In today’s episode, we discuss the opportunities and challenges in discipling the next generation. We are joined by Mark Massey & Scott Sivnksty in discussing the importance of investing in young people’s lives and providing them with opportunities to serve and grow in their faith. 


01:26 Discipling the Next Generation, introducing Scott Sivnksty & Mark Massey
04:30 Involving the Younger Generation
08:54 Discipleship without an Agenda
11:19 Challenges Faced by the Next Generation
15:28 Unique Difficulties and Distorted Values
22:38 Encouragements and Opportunities for Discipleship
24:57 Impact of Discipleship on Young People
27:04  Recommended Books for Discipleship
32:18  God’s Work in Personal Lives



  • Investing in the next generation through opportunities to serve and grow is crucial for discipleship.  
  • Discipleship allows room for God to direct in young people’s lives. 
  • A hardship to discipling can be the tech world, but the church provides a stark alternative to what the world offers. 
  • Looking back to God’s blessings in Gen 1, we can see how the world has distorted God’s order. Focusing on the ways God has created us, gives us a stable and accessable  foundation to teach discipleship. 
  • God is at work in our personal lives, directing us into new seasons and refocusing our lives. Praise the Lord for his working! 

Book Suggestions and Recommendations for Discipleship Study:

Full Transcript:
Ep. 49: Next Generation Discipleship

Micah Tanis, Host:
         Welcome to the Central Seminary Podcast today. We’re glad you have joined us. We’ve got a special episode for you this week. We come to you from the road. We’re over visiting Camp Chetek. They have an annual conference (Tweakage) of all the camps that come together in this year. They are at Camp Chetek. Almost 275 people from camps all across America have come together to share ideas. It is a great opportunity to meet many of the camp directors and those who are involved in camping.

As my life has been a part in great impacted by the ministry of camping. My father, who’s camp director at Camp Chetek, was saved through the ministry of camping and I had an opportunity to serve at camp. So what I wanted to do in a podcast episode is to take some questions. I’ve got two men here that are deeply involved in camp ministry of Scott Sivnksty and Mark Massey (MAT Biblical Counseling ’08), who each dedicate their lives to serving in both (church) ministries and then in camping ministries specifically.

I wanted to bring some questions just of how we think about discipling the next generation. Specifically, maybe pastors, if you’re listening, thinking about that age group from 18 to 25 of opportunities that you would have for discipleship and the encouragement that there is in Christian discipleship within our churches. So I’m just going to introduce these men. Here I have Scott Sivnksty. Scott, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining us. Can you tell us a little bit about your ministry, where you’re rooted at and then some of the camp involvement that you have?

Scott Sivnksty: Sure. I am based in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am a full-time evangelist. I served as a youth pastor for almost seven years before starting in evangelism in 2005. And then I’ve actually been coming to Camp Chetek since 2006. Usually speaking one or two weeks of camp. And then in 2009, I believe, your dad asked me if I would consider coming on as the Director of T.E.A.M., our servant leadership program here at Chetek. And so I grudgingly told him that I would do it for one summer. Yeah, we’re entering our summer of T.E.A.M.  directing Lord willing that we get to see this.

MT: I love the acronym of T.E.A.M. Teens Entering Active Ministry.

And just the teens that come being a part of that because we got to work together. Back in 09, beginning that program, really steering it towards a discipleship focus and seeing the great impact of that. Now to see 15 years later, where some of those kids are in ministry, pastoring, pastors wives. It’s really neat to see some of the impact that they’ve had in serving the heart of that.

SS: Yeah. A lot of neat, I wouldn’t want to say success stories, but you see God. Working in ways in certain people’s lives that you would have never dreamed. And yes, there are always some of those stories, sadly, where you have kids that they come and they have this great potential and they seem like they’re getting it and they go out and they turn aside. And you have those casualties of spiritual warfare, which you never like to see, but on the flip side, seeing how so many of the young people that have come through T.E.A.M.  over the years. And how it’s impacted their lives and to still today have people that will come and tell me that some of the most impactful time in their lives was when they were on T.E.A.M.  and that it continues to impact them and to direct them in their lives. It’s a pretty huge blessing to just have a small part with that.

