1 Timothy 4:12
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
I have had the privilege of taking two mission trips to Panama with eighty high school students and youth leaders from our church. We shared the gospel with elementary, junior high, and high school students. We spent afternoons with orphans, shared Christ at hospitals, ministered in local churches, and got our hands dirty with projects requiring some serious manual labor!
Along with the ministry and work, there were nightly meetings to sing, debrief, and pray. I was extremely impressed with these teenagers. Many of these students had their spiritual acts together much earlier than I ever did. I was amazed that they were willing to take the time out of their summer to share the message of Christ in another country and culture. I was encouraged by the depth of commitment.
Howard Hendricks, one of my seminary professors, used to say, “We train teenagers to fly multimillion-dollar jets, but we won’t let them take up offering in the church!” We can do better than that, can’t we? We must never look down on our youth. They are tomorrow’s church. Preparation for the future always begins today.
- Parents, engage your pre-teens and teens in significant spiritual conversation.
- Ask them about beliefs, challenges in their school, relationships with their friends, and most of all, their relationship with Jesus.
Talking to God
Father, protect our teenagers and keep them following hard after you. For those straying, bring them back to the fold. For those questioning, turn their natural queries into rock-solid belief. For those living a lukewarm faith, light a fire in their hearts. Lord, let us always value and invest in our youth! In Christ’s name. Amen.
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