I want to share a verse that, as a youth pastor I hear a lot, and it took on a new meaning this past week:
“Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teach- ing. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.”
1 Timothy 4:12.
So often, and for some good reasons, I have been concerned with how much access to the world this young generation has. Sometimes how much access the world has to them. There is so much input they can receive. There are so many opinions of who they should be and how they should act. There is this new risk to have every mistake they make saved on the internet forever. Oftentimes, I have thought about how lucky I
am to have been a youth in a pre-social media age.
This week though my thoughts on this changed. Following the senseless death of George Floyd, for the first time, I saw how living in this time has given our youth an opportunity to have a worldview that no other generation has gotten to have as a teenager. Teenagers in America today get to see Social Justice being done on the front lines. They get to hear voices that they never would get to hear in person. They are able to be more empathetic and understanding towards individuals that are nothing like them. They get to see kids just like them change the world.
My job often spoils me. Because when it is easy to feel hopeless or worried about the future, I get to work with a generation that has a deeper understanding of what it means to be a global Christian than I could ever have. The world will always have issues, but I have hope when I look at this young generation that understands the value of their voice, understands what justice means, and has a belief that a better world is possible.
I want to give a big thank you to Nancy West, Tammy Jowers, Kelli Hayes, and Pastor Mary Beth for helping me put together gifts for our youth. From gift baskets for the Seniors on Senior Sunday to making a goody bag for every youth in our program, these ladies have helped me so much!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!