. Bridge the gaps. Let go of hurts. Forgive if you have to. Apologize if you need to. This might be the prompt that you’ve long been waiting for.

Maximize this Lent to the hilt. Decide today! Make sure that your version of Lent this 2k11 counts.

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Pastor Ru dela Torres serves as the director of Wildfire, the youth ministry of His Life City Church in San Fernando, Pampanga. He founded the Manifesto Movement, a finalist in the 2007 nationwide search for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations. He is currently taking up Theology at the Asian Theological Seminary.

He has published two best-selling books with OMF Lit, Road Trip and Back on Track. Both are available at all OMF Lit Bookshops, National Bookstore, Powerbooks and PCBS branches nationwide.


*originally published in Evangelicals Today Volume XXXVI No 5. For subscription inquiries, please call 913.1655 to 57

We have heard it said so many times that the youth are the future of the nation. But the reality is that they are also the hardest to reach on a spiritual and even emotional level, with the advent of a post-modern and increasingly hedonistic society. Most churches have continuously struggled with losing young members and with getting young people to actually come into the church, much less, be discipled.

We sat down with youth pastor and OMF Literature author Pastor Ru dela Torre to pick his brains on his thoughts about youth ministry and the challenges it presents.

What made you decide to go into discipling the youth in your church? You could have chosen kids, or yuppies, or the middle aged group, but your heart led you to the youth.

I’ve always had a burden for young people. It’s mainly because of the fact that I believe in them. Every time I see a young person, I see potential. To me, a young person’s face is always a glimpse of the future. Surely, the youth are worth investing in. I am an advocate of the truth that they are the hope of every nation.

Even before I came to know the Lord, there’s always been this unexplainable passion in my heart to equip and empower them.  When I became a Christian, our Senior Pastor asked me to handle the youth ministry in our church, I gave it a “yes” even if I knew that I had a lot of things to learn about doing ministry. I considered it a story of God’s favor causing me to be at the right place at the right time.

What are the biggest challenges that you’ve faced in dealing with the youth of today? And how has your personal experience allowed you to overcome these challenges?

One thing I admire about the youth today is their passion. If there’s one dominant characteristic about this “up and coming” generation, it is their fire. When they set their minds onto something, they just go all-out for it. The challenge, though, is how to get them from being apathetic to being involved.

There’s no middle-ground as far as their drive is concerned. It’s either they’re in or they’re out. It’s hero or zero; all the way or no-way. It’s either they love you or hate you. They are never “somewhere in between.”

It takes a lot of grace to ignite and convince them to doing something, especially with matters concerning God. Convincing power is a plus, but the ability to “walk the talk” is the major requirement. I have found that they are won not just by what we tell them (e.g.sermons); the message they love reading are our lives.

Once they are convinced that a leader is for real, that’s the only time they’ll open up and allow themselves to be discipled.

Which do you believe in more, drawing the youth to the church, or bringing the church to where the youth are?

To us who have a burden for the youth, we are actually living in very exciting times. That’s because the population is getting younger and younger, and a huge percentage is un-saved. That is why we need to pounce on the moment. We can’t afford to waste time waiting behind the walls of our church buildings for them to come. We have to be aggressive and bring the church to them.

I believe that it is our task to bring the church where the youth are. I have discovered that young people (in general) are not really excited about “churching.” That’s probably because they have a not-so-good pre-conceived notion about what a church is. One word: boring.

And even if we try our best efforts to adjust “how we do things”—alter our music, be energetic in preaching, or come up with “out-of this-world” gimmicks in church to be extra appealing, the initial challenge is always how to bring them in.

The paradigm shift happens when the young people experience a foretaste of church through campus ministries and cell groups. These are like small mobile churches that somehow allow them to know that following Jesus is not so “uncool” after all.

We bring the gospel packaged in a way that spells “F.U.N.” but never compromising. We do this to sell the idea that there is so much life happening in the church, and that the youth will be missing out on a lot of things if they opt not to go.

The message of grace

A lot of young people actually dread going to church because they feel that they’ll be condemned in church. This is why we need to make an effort to bring to them the gospel of the second chance and the message of God’s great love.

Be the second home

Most of the young people today come from broken families. A lot of the kids today are looking for a safe place where they will feel accepted and loved. When the home fails, the church has got to be that place. We have to let them know that there is a refuge available.  The cell group is always a good venue to promote authenticity and genuine concern.

Aside from the Bible, what are other tools that youth ministers can/should use to disciple their churches/cell groups?

There are a lot of helpful tools that can be found in OMFLit. There are books, audio cds, and even dvds there that can certainly boost a church’s youth ministry.

Here’s a list of books you might want to check out:

Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris

Stories for a Teen’s Heart Compiled by Alice Gray

Bible Study Guides Vol. 1-3 by Bertram Lim

Practical Discipleship for Young People by Bertram Lim

Practical Discipleship: Leader’s Guide by Bertram Lim

Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters by Joshua Harris

Hot Illusrations for Youth Talks by Rice Wayne

If Jesus were alive in these days, what do you think He would be doing to reach the youth?

I think if Jesus were here, He’d be wearing jeans, sporting the coolest hairdo, and “chilling out.” I think He’s going to be super cool. He will rebel against our generation’s wrong concept of fun, and present Himself as the ultimate alternative.

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Pastor Ru dela Torres serves as the director of Wildfire, the youth ministry of His Life City Church in San Fernando, Pampanga. He founded the Manifesto Movement, a finalist in the 2007 nationwide search for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations. He is currently taking up Theology at the Asian Theological Seminary.

He’s the author of the hugely successful Road Trip and the new OMF Lit title Back on Track.

These books are published and distributed by OMF Literature. OMF Literature books are available at OMF Lit Bookshops as well as National Bookstore, PowerBooks, and Christian bookstores nationwide. OMF Lit books are also available for online purchase at the OMFLit.com eStore.

For more information, call OMF Literature at 531.6635 or visit OMFLit.com.