MT: Thank you, Scott. We also have an alumnus of Central Seminary, Mark Massey. Mark graduated in 2008 with a Master of Arts in Theology: Biblical Counseling. So you’re putting that into practice. Mark, tell us a little bit about your ministry and I would say ministries that you’re involved with.

Mark Massey: Well, I work with Victory Academy for Boys over in Amberg, Wisconsin, northeast corner, north of Green Bay. We’re basically a boarding school, six to eight kids. We work with them each school year to help them figure out their spiritual journey a little bit, help them get back to kind of a trajectory of growth and being willing to be influenced for God. As they make their life choices and that kind of thing. And we disciple families in that process, understanding that we have kids for like nine months and it’s not a nine-month process, it’s a life process. So we wanna help parents get back in the place of being able to be that influence that God wants them to be, whether their kids are turning 18 or not. It continues on, so. And help them with that.

MT: Thinking of the question of discipling the next generation, what are opportunities that you guys have seen for this? Maybe a pastor that’s listening is thinking through, “Hey, I’ve got an 18-year-old kid that’s just getting out of high school and they’re maybe unsure of what the next step is for them in their life.” Opportunities that they could have for discipleship. And we have an exciting opportunity within our world today. Maybe we’re thinking, “Hey, there might be a kid that would go off to Bible college and there’s discipleship that’s inherent in that. I’m thinking about other kids who might take another trajectory of maybe a trade school or something that they would have.

What are discipleship opportunities that a church can use the natural gathering of the body to strengthen up some of those young men and women that are there?

Scott, I’m going to ask you what you see maybe even in evangelism opportunities as you go around to the churches. What ways do you see that the younger generation, this next generation serving that you’re excited about?

SS: One of the things that I’m seeing a little bit more of that has been missing for a while is that we are getting pastors and leadership that are willing to give opportunity for our young people to begin to engage more in the current local ministries that they are in. So rather than having to wait till they’re 18 to begin to serve, which I think is way too late personally, they’re giving kids that might be 10 or 11 years old little opportunities. No, obviously they’re not teaching a class or running the junior church program, but they might be helping to straighten up chairs, take out trash, be a greeter at the door, all those things facilitate service. And all of those things do a major thing of impacting someone towards ministry, regardless of that might be full-time preaching ministry or not. And then I know that there have been youth pastors, even when I was a youth pastor, that there are men that are seeking to take the opportunity to get their youth group involved in being able to be a part more of the services and sometimes having a designated youth service and young men that are willing, they give them an opportunity to study, prepare, they help them out and let them give like a 10-minute challenge and so forth. And regardless of whether those young men go on into the full-time preaching ministry, you’ve at least begun to facilitate a taste about ministry.

And so investing in that way, hoping more opportunities, for our young people to begin to engage when they’re younger in the local church. I feel like the local church needs to be the primary realm of where we are facilitating ministry, other than the home. Our Christian parents need to be at the forefront of that. But in coordination with that, then our local churches facilitating more opportunities, be they very small, but to where the kids are doing more than making a decision about serving the Lord and serenading their life. They’re now getting the opportunity to invest alongside and they’re being further, you know, hopefully, through the teaching and preaching, they’re being encouraged, they’re being challenged and confronted with different areas that they see are meaningful to living in regards to serving the Lord. And then yet they’re also shown that you’re not perfect. You need to grow. But while you’re growing, you still need to be serving. And guess what? Here’s a way that you can serve.

That to me is some of the things that it’s not as widespread as what I would like to see it, but it is something that has been developing and it needs to continue to. And I think that’s gonna continue to make a huge impact on what we see as far as people being more discipled and more willing to use their lives for the Lord in different ways. Yeah, seeing it from that young age.

MT: That’s an excellent way to look at the next generation, seeing, hey, what opportunities not waiting is as long to that point. Right. To say, hey, how can I get them involved right away? Mark, I know you served as an elder for many years in your church. What were even some of those ways that you saw opportunities to involve the younger generation, to develop them, to bring them up in that discipleship?

MM: I think helping them see that they provide value. Like even a 10-year-old wants to be thought of as valuable. And, you know, that obviously starts in the family. But also within the church context, you know, if they’re ushering, that’s a value. And they’re thanked for that. Not, you know, not awkwardly built up or falsely built up, but they truly are. They’re being a help. And then I think one of the big ways I think we correct that is we’re just giving them things to do that we don’t want to do. Sure. And I think that’s like when we have an intern, yeah, go get the coffee, go dig that ditch, you know, kind of thing whenever those may be valuable things to do, but we also need to make sure that we take part of our lives and give to them. Right. So we are we are saying I want to be involved in your little life to help you grow into what God would have you do.

