One of my passions is helping young people and adults discover their God-given potential. I love talking to people about what they want to do, where they see themselves going, and how they would like to achieve those goals. I feel like so many people struggle to discover their purpose at a young age, which leads to changes in their major, occupation, and relationships several times over.
It goes the same way for the body of Christ.
There are so many people in the Church who are trying to find their place. They like what they see, but they can’t find the one thing to get involved in that makes them feel like they are contributing. In fact, it gets so bad that they step into serving roles that cause to feel unfulfilled and they end up burning out, mainly due to the fact that their passion is getting snuffed out slowly.
The Church needs to be a better place for people to express their passion, help them seek ways to pursue it, and serve in such a way that allows them to use the gifts God has given them to use.
Another problem is, we wait until people are adults to seek them out to serve. We wait for those who have “discovered” who they are to step up, when there are young people who need to “discover” who they are now in the body of Christ in order to maintain a passion for the body of Christ.
The first church I served in is a great example. It was not a perfect church (there isn’t one), but they definitely saw the value in their young people. There was a young man who had a tremendous talent to play piano and lead worship. He was allowed to do so from the very beginning. He was put in front of the congregation, he was taught how to lead, and he guided the congregation in praising Jesus.
Some places would be so afraid to let a kid touch the keys, but this young man hammered those keys and opened the church service up with energy and passion.
He continues to serve today, in the same church! He didn’t leave. Now, some might say, “Well, I’m sure he went because his family was there.” That is definitely a possibility, but there are other church’s and other places he could lead, but he recognized that he had and has a role to play in the church. So, he is doing it, and very well I might add!
When young people are given roles to play every Sunday and not just special programs, they begin to feel invested. They see that they are respected and they want to come back. They want to continue coming where they know they are needed.
I am trying to implement roles for my middle and high school students in our children’s church program. They are doing small jobs right now, as I try to get them acclimated to how things flow, but as some have been coming for some time now I have been able to give them other responsibilities. Gradually, my hope is, we will see them leading the discussions, small groups, music, etc. I acknowledge them as leaders and they know I need them.
I am not perfect at it, no one is, but I know I need to make an effort in order to help these young men and women understand they have a role to play in the ministry of the church. With the hope that they see the bigger picture, all the while I hold on to the reality that not all of them will embrace their role beyond high school. That is not a cop-out or a negative thought process, but I see in Scripture that even God Himself couldn’t keep all His disciples following, so why should I expect to?
When the body of Christ recognizes the importance of giving youth and children value and allowing them to lead or learn how to lead, then they will not only secure the church for tomorrow, but grow the church for today.
When they are empowered to play a role, young people will tell their parents they can’t miss because they are needed. Yes, parents will still be able to say no, but at least they will see their kids passionate about something beyond video games. They will want to be in church, they will want to worship, and they will want to be present. Then, as they get older, most will remember the value they were given and continue to serve and perhaps pour their lives into the young people they encounter along the way.
May we see our role in empowering the present to secure the future.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: How do you see young people being utilized in your church today? How can it be better?