About JB

Jerome has served in youth and young adult ministry 19 years under the leadership of his pastor, Bishop Barry Walker in Carrollton, GA. Jerome is the author of two books: Success Killers and Watch Who You Hang With.

Posts by JB:

3 Reasons Youth Need To Be Involved In Youth Ministry

ypym2By Jerome Baker

I believe one of the most important auxiliaries in the church outside the role of the senior pastor is the youth and young adult ministry. The Bible teaches that young people must be trained in the proper way to go (Proverbs 22:6). Of course, parents are the primary disciplinarians and nurturers of children; but, I believe a fruitful church should have some type of consistent youth ministry in place to help compliment what Christian parents should be teaching in the home.

Unfortunately, many churches and its members still look at youth ministry as a babysitting auxiliary. (Remember back in the day? Momma would say before service, “You better sit down and hush up!) But, I believe every youth leader, parent, and young person needs to understand why a solid youth ministry is needed. Here are three reasons I believe youth and young adults need to be in a productive youth ministry.

1. Youth need to be taught how to live Godly.

1 Timothy 4:8 but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

Many of today’s youth are intelligent, skilled, talented, and are advanced in many areas far beyond their parents. Yet, a young person can gain the whole world and still lose their soul. Mark 8:36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? With this in mind, young people need to be taught how to live godly so they don’t perish.  Being godly means living according to the Word and beginning to live godly through Jesus Chris at a young age is very rewarding. Youth ministries that have qualified and proven leaders can help train young people to live godly.

2. Youth need to experience God’s love on their level.

Matthew 19:13-15 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.

Jesus in all His power and glory took time to meet the needs of young people. In Matthew 19:13-15 the Lord loved on the little children and rebuked the adult leaders that had a problem with Him doing so. Our youth are in need of God’s love through Jesus Christ. So many of our young people are mentally, spiritually, and sexually bound, broken, and battered. But, healing is found in the grace of God. One thing I have learned is that if a productive youth ministry has loyal, caring, and anointed leaders, youth can experience God’s love through youth services and fellowships. A solid youth ministry can help communicate God’s grace from Scripture and from sharing personally life experiences. And in addition, a productive youth ministry can reinforce Biblical truths the parents should be instilling in the home as well.

3. Youth can gain strength and encouragement from other young Christians.

Acts 2:42-44 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,

When Christian youth come together and have an environment that is constantly teaching Biblical precepts and are also provided a place and time where they can be young, they will begin to grow spiritually, mentally, and in their decision making as well.

© Copyright 2014 Jerome A. Baker All rights reserved. Jerome Baker has served in youth ministry for 17 years is the youth pastor at his local church in Carrollton Georgia. Jerome is also the author of  two books, “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”. Like his FaceBook page at http://www.facebook.com/jabmin

8 Ways To Remain A Christian On A College Campus

By Jerome Baker

For many teens going off to college is a time in life that is filled with anticipation and excitement. I remember I use to say after graduating from high school, “I can’t wait to get out of here and be out on my own!”

It is quite adventurous to discover who your roommate will be, what dormitory life be like, and what new friends will be encountered. Unfortunately, many teens that live a solid Christian lifestyle at home often get to college and backslide on God. If a student does not make wise choices, college life can be filled with an abundance of sin, darkness, loneliness, and cruelty.

I remember my first months of college. Boy-o-boy!!! The things I saw….and participated in! (Smh) Let’s just say I thank the Lord for His grace and mercy!!!  “The College Life”, can be eye opening, mind-boggling, and at times shamefully. But, I do know that it is possible to live as a bonafide Christian on a college campus and at the same time enjoy your college years. I became a Christian in the summer of my freshman year. So if I can live three of my four years in college as a Christian, you can too. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your college years as a Christian.

1. Ask God to lead you to a local church that will feed you the Word.

Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word which proceeds from the mouth of God.” If you don’t get the Word from a real God sent preacher on a weekly bases, you will not live for Jesus. After I prayed I searched for a month until I found where God wanted me to be. (After 17 years, I’m still there too!)

2. Don’t be intimidated by all the various beliefs. Stand for Christ.

You will meet so many different beliefs in college. Some things people believe in or don’t believe in can try to make you feel inferior. Your faith in the Bible will be tested by students and professors, but stand on God’s Word.

3. Avoid, “just a little fun”.

It will be a culture shock when you see how much sin is happening on campus, they will call it “having fun”. The sex, the drugs, and parties will be non-stop. You will get invited all the time. Your “friends” will talk about you at first for not going with them and make you feel left out and awkward. Stay strong because a “little fun” will lead to “a lot of pain”.

4. Get involved.

If your local church has a campus ministry, get involved in helping to establish the Kingdom of God on your campus. Also, there are plenty of other organizations on college campuses that do not compromise the Christian faith. Pray and ask God for directions. The more you focus on being productive the less time and opportunity you have to get caught up. Even though I was not a perfect Christian while in college, staying focused on my studies and get involved in other activities helped me not to have so much idle time to fill with foolishness.

 5. Don’t be surprised when you see Christian organization that compromise.

Sadly, some campus outreaches are no different than other social college organizations. Don’t be discouraged when you see some Christian organization members that drink and party like others. Pray for them and move on.