Maybe God will use you in something someday as a plumber, as a guy that works for Culver’s or if a guy does whatever, or, you know, he may use you to teach Sunday school or something. And, and, and as we give those responsibilities, it can create a sense of, Hey, I, I kind of, I kind of handled that, you know, at 12, I kind of taught that little Sunday school class to those kids in VBS, you know, or whatever. And that was fun. That was fun. And they get energized. They get all of a sudden now they’re passionate about, I could actually communicate something at 10 years old. You know, I think that has a lot of value and it challenges them. And it also allows you to see where to entrust more responsibility, which I think is super cool.

“we also need to make sure that we take part of our lives and give to them”

SS: I interject with that. What he said is spot on. And the thing that I was thinking of when he was talking was that as pastors, as youth pastors, as camp workers, or other parachurch ministry workers, we need to learn to disciple without an agenda. True love. True love. Right, true love, and being willing to let God direct their lives, not me being the orchestrator. You’re not going to see those results because you’ve been operating off of a pragmatic philosophy, which is too prevalent in ministry across the board. We need to see that discipleship is about investing in people’s lives so they will develop a closer walk with God and that they will want to not only, I mean you really can’t dichotomize these two, but not only do they want to live for God, they want to use their life for God. Because living for God is going to be using your life for God. One of things that we teach here on T.E.A.M.  is listen, God has a purpose and a plan and a use for you right now. He wants to use your life right now. So let’s engage that. We do that. We’re going to see a difference.

“God has a purpose and a plan and a use for you right now. He wants to use your life right now. So let’s engage that. We do that. We’re going to see a difference.”

MM:   I think, you know, where we hear this pessimism about the next generation, we have pastors that are like, well, I don’t have any preacher boys going to college. So, right. You guys are awful. You need to get your hearts right. All the boys just play their video games. Yeah.  And really terribly unhelpful. Yes. Like because frankly, you’re trying to cram all these square pegs and round holes in the corners are getting beat to pieces. You can’t keep doing that and expect that, for one thing, it is a very high calling to be called into vocational, full-time ministry work. And we’ve kind of deadened that a little bit. Not that I’m saying that all pastors are elevated. I’m just saying it’s… It’s elevated to a different kind of life sacrifice. So it’s a different level in some sense in that way, but they’re people and there are times when more people are led to Christ in a church by the plumber guy in town than the pastor. And that’s okay. The evangelist plumber, praise God. So getting people to understand that this 50s to 90s mold of “You’ve got to do these things to be used of God” is hitting us in the backside, so to speak, that we’ve tried to cram so many people through that in a wrong way that now we’ve got a generation backing away from it going, “I don’t really want that.” You know, so then unfortunately we see them sit in a coffee shop sipping coffee and we’re like losers. When really what we should be doing is saying, “Hey, how’s it going? Let’s go get coffee together.”

“And let’s talk about how are we impacting the world in our little world here? Who do you know? Who are you playing volleyball with? Who are you hanging out with? Who are you working with?”

So that we have a chance to really share the gospel intrinsically the way it was done when Jesus and the disciples were doing. I like that. I’ll just say models must be pretty good. The Master kind of did that.

MT: Even just thinking about the whole church and generational discipleship from the top down, even thinking about the beauty of a congregation. It was Spurgeon who was asked, how did you get such a great congregation? He’s like, I didn’t do anything, the congregation begat the congregation, right? Story after story was told of somebody just having a conversation after church and leading somebody else to Christ. And even Spurgeon said as a pastor, that wasn’t me guys. That’s the Word doing its work.

And that essence of discipleship that we’re talking about, that encouragement.

Looking at this next generation, what are some unique challenges?

Maybe just historically, but right now, what are some of the struggles, maybe unique struggles? I know we have struggles in every generation, but what are some of those ones that maybe this generation is struggling with that we can be encouraged that the word meets it.

Scott, what are some things that you see as just unique difficulties that this generation is facing?

