Leadership Embracing Youth
What does it mean to “grow young” in our ministry for Christ? A thought immediately comes to my mind of a small church in a small community. My boys were very young at that time. The nominating committee voted to ask my first son of just eight or nine years old to be one of the main pianists for worship. His feet didn’t touch the ground, and his head couldn’t be seen over the upright piano, but he was voted in and played for ten years.
Young people from the juniors class graced the front entrance of the church, welcoming people while other young people from the teens or the youth group led the song service in the sanctuary. There were a lot of seniors in this church that would high-five the kids as they went down the hallway or compliment them on a scripture reading or special music. I remember this specific senior leadership intentionally calling every child by name as they greeted them or the many times this senior leadership went to the church school to celebrate birthdays or read. Why does this scene come to my mind when I think of Christ’s ministry?
Christ was all about relationships and service that glorified His Father. That is what “growing young” in our church ministry is all about. Building relationships, bridging generation gaps, mentoring young people with patience and allowing the Holy Spirit to express His love and work through these young people that soon will be or are currently leading our churches.
Acts 2:17 says, “In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Are we preparing our young people with a spirit of love and patience, mentoring them in ways that they will desire to be one of those that has the visions and dreams, or do we treat them in such a way that they would be afraid to tell us of these dreams and visions and not even want them because they have yet to see the love of God through the leadership at hand?
Today, that small church in that small community is full of different generations reaching out to their neighbors and town through their community service center, evangelistic efforts and programs, the result of a young generation that was mentored with patience and love. This story is about “growing young” by a senior leadership embracing their youth.
Let us be prepared for God to spill His Holy Spirit on His children of ALL generations to allow our youth to finish this work He has set before us.
By Apple Park, Executive Secretary