6. Pray and share your faith daily.

You have to stay prayed up! Praying will keep you from fainting and yielding to temptation. (Luke 18:1) And when you constantly share and live your faith on campus you can win others to Christ as well as set a reputation for yourself as a true disciple of Christ. Be bold in what you believe because they will be bold in practicing sin.

7. Stay in contact with your youth pastor/minister from back home.

Don’t burn bridges that helped you get to where you are. Transitioning into adulthood takes time and help. Hopefully your former youth pastor/minister/leader will be there to talk with you, pray for you, and to encourage you as you move forward in life.

 8. Enjoy life as a college student.

Being a Christian college student was a time in my life that I learned so much about myself and God. At the same time I enjoyed life as a single young man. You don’t have to stay locked in your room between class….get out there and live! John 10:10 Jesus came that you might life and that more abundantly.

© Copyright 2014 Jerome A. Baker All rights reserved. Jerome Baker is a youth pastor at his local church in Carrollton Georgia and the author of  two books, “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”. Like him on FaceBook at http://www.facebook.com/jabmin and follow on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/_jabmin

© Copyright 2014 Jerome A. Baker All rights reserved. Jerome Baker is a youth pastor at his local church in Carrollton Georgia and the author of  two books, “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”. – See more at: http://jeromeabaker.com/my-lessons-learned-from-lebron/#sthash.0f43XagV.dpuf
© Copyright 2014 Jerome A. Baker All rights reserved. Jerome Baker is a youth pastor at his local church in Carrollton Georgia and the author of  two books, “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”. – See more at: http://jeromeabaker.com/my-lessons-learned-from-lebron/#sthash.0f43XagV.dpuf
© Copyright 2014 Jerome A. Baker All rights reserved. Jerome Baker is a youth pastor at his local church in Carrollton Georgia and the author of  two books, “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”. – See more at: http://jeromeabaker.com/my-lessons-learned-from-lebron/#sthash.0f43XagV.dpuf

My Lessons Learned From LeBron

The country is abuzz because LeBron James has chosen to leave the Miami Heat and return to his home state of Ohio to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, again.  Amidst all of the excitement and chatter there are some life lessons to be learned from the life of LeBron.

Lesson 1:  Everyone Doesn’t Like Decisions You Make
Lebron had the right not to resign with Cleveland back in 2010.  After deciding to take his talents to South Beach, the Cavs fans went ballistic.  Not only did the fans of Cleveland go off, but the Cavs Majority Owner, Dan Gilbert wrote an open letter about Lebron’s decision.  He called Lebron’s actions, “cowardly”.  And to make matters worse, Dan Gilbert’s sports-memorabilia company Fathead, lowered the price of wall graphics depicting James from $99.99 to $17.41, the birth year of Benedict Arnold.1 All of this teaches us that even when you make decisions that you feel are good for you, someone is going to be offended.

Lesson 2:  Some People Want You To Do What’s Best For Them
Some Cavs fans said James had no integrity, some even burned LeBron’s jerseys in a public display of James free will decision.  The hate for LeBron grew to a point that he became a “villain”.  This teaches me that people will be upset when you don’t do what they think you should do.

Lesson 3:  Money Is Not Always The Most Important Factor
LeBron took a pay cut of millions of dollars in order to win a championship.  For the next three years, though James was clearly the best player in the NBA he chose to lose money in order to accomplish a personal goal.  What a lesson.  Money is important, but there are some things that are more valuable than a paycheck.

Lesson 4:  Everyone Needs Help To Succeed
LeBron was highly criticized for joining DeWayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami to form, “The Big Three”.  But with the Heat winning two NBA Championships in three years is an easy lesson to learn, no matter how great you are, everyone needs help to be successful.

Lesson 5:  There Is Power In Unity
Wade, Bosh, and James planned and agreed to come together for a common goal, to win.  These three men agreed to take a pay cut in order to reach their goal.  They endured the grind of the 82 game NBA season.  They overcome the opposition of the fans and media.  The rose above the hate on social media to finally obtain their goal, the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.  By the way, they did it twice! That’s a powerful lesson learned, there is power in unity.

Lesson 6:  It’s Possible To Move Forward With Forgiveness
On July 11, 2014 Lebron decided not to resign with the Miami Heat and to sign with the Cavaliers. Despite the disagreements from Lebron and the Cavs management, both parties have reported they have forgiven each other and are ready to move forward.  It’s almost like the prodigal son returning home…and instead of getting the fatted calf, a ring, and a robe, Lebron will be greeted with a 2 year 42 million dollar contract.  In order to find fulfillment, forgiveness is mandatory.

Lesson 7:  You Can’t Please Everybody
If LeBron stays in Miami, the Cavs fans can only wonder what would have been.  If James returns to Ohio, he disappoints the Heat Nation.  Too bad Lebron’s not from Atlanta. Oh well, you can’t please everybody, lesson learned.

© Copyright 2014 Jerome A. Baker All rights reserved. Jerome Baker is a youth pastor at his local church in Carrollton Georgia and the author of  two books, “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”.