SS: Well, I think, you know, obviously the tech world has become a magnificent part. When I was a youth pastor, I didn’t have to deal with cell phones for the first few years, which I know that’s really ancient, right? But here’s the thing. That is way back. It is. Yeah, I started as a youth pastor when I was 12, but midway through my youth pastorate, cell phones started becoming more popular. They became more accessible. That began a dramatic change to having a much easier way of communication, entertainment, isolation, and so forth. And so now we have kids and of course, with the progression of our technology, I mean, you can live your entire life on a phone now, and you don’t have to interact face-to-face with people. It’s interesting that Proverbs tells us that the person that isolates themselves loses wisdom. Right. They don’t get how to make decisions about values. They don’t live the real-world life. And that’s the struggle, I think, we’re seeing. Is an erasure or a complex distortion of values. Though I think the generation, there are in the generation that would say, well, I love God and I want to do what God wants. Right. But they’re still sitting in the coffee shop.

And to heighten that part of the additional problem, which has always been a problem to some degree, it’s been that there are so many parents that, especially when you begin to come into the preteen and teen years, they begin to withdraw themselves more and more, they begin to take a little, a bit more of a hands-off approach with their kids because teen years can be very challenging, like any stage of life. And that’s how they were raised. And so, and they let their kids stay on their phones for hours and hours and hours. They let them isolate themselves. They don’t engage them. They don’t challenge them in different respects to their personal walk with God, with being involved in church, with being involved in home things in which they can serve, and they just kind of, so they kind of facilitate this fear of living that becomes very, you know, because they are granted the opportunity, but here’s the amazing thing. When we begin to invest and we are discipling them and we’re engaging their lives and they begin to invest in all the different areas of service, it’s amazing how that kind of just fades and it disappears. And we’re not trying to take away their love for having technology and so forth. We have to live by technology in this world, whether you like it or not. But what it does is it begins to help put some things in a better perspective. So those are, I mean, I think that’s one major thing. I think we could probably talk here all day about some of the other major things.

I think that one of the things you see is that isolation, again, it creates a scenario where values and judgments get distorted because they’re by themselves, but they’re not. They’re outside the church, body, and the safety that God designed in that accountability and encouragement and admonishment, the preaching of the word. Those things kind of get minimized. You may have the same amount of hours, but by the time you get done with it, that phone and all the influences and influencers, they have 10 times the amount of time or 20 times the amount of time in a given week of influence over that thinking. So I think if we were to pull to other things, other things are kind of a result of that. The way our culture teaches about finances and money gives a whole new purpose for work. It is outside of scripture and marriage and sexuality. We know that’s a train wreck.

So whenever you take, you look at Genesis and the blessing. The blessing of God was over sexuality and intimacy with your wife. It was over work and it was over eating and enjoying food and blessings of your labor. All of those are train wrecked with our culture. And we have to pull back to that. And I think that’s refreshing. When we look at what the optimism is, all this other stuff isn’t really satisfying. So ultimately, when we drive back to scripture and look at the purpose of God, that’s where I think we reach the next generation and it creates an opportunity because we are so antithetical or absolute opposites of the world now. Whereas in the 50s, 60s, and even 70s, we were still Christianized in our country enough that we were kind of integrated with all of that. That’s done. I mean, it’s done. We’re not that anymore. We have to be separate, which I think is exactly where God flourishes in reaching hearts and people.

MT: What are some of the excitement that you see for this next generation? What are things that you are encouraged about these?

MM: Well, whenever you see the train wreck, you know, whenever the guy comes to you, he’s 19 and he’s like, this phone is eating my lunch. I can’t even have a decent relationship with a girl. I can’t keep my mind right. Whenever we show him the reality of the truth of God’s Word and the hope of Christ and the freedom that you, that’s like Christ died on the cross, man, was for all this garbage. And we could be free from that. I think that gives the next generation a passion for, well, then this is what I want to live for. This is awesome. Tell me more. And again, you have to engage relationally to have the time.

And I think that’s probably one of the big frustrations for the younger generation coming up is the next generation is so busy, unfortunately, dealing with their own finances and marriage relationships and struggles, the cultural pressure they feel that they’re not doing the job with coming up people, with two captured by other things.

It’s a struggle. And I mean, as we know, I mean, inflation, you know, instead of, instead of being able to live reasonably with, you know, $40,000, now we’re talking $50,000, $60,000, which results in more time away doing and focus and there’s a lot of pressure on our culture, our biblical church culture right now on the outside.

