Jesus said to all people, 'If you want to be my follower, don't think about yourself anymore. On the contrary, you must be prepared to give up your life every day. And you must go with me.'
Jesus said to all: 'If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me.'
I want to actively follow Jesus every day
... and make sure I am mentally healthy.
Before you read on (or give up if you are reading this) ...:
We are not looking for 'super-Christians'! They do not exist. In this 1st commitment a desire is described. And if it is your desire to actively follow Jesus every day, then read on!
We are looking for young people like you, who long to live for Jesus completely, through trial and error. Young people who are willing to put themselves aside and choose to take a step every day in obedience to what Jesus asks of them.
Young people who want to remain lifelong 'students'. Young people who dare to live with open hands. Young people who dare to acknowledge that they are human and make mistakes. Young people who want to look more and more like Jesus, so that others will meet Him through them. Who are in the middle of this world, but are not of this world.
Following Jesus is a voluntary choice. It is 'simple', but not 'easy'. By hanging out with Jesus, you get to know Him (and yourself...) better and better and your love for Him and for people around you will grow. You will know better what He asks of you in specific situations and how you can reach out to your brother/sister and others around you.
You want to get to know His words and thoughts and the Bible is the guideline for your life.You make sure that not only have you eaten well physically every day, but also that your spirit is filled with goodness - with Jesus Himself.
You talk to Him about everything that concerns you. You are honest about your mistakes and make up for them with Him and others. You are in contact with people who want to follow Him together with you, so that you can strengthen and encourage each other. You are ok with the fact that you are not (yet) perfect. In this way you take care of yourself and your relationships and you can stand strong in the middle of this world.
I pray every day for my younger brother/sister
... I pray that Jesus will change our lives, our relationships, our neighbourhood and our country, and I am aware that I depend on Him for lasting change.
The most fundamental calling that every Alongsider shares is to love their younger brother or sister, and this love comes from God. Your relationship with Jesus is the basis for the relationship with your younger brother or sister. Those who know God's love will share it willingly and generously, not out of obligation or to earn favour from God or other people. This positive, lasting internal motivation is at the heart of the Alongsiders movement.
As a Alongsider, you know you are dependent on Jesus in everything you do. Therefore, prayer is a crucial core value. Pray for your younger brother/sister. For your relationship. For change in your own life and that of your younger brother/sister where necessary. For change in your immediate environment. For the relationships with your family, friends and neighbourhood. Your school, your workplace. Pray for the Alongsider movement in its totality: for Alongsiders Netherlands, Alongsiders Europe, Alongsiders International.
As an Alongsider you love and serve your younger brother/sister in many ways, but you must trust God for the deeper work of transformation in your lives. If you force your younger brother/sister to change according to your own timing and wisdom, you will inevitably become impatient and will tend to want to control in a negative way.
Love trusts and depends on God, so you choose to pray as a Alongsider. Prayer keeps you going when you see no evidence of a brother or sister changing. You can pray daily, weekly or constantly. You can pray directly with your younger brother or sister when you are together or pray for him/her when you are not together. You do not insist on a form or prayer that makes the child or the child's parents feel uncomfortable, because that would be rude rather than loving. When you pray in love, you trust that God loves your brother/sister more than you realise, and you trust that God is faithful.
But through the Spirit come love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, helpfulness, self-control.
But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is: to be patient and kind. Love is: not to be jealous, not to tell how good you are, not to consider yourself more important than another. Love is: not insulting another, not thinking only of yourself, not quarrelling and not wanting revenge. Love is: to rejoice in what is good, and to hate what is evil. Through love you endure everything that happens to you. Through love you continue to believe and trust. Through love you always persevere.
Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, love does not boast, love does not act in a pompous way, love does not act in an improper way, love does not seek its own interest, love does not become bitter, love does not think evil, love does not rejoice over iniquity, but rejoices over the truth, love covers all things, love believes all things, love hopes all things, love endures all things.
I invite my younger brother / sister
... to go to church with them.
We ask you as an Alongsider to invite your young brother/sister to church, because we believe that this simple act can be life-changing for the children and also for their families. In the local church they will have the opportunity to interact with people of different ages, abilities, backgrounds and resources. Being part of the church overcomes isolation and combats poverty in all its forms - economic, social and spiritual. The Body of Christ in a local church can do more for a child and his or her family than you as an Alongsider can do alone.
While it is important for you as Alongsiders to invite your younger brothers and sisters to church, it is also important for the members of the local church to be the Body of Christ in every community. Having a group of Alongsiders in the church allows for movement in both directions!
Sometimes there will be situations where your younger brother or sister cannot or will not come with you to church. This may have to do with the family and/or religious background of your brother or sister, or because they are not yet ready to go with you. Or because you run the risk of ending your relationship the moment going to church becomes a 'requirement'. There is no need to put pressure on it. Pray for the situation. See how you can bring your younger brother or sister into contact with other positive local believers. Think for example of children's work in your neighbourhood where the children can connect with peers.