"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12
Twice in the last few months we have been blessed by being witness to youth in action. At our church a few weeks ago, the youth took over the Sunday morning service and just completely blessed the congregation. It was incredible to hear what God had been saying to these young people. This past weekend, while visiting family, we were completely blessed by another youth group, as they took over the worship service for the morning. Their worship was very powerful and more than once, I asked God to continue to bless that youth group.
What I thought of both times, is that so many times as adults, we look at our young people, and we simply see inexperience. I can't tell you how many times, growing up, I had adults look at me and simply say "well, you're young" in reference to any number of things. Yet, we need to remember that these young people are children of God too- and God loves them just as much as he loves the experienced adults.
The pastor who spoke this weekend reminded the congregation that where the youth goes, so goes the church- and isn't that so true? When the youth are pressing into God for more, it's contagious. Conversely, when the youth don't care, when they are attending church simply because they have to, the same is contagious, and apathy reigns for a time.
And so this morning, I simply want to put out a challenge to anyone reading this to pray for your youth. Pray for the youth of your own church- call your youth pastor if needs be and get some specific prayer concerns. But spend some time praying for the youth in the weeks to come. Maybe you'll be prompted to get specific, and pray for a specific youth, or maybe you'll pray for the group as a whole. But they really need to be covered in prayer- especially as school is in full session now. This year they will be tempted like never before- and it is our prayers that will keep them focused on God and their faith, and will enable them to share the love of God with their schoolmates. And the more of God's love they share, the more of those young people around them will want to know what they've got- and maybe those young people will come with them to youth group or church. And then those young people will find their own change in their lives, and their parents will want to know what is this awesomeness that has come upon their teenagers- and then they will check out the church themselves. It's a wonderful cycle, that we can spur on, simply with our prayers.
Let us remember to not look down on our youth simply because of their inexperience. God can use anyone- young or old, and He will use anyone.