MT: Scott, what are encouragements you’re seeing as in these opportunities for discipleship? Even just as a result of that.

SS: Well, to me, what is encouraging is that we can bring upwards of 32 kids per T.E.A.M. session and at the end of three weeks time by proper biblical teaching and preaching on servant leadership and aspects of the Christian life that intertwine with that. And by a lot of, we do a ton of personal one-on-one interaction. I do, all of my counselors do. And here’s the thing, we take kids that come, some of them very broken, some of them very indifferent and apathetic. Some of them that are, you know, they’re just kind of, they’re becoming,

They just kind of become indifferent because of there’s just no, they’ve been led to think that their life is pretty much just a hopeless thing without direction. And then when they, as we seek to invest and teach and preach, the lights become, they come on with these kids and they begin to recognize that God is not some big angry God. He’s a God that cares for them. He wants to safeguard them. He loves them. And he’s a God that he doesn’t just have a future plan for them. He has a current plan for them. And right now, and so this week, guess what? Today, God’s plan for you is that you get to serve him by doing the dishes in the dish pit. And God’s going to somehow use that to impact some kid. some way that we don’t understand how what doing dishes is going to be coordinated by God to impact to them where they end up receiving Christ as Savior, or they make a decision as a young Christian or as a Christian teenager that’s going to begin to really transform their lives. And our kids get to, they begin to realize that and they recognize what 1 Corinthians 15:58 says “our labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

And they begin to realize that I am as Ephesians 2:10 says, “I am a workmanship in Christ” that God has formed for specific purposes to accomplish for him. And that means that I can I can do this. I need to be doing this. And then as they engage and as others around them are engaging that are of similar ages, they get excited and they they get into it. And we have again, we have former counselors and other T.E.A.M. members that are in full-time preaching ministry today. We have former T.E.A.M.  members and counselors that are serving faithfully in their local churches. They have regular vocational jobs, which is great. And yet they are serving God faithfully. They are excited about the Christian life. And it’s, I think the encouraging thing is that we hear again, the pessimism of kids just don’t want to do anything for God today.

No, here’s the reality. When you’re willing to invest yourself, and when you’re willing to make the sacrifice, and when you’re willing to get out of program mode in order to really, I’ve already used the word invest, but to really dig into those kids’ lives, which requires a lot of sacrifice. But when you are willing to do that, guess what? Those kids soak it up. And it impacts them. I would say that the majority of the young people that have come through T.E.A.M.  over the last several years, they would tell you that when they have left, it’s completely, it’s been something that God has used. And it’s not because it’s a program, it’s because we’re showing them what true servant leadership is. And by discipling and working with them so that their lives kind of grow and change, they recognize, hey, I need to be growing and changing; not because this is what’s gonna get me in good favor with God, but because this is how God blesses and directs my life, and this is what makes me a more fit vessel for the master’s use. That changes your whole outlook. That changes your whole perspective.

“When you’re willing to invest yourself, and when you’re willing to make the sacrifice, and when you’re willing to get out of program mode in order to really, I’ve already used the word invest, but to really dig into those kids’ lives, which requires a lot of sacrifice. But when you are willing to do that, guess what? Those kids soak it up. And it impacts them.” Scott Sivnksty

MT: This has been a neat conversation to be encouraged about discipleship, to be strengthened in the equipping ministry that churches are called to and the whole body gets to be a part of this. As you men think of even just resources to give to our listeners, is there maybe a book that you would either encourage in that deception process or one that’s been in current read that you have found helpful or something that you could put forward as a suggested read for some of those marks you have?

MM: The book that comes to my mind is I’m like three-quarters of the way through it and it’s a tough chew is John Flavel’s book, Keeping the Heart. Yeah, it’s just I mean, yeah, it’s Puritan. That’s not, you know, easy to it’s true and true and true. But man, you think he didn’t even have the Internet. You have a phone to deal with the hard thing. He’s just nailing it that we have to think through. And it’s so practical. That’s what’s really weird about some of the Puritan writers is it’s just so intensely practical of the daily life of how to think through guarding what impacts your heart. That’s very good.

