There may be some well-meaning people in your church who are excited about you being the “future of the church.” I had my hair rustled on some Sunday mornings in the foyer of our church by some gray-haired people when I was growing up, encouraging me to someday step up and lead. It was a nice gesture of belief and encouragement at the time, to know that I was to take responsibility at some point in the distant future.

And while those were very well-meaning people who loved me and loved Jesus, I think they may have also helped me miss an important lesson. God didn’t want me to wait! I was becoming a vital part of God’s work; I wasn’t supposed to grow up to be included.

I mean, think about it – many historians believe the disciples were teenagers. Some of the biggest and most awesome stories of the Bible star teenagers. Take David for example. If David wasn’t a young man, the differences between him and Goliath wouldn’t have shown God’s power as strongly. It sure seems like he’s in there to help us see this point … along with Isaac, Jacob, Rachel, Joseph, Samson, Esther, Mary and more!

Why do we think YOU should wait to lead the church, when clearly God loves using teenagers in His story?

I remember starting small – it didn’t hurt that we were a “when the doors were open we were there” kinda family. And it seemed like the church was always open! I served folding programs, sharpening pencils, greeting, evening singing on a few occasions! There are all sorts of needs in your church, try to match up the need to your talents. Women’s Bible study is coming up – offer to watch the kids! Men’s breakfast is around the corner, help fry up the bacon. Ah, bacon … sorry, got lost there for a second. These smaller opportunities to taste ministry, which led to larger and more significant chances, all helped me realized that being young in the church is a good thing, because God wants to use you now.

All of that to say … don’t wait!

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. I Timothy 4:12

God has already been preparing your ministry for you. He’s been working on you this whole time, too! Congratulations … you’re gifted. Gifts are meant to be opened and now is the time. So get involved today! Serve in your church. Use your talents, gifts and abilities now … don’t wait.

A message I want all of my students to hear loud and clear … you are NOT the future of the church. You are the church of today!