And I think there are a number of books out on sexual identity, sexual struggle stuff that I think good to find those books. Deepak Raju’s got a book out on Rescue Skills that I’m reading right now that it’s just some of it’s a lot of reminder. I’ve been doing this a while, but a lot of it is just it’s good fresh thinking of, you know, listen carefully, craft questions carefully, but dig deep with people. They need it. If you treat deep problems superficially, people will walk away shaking their heads. And I think that’s, if you want to talk about the pessimism, sometimes we look pessimistically because we’ve failed to draw people in. And I, because I think the generation 18 to 25, they’re looking for hope. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah.

“If we give them real hope, if we really do open the scriptures and show them Jesus, they’re not just nibbling at it like a crappie, they’re sucking that down like a bass. I mean, they got it and they’re gone with it, you know, kind of a thing. I think that’s valuable.”

MT: Scott, any any book that maybe you’re reading or one that would be a great discipleship study takes take a young person to I would for personal study and read.

SS: I think Lead by Paul Tripp is a great book. Yeah, I don’t know that that’s necessarily one that you would take per se a teenager through, but it might would be a great book. It’s something that I know that I’ve even worked through with some of my counselors on T.E.A.M.  and helping them to catch the idea of what discipleship, what true leadership is, is influence. If you want to just get to the bare bones, leadership is influence. One-word definition. And so with influence, you know, I think Lee just does a great book, a great job of really integrating how that looks in some very practical ways.

I think Oswald Sander’s old book on leadership, I forget the title: Spiritual Leadership. I think that is a classic work and I know these are old books, but I think that is a classic work that has so much wealth in it for the person who is seeking to invest himself in other people. And then another reference that again, you wouldn’t take a teenager through or, you know, maybe a college student through, but I think would impact how you look at how you can invest in them would be Bill Hull’s book, on The Disciple-making church. And not that you’re going to utilize everything from the book, because he even says that, but there’s a lot of great principles and things and ideas that can really help with that idea. And so that’s a little bit different angle where I’m coming from.

MM: I would add in, I just actually just saw it back there on the table, J .C. Ryle’s Thoughts for Young Men. We actually did a study guide for that and made it a missions trip focused with our boys one year, about several years. But writing out the study guide and digging into that was amazing. And then watching the guys again, that’s an old guy. I mean, this is old, this long is old, but spot on for the exact same struggles because these kids are just like the kids from the first century. I mean, they’re people. These are people and they’re there. I mean, think about it. They’re struggling through the same things we are. I mean, yeah, absolutely.

SS: I do see now here’s a good book. It just came to my mind because God is gracious. But Disciplines of a Godly Man by Kent Hughes. I think that that is a fantastic book that you can definitely take young people through. And I’ll be honest, I don’t think that you’d have to relegate that just to young men. Although there are some particular areas where, yes, it’s gonna be more poignant, but I think that even young women can be helped by a lot of those things because they’re biblical principles is what it boils down to. So that is an all-encompassing aspect there and it’s just a really good read and very, very sensible.

One question that we love to ask our guests on the podcast is a way that God is working in your personal life, whether that’s your ministry, your family, what’s something that you can just praise God for? And it’s sweet to think about that because we have to testify God is involved in our life of neat ways. Scott, what’s a way that God has been working in your life, maybe family or ministry?

Scott Sivnksty: Well, one of the things that God has used over the last little over three years is he’s changed my ministry of evangelism. We had because of some various needs of our three boys from the academic realm, we had to put them into a Christian school, which meant that either I had to pull out of evangelism entirely, which I was fine to do or else my wife who is a nurse start working full-time. And so we were praying about the decision to make.

God graciously opened the door for my wife to become a director of nursing at an assisted living center. And so what that caused though for me is I had to evaluate how am I going to carry on my ministry of evangelism. Well, so here’s what happened. I knew I could not be on the road six to nine months out of the year like I normally was. So what I have done is I have taken away of during the year, the course of the year, I have begun to cut, I have cut back pretty substantially on the number of meetings that I will take per year. Now what that has done is that has given me more time with my family for one, but what it has also done in a wonderful fashion has given me and my family the opportunity to be engaged in our home church in ways that we had never been able to before. Because when you’re on the road six to nine months out of the year, you love your church, you love being at your church, and you try to enlist, but there are things that are limiting because of that. So I get to serve.

Now, I get to serve in some specific areas that I would have never been able to do, and I absolutely love it. My wife gets to serve in some ways now at our church that she would have never been able to do beforehand. All three of my boys, have been able to get engaged in their youth group and all of them have been serving in different aspects in our local church that they would have never had the opportunity had we not had to alter kind of the direction of our ministry.

And so because of that, that has revitalized me. It just, you know how it is when you just, you get re-impassioned, right? Because of the encouragement, because of the great teaching and preaching of God’s Word, because of the regular fellowship with people that are your particular church people. So to me, that has been a huge blessing over the last three years that has just, it’s refueled me, it’s refreshed me, and I feel like it has helped my perspective significantly in the area of ministry and serving the Lord. And I’m super excited about it. I’m thrilled to be able to do it. And it excites me even more when I get to come then for the summer here at Camp Chetek and further get to invest my life into these teenagers that come in our program and then hopefully go back to their homes and their churches and their communities with what we have tried to give to them. So yeah, I absolutely am thrilled for that blessing.

MT: Praise the Lord! Mark, what’s the way that God’s working your personal life?

Mark Massey: I think as you were speaking, I wrote down the word seasons.

You know,

you have seasons of life where you do different things. You know, you may not pastor all your life. Right. You may not be the lead pastor all your life. You may not be an evangelist all your life or whatever, because God has used that season to prepare you for this next season,

which is really cool to look at it that way as opposed to burnout. I’m going to go do something else. You know, it’s really allowing God to shift your priorities in your life to what is next that He wants done. I think it’s super.

For me, I feel like I’ve been poked in the eye by God this past, you know, few months or year or so just to make sure that I’m not getting so and invest in the people at each, I call it tier, each age group that I have connection with so that I don’t, I’m not always pressured to build this, the next person that’s going to replace me or to build the next person is going to fill this hole in the ministry or something like that. That’s been good. It’s also been kind of a poke in the eye living within this culture and even the struggles of my own use of the internet, you know, like, just not wasting my life on it. And gleaning from it, its value, there is great value there. But, oh man, you can erase all of that value by wasting the time that you do have on it and that kind of thing. So that, I think, has been good.

In that process, God has kind of refocused me on the Word. And I think if I could say anything as an encouragement to everybody out there less time on the internet more time on God’s word. Yeah. It is I mean, mean, it’s good to hear all these great speakers and I, you know, I’m all for it. Really. I think it’s great. At the same time, there is nothing that will replace just read the word. And I think as we refocus on the word, what happened like right now, I’m just hitting Acts chapter 10. And in Acts chapter 10, I’m like, these people are dying. These people are being killed, they’re being beaten and imprisoned, and they love God with all their hearts, and they’re reaching their world. And I think for me that’s creating a stage of life. I’m almost an empty nester-ish working at it. I’m thinking about how does this next stage look for the all-in disciple of God?

That’s kind of where I’m being challenged. I’m excited about it. I’m scared to death in some ways and I’m tired. You know, I feel like I’m getting old. I can’t do this anymore. At the same time, it’s a new invigoration to get the resurrection power of Jesus at the forefront of thinking. And that comes through the word.

Through the word. “Let the word dwell richly” Col 3:16.

MT: Awesome. Well, thank you, men, for being on the podcast today. And I appreciate you listening in to the Central Seminary podcast. I hope it has been an encouraging conversation for you as you see and have opportunity to disciple the next generation that is in your church. So thank you for joining us and I hope you have a wonderful week.

Mark Massey has served with Victory Boys Academy since 1995, and as Director of Wild Heart Adventure Camp. 

Wild Heart Adventure Camp is a Christian adventure camp devoted to teaching young men how to have a passion for God and adventure. We take two weeks to train our campers in three core areas: spirit, skills, and service. These life points provide the frame-work for our times of spiritual instruction, wilderness excursions, and team-building challenges.

Scott Sivnksty and his family are members at Community Baptist Church in Garner, NC. During the summers, Scott serves as the Director of the T.E.A.M. Program at Camp Chetek for high school sophomores-seniors. 

Camp Chetek’s purpose, as a fundamental Baptist ministry, is to glorify God by using the controlled environment of Christian camping to help churches of like faith and practice fulfill the great commission to evangelize the lost and make disciples of those who believe.

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